Thomas E. Mann, Brookings Institution
"Democratic team play to push back on Republican efforts that benefit the wealthy can... do more to improve the representation of blue-collar values and need than sprinkling Congress with a few more representatives from working class backgrounds."
Jeffrey M. Stonecash, Maxwell School, Syracuse University
"U.S. politics may not be as liberal or as generous toward the less affluent as Carnes might wish. But there is plenty of evidence that elected representatives rely on much more than their own personal job experiences to make decisions about policies to push and support."
Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Representatives need to do more than just reflect or promote the views of constituents... The issues that politics deals with are not all economic, and even economic concerns bump up against nativist, sexist and anti-intellectual biases that are not infrequently mobilized for political advantage."
Michael Javen Fortner, Rutgers University-Camden
"Analysts must probe not just occupational experiences, but also the moral understandings attached to privileged statuses and the impact – or perhaps increasing ineffectiveness – of societal institutions that can cultivate and reinforce ethical norms and social values."
Paul Pierson, University of California, Berkeley
"Elected officials are surrounded at all times by immense wealth. They raise most of their money from the wealthy, and spend more and more of their time doing that. They hear much more frequently from those advocating for the wealthy... How can this lived experience not influence the way public officials behave?"