Because political campaigns in the United States are privately funded, America's political system is heavily biased toward the interests of wealthy campaign contributors. As a result, government policies have largely igred the growth in income inequality caused by techlogical change and ecomic globalization. This omission has been tolerated because most Americans do t support interventionist government policies. They believe that the government serves the interests of the campaign dors rather than the public. This skepticism concerning the public sector's fairness must be overcome before effective programs to offset mounting inequality can be implemented. Though in recent years legislation to reform the financing of political campaigns has been adopted, private wealth continues to dominate the political process. Political cynicism therefore persists. A voluntary system of public funding of candidates for office is required to generate the trust in the public sector necessary to reverse the trend toward inequality.
Jay R. Mandle, currently W. Bradford Wiley Professor of Economics at Colgate University, has also taught at Temple University and the University of the West Indies. Mandle has been a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Social Change at the University of California, Berkeley, and twice been a Fulbright Lecturer, once at the University of Guyana and once at Nankai University, China. Among his many publications, Professor Mandle recently published Globalization and the Poor (2003).