Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Kornhauser on Women, Lobbying and Tax, 1924-1936

Marjorie E. Kornhauser, Tulane University School of Law, has posted a draft of her book, American Voices in a Changing Democracy: Women, Lobbying, and Tax, 1924-1936, chapter by chapter, on SSRN.  We’re posting the abstract for the Introduction.  Click on the titles for abstracts for the other chapters.

This ... introduces my book American Voices in a Changing Democracy: Women, Lobbying, and Tax, 1924-1936. The book focuses on the intersection of three areas of change in a time of great change: the role of women, the role of lobbying (broadly defined), and the role of taxation. These areas are once again in flux today. Each area is important in itself and each underwent significant change during this time period that affected important aspects of American life. Combined, the three areas illuminate the interrelated nature of society, economics, government and politics.

The book is not about lobbying, women, or taxation per se, but about the intersection of these three elements in a period of generally rapid change. Each element is important to democracy and each underwent great changes during the relevant years. Viewing the interaction of the three elements provides not just insight into each strand but expands our knowledge of democracy’s responses to change in an era similar to our current times in many ways: rapid technological change, demographic changes, economic stresses, and political change.

Tax-phobic readers should rest easy. The book is not about substantive tax; rather it uses tax as a medium to examine women and lobbying. Consequently, readers need not know any tax—or even be all that interested in tax. The book contains no technical tax or substantive tax policy. Rather, it concerns one aspect of the social construction of tax policy: the influence of mid-level lobbying on public opinion regarding taxes as manifest from one perspective—women’s political action. All the reader needs to know by way of background about taxes, is found in Part D of Chapter I. Although the tax-aholic will be unable to satisfy a technical tax thirst, the tax-ophile will still find a satisfying feast of material about the central role taxation plays in America.

This Introduction lays out the scope, purpose and organization of the book. It sets the stage by briefly describing the changing technology, culture and government that underlay the changes affecting women, tax and lobbying. It proceeds to explain the choice of the time period and concludes with a note about research techniques.
1.  Changing Times: Lobbying and Taxation 1924-1936

2.  Women, Women’s Clubs, Women’s Political Activity and Lobbying Generally: 1924-1936
     [The post on SSRN notwithstanding, this is indeed Chapter 2]

3.  Women's Tax Lobbying: 1924–1936

4.  Conservative Women’s Groups and Tax Lobbying

5.  Cathrine Curtis and the Women Investors in America

--Dan Ernst