Economic Apartheid In America / Edition 2

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Overview

Revised following the 2004 presidential election, a graphic portrait of the growing gap between the rich and everyone else in America.

• In 1968, African Americans earned 55 cents for every dollar of white income. At the current pace, it would take 581 years for African Americans to achieve income parity.
• States including Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia tax food and basic needs at a higher rate than income from investments.
• Welfare for very low income people totaled $193 billion in 2004. Aid to "dependent corporations" exceeded $800 billion.

This updated edition of the widely touted Economic Apartheid in America looks at the causes and manifestations of wealth disparities in the United States, including tax policy in light of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and recent corporate scandals.

Published with two leading organizations dedicated to addressing economic inequality, the book looks at recent changes in income and wealth distribution and examines the economic policies and shifts in power that have fueled the growing divide.

Praised by Sojurners as "a clear blueprint on how to combat growing inequality," Economic Apartheid in America provides "much-needed groundwork for more democratic discussion and participation in economic life" (Tikkun). With "a wealth of eye-opening data" (The Beacon) focusing on the decline of organized labor and civic institutions, the battle over global trade, and the growing inequality of income and wages, it argues that most Americans are shut out of the discussion of the rules governing their economic lives.

Accessible and engaging and illustratedthroughout with charts, graphs, and political cartoons, the book lays out a comprehensive plan for action. Charts, graphs, and black-and-white illustrations throughout.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595580153
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/31/2005
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 254
  • Sales rank: 1,369,344
  • Product dimensions: 0.56 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 7.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Chuck Collins is senior program developer at United for a Fair Economy, a senior fellow at Class Action, and the author of several books. Felice Yeskel is the co-director of Class Action and a faculty member in the Social Justice Education Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. They are co-founders of UFE and Responsible Wealth. They live in Massachusetts.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledcments vii
Foreword ix
Introduction: Economic Boom for Whom? 1
The Amazing U.S. Economy? 1
Warning: Entering New Global Economy--Proceed with Caution 4
The Trends: Rising Tide, Sinking Boats 6
We Can Build a Fairer Economy 7
About the Book 9
1. The Dangerous Consequences of Crowing Inequality 13
Pressures Facing Our Households 14
Inequality and the Threat to Prosperity 25
Inequality and Democracy 28
Inequality and Public Health 31
Social Polarization and the Withdrawal of the Haves 32
You Are on Your Own: The New Individualism 35
Gated Communities and Bigger Prisons 37
2. The Picture: Crowing Economic Insecurity and Inequality
The Inequality of Income and Wages 39
Race, Gender, and Income 43
The Gap Between Highest and Average Wage Earners 46
The Inequality of Wealth 52
What Is Wealth and Why Is It Important? 52
The Concentration of Wealth 54
The Myth of Who Owns Assets 58
The Wealth-Holders 59
Global Inequality 61
The Champagne Glass Global Distribution of Income 63
3. The Causes of Inequality 68
Why Has Inequality Grown? 68
A Power Shift 69
Money Power in Our Democracy 70
The Rise in Concentrated Corporate Power 74
The Attack on Worker Rights 81
Decline in the Influence of the Civic Sector 86
Decline in Independent Politics 88
The Rules Governing the Economy 90
Global Trade and Investment Policy 90
Taxation 100
The Restructuring of Work and the Breakdown in the Social Contract 108
Regulation and Deregulation 114
Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy 116
Government Social Spending, the Safety Net, and Corporate Welfare 119
The Culture of Greed vs. the Common Good 124
4. Building a Fair Economy Movement 127
The Tradition of Taking Action to Reduce Inequality 128
Movement Building 131
Stages of Social Movements 132
Phase 1 Cultural Preparation and Organization 134
Phase 2 Building Public Support 135
Phase 3 Consolidation 136
Building a Movement Infrastructure 136
Strategy: What Policies Are We For? 138
5. Actions to Close the Economic Divide
Building a Real Democracy 145
Building Workers' Power 145
Removing the Influence of Big Money from Our Democracy 152
Building Independent Politics 157
Reining in Corporate Power 160
Changing the Rules to Build a Fair Economy 171
Global Trade and Investment Rules 171
Reducing Wage Inequality 181
Reducing Wealth Inequality 189
Fair Taxation 192
Fighting Corporate Welfare 201
Reforming Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve 206
Alternatives for a Fair Economy 208
Conclusion 213
Appendix We Are United for a Fair Economy 215
Further Reading 219
Notes 221
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