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:
- Joel Bakan
- Heather Boushey and Christian E. Weller
- Barbara Ehrenreich
- Robert H. Frank
- Robert M. Franklin
- William Greider
- Christopher Jencks
- David Cay Johnston
- Richard D. Kahlenberg
- Robert Kuttner
- James Lardner
- Betsy Leondar-Wright
- Charles Lewis
- Meizhu Lui
- Bill Moyers
- Miles S. Rapoport and David A. Smith
- Jonathan Rowe
- Theda Skocpol
- David A. Smith and Heather McGhee
- Jim Wallis
- Eric Wanner
- David R. Williams and James Lardner
The inequality compendium hailed by Knight-Ridder as a "must-read for everyone who hopes to see equal opportunity restored to its rightful place in the American dream."
"Astonishing as it seems, scarcely anyone in official Washington seems to be troubled by a gap between rich and poor that is greater than it has been in half a centuryand greater than that of any other Western nation today."from the foreword by Bill Moyers
The critically acclaimed Inequality Matters found a wide and appreciative audience among those who see growing inequality as a "toxic state of affairs" (Sojourners) that imperils the health of the United States. Inequality is, many believe, the single most important domestic issue we face.
Inequality Matters includes a range of progressives, activists, writers, and academicsamong them Barbara Ehrenreich, Christopher Jencks, Meizhu Lui, David Cay Johnston, and Jim Walliswhose nuanced and sharply argued essays do much to illuminate the growing divergence between the haves and the can't haves. Called "excellent" by the New York Review of Books, Inequality Matters paints a readable and crucial portrait of the widening wealth and opportunity gaps while we drift, as Lardner writes, "toward a Third World-like distribution of our riches."
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.