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Inequality Mattersby James (edt) Lardner
Synopses & Reviews
Since the 1970s, the U.S. economy has been sending more and more of its rewards to fewer and fewer people. Once seen as a global exemplar of egalitarianism and middle-class opportunity, America has become the most unequal of developed nations—a land where corporate leaders earn hundreds of times the pay of average workers, and the only population group growing faster than millionaires is the uninsured. Statistics aside, this quarte-century-long trend has changed the texture of American life in ways that threaten our deepest values.
Drawing on the best and latest research, the contributors explore issues such as the real story the numbers tell about how America has changed; dimensions of inequality (education, health, and opportunity); causes of inequality, looking past the usual suspects of technology, trade, and immigration; the persistence of racial disparities; the erosion of democracy and community; and inequality as a moral and religious problem. Not just a catalog of inequality’s ills, the book concludes with a plausible and hopeful policy path—beyond redistribution—to a more just and humane economy.
With contributions by:
"With the exception of Bill Moyers's fiery foreword, most of the essays in this collection examine the growing divide between the rich and the poor with irrefutable calm. 'Today the United States is by far the most unequal rich democracy in the world,' Christopher Jencks observes in his essay, 'The Fork in the Road,' which traces wealth disparity to constitutional design. 'Gaps in [college] enrollment by class and race, after declining in the 1960s and 1970s, are once again as wide as they were thirty years ago, and getting wider,' remarks Tamara Draut; at the same time, she points out, the wage disparity between college-degree-haves and have-nots grew starker. Meanwhile, Robert H. Frank analyzes how 'spending cascades' — in which high-end wage earners 'initiate a process that leads to increased expenditures... even among those whose incomes have not risen' — may have aggravated middle class bankruptcy. Though less vividly written than the New York Times' recently published Class Matters, this collection presents a similarly troubling vision of America's economic future." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Journalists and social scientists--many also serving as activists in various justice movements--look at the extent and dynamics of economic inequality in the US, and how to change the conversation about it. Among their topics are shredding the retirement contract, the great tax shift, and building a moral economy. There is no index.
Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Book News Annotation:
Journalists and social scientists--many also serving as activists in various justice movements--look at the extent and dynamics of economic inequality in the US, and how to change the conversation about it. Among their topics are shredding the retirement contract, the great tax shift, and building a moral economy. There is no index. Annotation Â©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Drawing on the best and latest research, contributors to this volume explore the reasons why America has become one of the most unequal of developed nations--where the only population growing faster than millionaires is the uninsured.
About the Author
Jim Lardner is a journalist and the founder of Inequality.org.
David A. Smith is a senior fellow in Business, Society, and Democracy at Demos, a think and action tank in New York City. He previously served as Director of Public Policy at the AFL-CIO and as an aide to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
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