What We Are Reading Today: The Cash Ceiling, by Nicolas Carnes

Updated 23 August 2018

What We Are Reading Today: The Cash Ceiling, by Nicolas Carnes

Why are Americans governed by the rich? Millionaires make up only 3 percent of the public but control all 3 branches of the federal government. How did this happen? What stops lower-income and working-class Americans from becoming politicians? The first book to answer these urgent questions, The Cash Ceiling provides a compelling and comprehensive account of why so few working-class people hold office — and what reformers can do about it.

Using extensive data on candidates, politicians, party leaders, and voters, Nicholas Carnes debunks popular misconceptions (like the idea that workers are unelectable or unqualified to govern), identifies the factors that keep lower-class Americans off the ballot and out of political institutions, and evaluates a variety of reform proposals.

In the US, Carnes shows, elections have a built-in “cash ceiling,” a series of structural barriers that make it almost impossible for the working class to run for public office. Elections take a serious toll on candidates, many working-class Americans simply can’t shoulder the practical burdens, and civic and political leaders often pass them over in favor of white-collar candidates. 

Who runs for office goes to the heart of whether we will have a democracy that is representative or not. The Cash Ceiling shows that the best hope for combating the oversized political influence of the rich might simply be to help more working-class Americans become politicians.

The Six: Designers at Dubai Fashion Days

Dubai Fashion Days is set to run from Nov. 21-25 in Citywalk and Dubai Design District. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 November 2018

The Six: Designers at Dubai Fashion Days

DUBAI: Set to run from Nov. 21-25 in Citywalk and Dubai Design District, Dubai Fashion Days will showcase a mix of regional and international designers.

Amato Couture
Launched in 2002, Amato Couture is the brainchild of designer Furne One and textile expert Rashid Ali, who are set to show off their collection on Nov. 21. The label has been worn by the likes of Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez.

Michael Cinco
Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco is known for his gorgeous couture gowns and glittering client list, including Rihanna and Lady Gaga. His show is set to take place on Nov. 25.

Yara Bin Shakar
Yara Bin Shakar is an Emirati fashion designer with an uber cool aesthetic. Her latest collection is inspired by vintage Hollywood and will be showcased on Nov. 21.

Soraya B. Couture
Portuguese fashion designer Soraya Bacai is the face behind the Dubai-based fashion house that will show off its wares on Nov. 25.

Lin Yu Bo and Tan Li Chen are the duo behind the label THISNORTHAT that will dress models for the catwalk on Nov. 21.

Sophia Nubes
A Switzerland-based label that creates ready-to-wear pieces, fashion lovers can see its latest collection on Nov. 23.