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The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future
     

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future

4.0 22
by Joseph E. Stiglitz
 

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ISBN-10: 0393088693

ISBN-13: 9780393088694

Pub. Date: 06/11/2012

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

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

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The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone should read this!!! It's time for American's to educate themselves about what's going on in our country.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stiglitz writes openly and honestly about a topic he knows very well. He carefully documents and analyzes the events that have brought America to such a divided state in which so few have so much and so many have so little. If your mind is already made up and airtight, then don't read this... the facts may just confuse you. But if you have an honest interest in where we are, how we got here, and where we may be heading, then you'll enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very realistic and thought provoking book on what is happening in the US Economy. It is clear the inequality gap has been widening for 30 years or so and there has been one band aid after another put on it. The "Great Recession" ripped that off and now we all can see what has happened and what is continuing to happen. In this book Joseph Stiglitz not only describes what has happened with clear evidence but he also proposes solutions to the problem. This is what I like most about this book is he gives clear and concise recommendations. Whether you agree or not you should take them seriously as Stiglitz is a serious economist and has no political stake in his conclusions. We know how it ends up if we allow this inequality to continue: Just go to any country where the inequality is high - the rich build bigger and bigger gates and walls to wall themselves off from the community, they become self contained and the poor scramble for what remains. Then, in a blink of an eye, things like the Arab Spring occur. So, we know this ends badly and Stiglitz describes this in detail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent explanation of how wealth in America has been transferred from the Middle Class to the elite 1%,and why that transfer will continue unless policy is shifted from supply economics to demand economics.
CENY More than 1 year ago
Insightful and thorough. I give it 4 stars instead of 5, however, because the author gets some facts wrong and tends to lump unrelated things together as worthy of condemnation. If you view the author as a sharp person who just borders on being an ideologue, then the book can be viewed in light of its source and can be taken for what it is. A few examples: (1) False statement: The author states that Reagan's tax cuts increased only the deficit, but not revenues: FALSE. Tax revenues soared during the '80s, along with GDP growth. Federal government spending just increased faster. (2) Another false statement: The author states that government today, pushed by "the rich", is too divided to do anything but lower taxes, and it cannot redistribute. FALSE. Taxes have increased in some respects, such as via healthcare reform, and at least the Federal government imposes progressive taxation and has various social programs, which redistributes money from the rich to the poor. Perhaps the Federal government is too divided to increase taxes or redistribution in the aggregate, but that's not what the author says. (2) Lumping things together: The author says that deregulation pushed by "the wealthy" is "shortsighed" and has caused "instability" in the US. Fine. The author then mentions deregulation of transportation as an example of that at the beginning of a long stretch of criticism of financial deregulation. Deregulation of railroads, for example, should not be treated in the same breath as deregulation of investment banks; the causes and results of both are far different, and when the author lumps them together, he comes across as a statist ideologue..
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Peter Pan (Stiglitz) rallies the Lost Boys (Keynesians). [paraphrase] Do you remember the 50s, 60s, and 70s, when income inequality was a fraction of what it is today? We can rebuild Neverland! We don't have to grow up! [/paraphrase] Actually, Mr. Stiglitz, we do have to grow up. From 1950 to 1980, the US' primary economic competitor was a communist dictatorship, with just half of the US' population. Furthermore, the USSR would never have sullied themselves with capitalist foreign direct investment, which meant the US could tax the wealthy however it pleased without any real consequences. In the 1970s, the world began to change. Cracks began to show in the Keynesian social technocracy, notably the oil crises and stagflation. The Asian continent began to stir, as well, with the ascendancy of Japan, China, and India. The US middle class now competes with a global population of workers who outnumber Americans ten fold. The global working class is relatively well educated, and they have access to communications and transportation. All countries are competing to attract foreign investment. The genie cannot be put back into the bottle by restricting capital flows and goods flows, nor would that benefit the workers of the world, since Stiglitz' proposed remedy to lack of capital flow, free labor mobility, is pie-in-the-sky. Stiglitz blames the 1% for the lack of global labor mobility, as if the 1% are creating language and cultural barriers, or giving citizens an irrational connection to their immobile elderly relatives or to the geographic area of their birth and upbringing. During the course of the book, it becomes clear that Stiglitz' quarrel is not with the "American Right" (by American Right he is actually referring to all neoliberals) or the wealthy, his quarrel is with a global economic environment beyond his control and the disrepair and inefficiency of Keynesian bureaucracies. Since 1950, payroll taxes have expanded from 10% of all Federal revenues to 40% of all Federal revenues to pay for Neverland, and Keynsians keep trying to treat the problem with income stimulation, which merely increases demand-pull inflation for everything from housing to healthcare. The middle class pay more than ever, yet they get increasingly fewer services from our antiquated social system. As Stiglitz opines, we don't get value for our money, yet he supposes that a group of political opponents, who allegedly don't believe in spending the money in the first place, are the driving force behind waste. Stiglitz gets two stars for being a Nobel laureate and for providing thorough research on income inequality. His advocacy for more intense capitalistic competition is also laudable, and I appreciate has sharp words for the socio-economic consequences of our malignant justice system. The remainder of the book is an awkward attempt to marry his contempt for neoliberalism and globalization to his economic game plan, which reads as a 97-thesis against current Keynesian bureaucrats. At some points, the book lives so far in the halcyon days of America's past, I half expected Mr. Stiglitz to suggest that East-coast urbanites travel westward in covered wagons.
BoobooSmed More than 1 year ago
This is one of the books that responds to the "End of the Liberal Class" line of books... There is a new era coming.
lydiac More than 1 year ago
Good so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now what?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too bad there are no stars to rate this. I do not envy people who have "made" it through their own sweat and tears. I do resent people who are constantly "on the dole". America is well on it's way to becomming a banana republic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stilitz bends the truth around to reach his conclusions. Conveniently likes to leave out facts. I am not buying it and I wished I never bought this book.