Campus News

Wall Street gridlock

A New York Times article that examines the impact of congressional gridlock on the stock market quotes UGA political scientist Keith Poole, an expert on political polarization.

The Philip H. Alston Jr. Distinguished Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, Poole said investors on Wall Street might have personal reasons for liking gridlock. Rising political polarization in Congress correlates closely with rising income inequality in the U.S., according to Poole.

“We’re now approaching levels of inequality we haven’t seen since the Gilded Age,” he said.

With a highly polarized Republican-dominated Congress likely to bicker with a Democratic president in his last two years in office, major tax and regulatory legislation to restore a more equitable balance is unlikely, according to Poole.

“Wall Street is getting very rich,” he said. “And with gridlock, that trend is likely to continue. It’s no wonder that Wall Street likes gridlock.”