Synopses & Reviews
Inequality is the defining issue of our time. But it is not just a problem of the rich world. Inequality between rich and poor countries, and rich and poor people the world over, is much greater than within countries like America and Britain. It is the global 1% that now owns fully half the worldandrsquo;s wealthandmdash;the true measure of our age of inequality. Addressing that demands that we look outside economics and beyond our national borders.
In The Political Origins of Inequality, Simon Reid-Henry takes a global perspective to explain how the crisis of welfare state capitalism in the rich world is linked to the wider ongoing condition of global poverty. Rich and poor the world over, he argues, engage in a wider political economy that has been structured over time in such a way as to reproduce a range of institutionalized forms of unfairness that are progressively distorting economies and democratic politics in countries around the world. This limits the ability of the poor to do what they are always counseled to do, to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. But it also undermines the position of the rich among us, creating a world where we are told to value security over freedom and special treatment over universal opportunity.
Inequality, Reid-Henry argues, is a function of the political choices we make, and, drawing on the historical experience of different countries, he shows how it is within our power to address it. At a moment when the future of international development is being set, we need to understand more than ever both why tackling global inequality is necessary and why it is the only way to meet a great many other challenges confronting humanity today, from climate change and food insecurity to economic instability and migration. The problem is not that the world is falling apart. To the contrary, worlds we once thought were separate are colliding. It is our capacity to act in concert that is falling apart. As Reid-Henry shows, it is this that needs restoring most of all.
"In his concise and clearly argued newest, Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, outlines the economic, political, and social obstacles currently facing the U.S. and explores possibilities for how we can overcome them. Beginning with the financial collapse of 2008 and the ensuing Great Recession, Stiglitz (Globalization and Its Discontents) makes the now-ubiquitous point that 'the rich were getting richer, while the rest were facing hardships that seem inconsonant with the American dream.' The author opines that from this growing gap stem many other sobering social ills, such as 'pollution, unemployment, and... the degradation of values to the point where everything is acceptable and no one is accountable.' And while he contends that our current modus operandi is 'neither stable nor sustainable,' Stiglitz insists that inequality is not inherent in the system. He then goes on to lay out a plan for the long term, recommending practical changes to macroeconomic policies, taxes, labor laws, and how we navigate a globalizing world and dealing with the deficit. His visions of America's two possible futures reveals the extent of the dishearteningly large socioeconomic rift and its forecasted consequences, but Stiglitz's solutions upheld by experience, perceptive analysis, and copious research could very well bridge that divide, and reduce it in the process. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Joseph E. Stiglitz's new book, , is the single most comprehensive counterargument to both Democratic neoliberalism and Republican laissez-faire theories. While credible economists running the gamut from center right to center left describe our bleak present as the result of seemingly unstoppable developments--globalization and automation, a self-replicating establishment built on "meritocratic" competition, the debt-driven collapse of 2008--Stiglitz stands apart in his defiant rejection of such notions of inevitability. He seeks to shift the terms of the debate." Thomas B. Edsall
"Stiglitz writes clearly and provocatively. He's the kind of economist who can talk about terms such as 'rent-seeking' and the 'euro crisis' and bring readers along for the ride... Stiglitz isn't just writing about people being hurt by inequality, he is also writing about the system itself being in jeopardy and what needs to be done to fix it." New York Times Book Review
"Concise and clearly argued." Dante Chinni Washington Post
"An impassioned argument backed by rigorous economic analysis." Publishers Weekly
"An important and smart new book... It's a searing read." Kirkus Reviews
andldquo;The Political Origins of Inequality makes the bold claim that popular thinking on global development is profoundly and fundamentally flawed because many of the economists who have written many of the best sellers have often been shortsighted. This is an important book about big issues, dismissive of facile solutions, it should change the terms of the debate on why the gaps between us are so wide and what we could do about them.andrdquo;
and#8220;In this brilliantly conceived and written book, Zeynep Ton shows that companies that view their workforce as an asset to be maximized rather than a cost to be minimized, have both happier workers and better business results. This book is a 'must read' for anyone that wants to think creatively about how they manage their workforce.and#8221; and#8212;Marshall Fisher, professor at The Wharton School and co-author of The New Science of Retailing
and#8220;Using years of research and analysis, Zeynep Ton has proven what great leaders know instinctivelyand#8212;an engaged, well-paidand#160; workforce that is treated with dignity and respect creates outsized returns for investors. She demonstrates that the race to the bottom in retail employment doesnand#8217;t have to be the only game being played. In fact, The Good Jobs Strategy shows that smart business leaders can create great shareholder value while creating good jobs.and#8221; and#8212;Josand#233; Alvarez, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and former president and CEO of Stop and Shop
and#8220;Stop the presses. Tear out the front page. Employers can increase profits by paying their employees more and treating them better. Raising wages and improving working conditions is not just a matter of public policy. The private sector itself can make a huge difference.and#160; Everyone who cares about good jobsand#8212;and especially every CEOand#8212;needs to read this highly informative and thoroughly readable book.and#8221; and#8212;Peter Edelman, professor of law at Georgetown Law Center and author of So Rich, So Poor: Why Itand#8217;s So Hard to End Poverty in America
and#8220;In The Good Jobs Strategy, Zeynep Ton offers insights into how successful companies utilize operational excellence to thrive, and she reminds us that the spirit and culture of an organizationand#8212;that sparkle in the eyeand#8212;comes only from fully engaged employees.and#8221; and#8212;Michael Eskew, former CEO of UPS
A forceful argument against America's vicious circle of growing inequality by the Nobel Prize-winning economist.
The top 1 percent of Americans control 40 percent of the nation's wealth. And, as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains, while those at the top enjoy the best health care, education, and benefits of wealth, they fail to realize that "their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live."
Stiglitz draws on his deep understanding of economics to show that growing inequality is not inevitable: moneyed interests compound their wealth by stifling true, dynamic capitalism. They have made America the most unequal advanced industrial country while crippling growth, trampling on the rule of law, and undermining democracy. The result: a divided society that cannot tackle its most pressing problems. With characteristic insight, Stiglitz examines our current state, then teases out its implications for democracy, for monetary and budgetary policy, and for globalization. He closes with a plan for a more just and prosperous future.
A research-backed clarion call to CEOs and managers, making the controversial case that good, well-paying jobs are not only good for workers and for societyand#8212;theyand#8217;re good for business, too.
Almost one in four American working adults has a job that pays less than a living wage. Convenandshy;tional wisdom says thatand#8217;s how the world has to work. Bad jobs with low wages, minimal benefits, little training, and chaotic schedules are the only way companies can keep costs down and prices low. If companies were to offer better jobs, cusandshy;tomers would have to pay more or companies would have to make less.
But in The Good Jobs Strategy, Zeynep Ton, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, makes the compelling case that even in low-cost settings, leaving employees behindand#8212;with bad jobsand#8212;is a choice, not a necessity. Drawing on more than a decade of research, Ton shows how operational excellence enables companies to ofandshy;fer the lowest prices to customers while ensuring good jobs for their employees and superior results for their investors.
Ton describes the elements of the good jobs strategy in a variety of successful companies around the world, including Southwest Airlines, UPS, Toyota, Zappos, and In-N-Out Burger. She focuses on four model retailersand#8212;Costco, Mercaandshy;dona, Trader Joeand#8217;s, and QuikTripand#8212;to demonstrate the good jobs strategy at work and reveals four choices that have transformed these compaandshy;niesand#8217; high investment in workers into lower costs, higher profits, and greater customer satandshy;isfaction.
Full of surprising, counterintuitive insights, the book answers questions such as: How can offering fewer products increase customer satandshy;isfaction? Why would having more employees than you need reduce costs and boost profits? How can companies simultaneously standardize work and empower employees?
The Good Jobs Strategy outlines an invaluable blueprint for any organization that wants to purandshy;sue a sustainable competitive strategy in which everyoneand#8212;employees, customers, and investorsand#8212;wins.
About the Author
Joseph E. Stiglitz received his PhD from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and was awarded the John Bates Clark Award in 1979, which is given biennially by the American Economic Association to an economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, and MIT, and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is now a professor at Columbia University and co-chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and co-president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2011, Time named Professor Stiglitz one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Professor Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as its chairman from 1995-97. He then became chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank from 1997-2000. In 2008, he was asked by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy to chair the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, which released its final report in September 2009. In 2009, he was appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly as chair of the Commission of Experts on Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System, which also released its report in September 2009. Professor Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics--The Economics of Information--exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only for theorists but also for policy analysts. He has made major contributions to the theories of welfare economics and of income and wealth distribution, and his work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well and how selective government intervention can improve market performance. Recognized around the world as a leading economic educator, Professor Stiglitz has written books that have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He also founded one of the leading economics journals, The Journal of Economic Perspectives. His book, Globalization and Its Discontents (Norton, 2001), has been translated into 35 languages and has sold more than a million copies worldwide. Other recent books include The Roaring Nineties (Norton); Towards a New Paradigm in Monetary Economics (Cambridge University Press), with Bruce Greenwald; Fair Trade for All (Oxford University Press), with Andrew Charlton; Making Globalization Work (Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane, 2006); The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane, 2008), with Linda Bilmes at Harvard University; Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy (Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane, 2010); and The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future (Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane, 2012).
Table of Contents
1.and#160;An Unnecessary Sacrificeand#8194;1
2.and#160;Great Operations Need Great Peopleand#8194;18
3.and#160;The Penalties of Going Cheap on Retail Laborand#8194;37
4.and#160;Model Retailers: Who Knew It Could Be This Good?and#8194;55
6.and#160;Standardize and Empowerand#8194;99
8.and#160;Operate with Slackand#8194;153
9.and#160;Seizing Strategic Opportunitiesand#8194;173
10.and#160;Values and Constraintsand#8194;191
and#160;and#160;and#160;About the Authorand#8194;228