Today's Economic Issues
Democrats and Republicans
by Nancy S. Lind, Erik T. Rankin, and Gardenia Harris
August 2016, 387pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3936-8
$118, £91, 103€, A162
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eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3937-5
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Economic issues—especially “pocketbook” issues affecting households—remain the most influential in the voting decisions of Americans of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

What are the real differences between the Democrats and the Republicans on major economic issues that influence the character and vitality of the American economy? This volume answers this question in a thorough, nonpartisan, and evenhanded fashion.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties proclaim that they have the best interests of the nation and its people at heart. Both are also adamant that they have the best proposals and positions on economic policies, including taxation, spending priorities, wages, business regulation, and other influences on economic growth and household finances. This volume carefully examines the two parties’ respective policies, providing a detailed yet readable and understandable look at how the parties agree, disagree, and find compromise on the broad range of problems and issues facing American society in the 21st century.

Each entry includes an infographic that offers bulleted “at-a-glance” summaries of the two parties’ positions on each issue today, an “Issue Overview” providing basic definitions and background for understanding the debate on each issue, and a main entry that explains prevailing party sentiments, the diversity of opinion within each party, and the shifts in party position on that issue over time. Selected entries also feature informative sidebars that supply additional content, such as primary documents that showcase the viewpoints of key political figures and institutions or biographical profiles of individuals who have helped shape their party’s policies on the issue in question.


  • Examines the degree to which the behavior of the parties—the laws they pass and oppose—actually match their stated policy positions and philosophies
  • Arranges information in a user-friendly format designed to help readers quickly find relevant information on a wide range of high-interest issues
  • Supports curricula of economics classes
Nancy S. Lind, PhD, is professor of political science at Illinois State University. She specializes in American politics and public administration. Lind has coedited ten books, including ABC-CLIO's Privacy in a Digital Age: 21st-Century Challenges to the Fourth Amendment and First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia as well as Governing Ilinois: Your Connection to State and Local Government and Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy: Right versus Left. She holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Erik T. Rankin, MPS, is assistant to the Department Chair of Politics and Government at Illinois State University. He specializes in American government and campaign politics. Rankin has coedited three books, including ABC-CLIO's Privacy in a Digital Age: 21st-Century Challenges to the Fourth Amendment and First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia as well as Governing Ilinois: Your Connection to State and Local Government. He holds an MPS in campaign political management from The George Washington University.

Gardenia Harris, PhD, is associate professor in the School of Social Work at Illinois State University. She teaches social welfare policy courses and conducts research on racial disparities in the provision and outcomes of social services, the differential impact of child welfare policies on minority families, and prevention of HIV among middle-aged African American women. Harris received her bachelor's degree in social work from Iowa State University, her master's degree in social work from the University of Iowa, and her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999. Gardenia also earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from Coe College.


Best Reference Titles of 2016, Business & Economics—Library Journal, March 2, 2017


"When the new Congress and a new president take up their responsibilities, they as well as everyday citizens can turn to these to understand where the interparty fault lines lie on issues such as defense spending, free trade, income inequality, student loans and debt, tax-code reform, and others awaiting thoughtful resolution."—Booklist, November 22, 2016

"Summing Up: Recommended. High school, community college, and undergraduate students; general readers."—Choice, March 1, 2017

"The volume is accessible, and readers will be able to quickly navigate to their area of interest, while the nonpartisan essays provide a fair and complete assessment of each issue discussed. VERDICT Highly recommended as a reference for high school government courses."—School Library Journal, Starred Review, March 1, 2017
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