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Money: Who Has How Much and Why
     

Money: Who Has How Much and Why

by Andrew Hacker
 

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Described by Newsweek as "a political scientist doing with statistics what Fred Astaire did with hats, canes, and chairs...he makes them live and breathe," Andrew Hacker provides a comprehensive protrayal of income and wealth in American society.
Combining keen insight with a flair for bringing a human dimension to facts and figures, bestselling author Andrew

Overview

Described by Newsweek as "a political scientist doing with statistics what Fred Astaire did with hats, canes, and chairs...he makes them live and breathe," Andrew Hacker provides a comprehensive protrayal of income and wealth in American society.
Combining keen insight with a flair for bringing a human dimension to facts and figures, bestselling author Andrew Hacker shows how the changing economy affects our lives. His clear-eyed analysis illuminates the real results of women's fight for salary parity, the impact of affirmative action on the income of minorities, the effect immigration has on the job market, and more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Steve Weinberg Baltimore Sun This wise, creative book is filled with...fascinating explanations of financial behavior.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This intriguing book has two aims: to describe how much individuals and groups in America make and to explain the reasons behind the distribution of income, earnings and wealth. Hacker's (Two Nations ) underlying concern is expressed early: less job security, weaker labor unions and the shrinking middle class exacerbate already large economic gaps. Drawing on secondary sources, he reminds us that we have the most glaring income gap between rich and poor of the industrialized countries. The rich, he stresses, get richer not from salaries but investment income. He suggests that broad-based investment institutions like mutual funds pressure corporate downsizing. Reminding us that welfare was not designed to let people live well, his study raises provocative questions: Why can't we allocate income and earnings more rationally? Why don't we recognize that money gaps lead to greater social misery than in other countries? Unfortunately, those questions range beyond the scope of Hacker's inquiry. (June)
Library Journal
In his best-selling Two Nations (LJ 3/15/92), political scientist Hacker examined the role of race in the social and economic life of America. In his latest work, he argues that an equally enormous financial division separates Americans. He explains why there are increasingly more individuals at the extremes of the income scale while the middle is contracting. Besides the income gap between blacks and whites, Hacker shows where immigrants stand on the income scale, and he assesses the financial disparities between the sexes. He also explores how other elementse.g., greed, talent, and educationare factored into the income gap equation. Hacker combines detailed data on individual incomes and wealth in the United States with an exceptional analysis of economic and social class divisions. His well-researched work will interest scholars and students as well as the general public. Recommended for academic and public libraries.Ali Abdulla, East Carolina Univ., Greenville, N.C.
Kirkus Reviews
Anecdotal audits of American assets and incomes that (like Wall Street's jest about economists laid end-to-end) never reaches a conclusion.

Drawing on scores of secondary sources, Hacker (Political Science/Queens College; Two Nations, 1992, etc.) offers a hit-or- miss canvas of what well-paid, or at least well-regarded, US citizens make for working at various trades and their net worths. Inter alia, he provides selective data on the earning power of doctors, lawyers, and corporate chiefs, plus a host of other high- profile callings, including coaches of big-time college teams, film stars, school teachers, sports professionals, university professors. Conspicuous by their absence, however, are dentists, entrepreneurs (who, the author breezily asserts, can pay themselves anything they want), fashion models, songwriters, and tax collectors. Not too surprisingly, given the temper of the times, the top officers of publicly held enterprises are singled out for special, somewhat snide attention, in which the link of handsome pay packages to a company's success is breezily dismissed. Courtesy of Forbes magazine, the author also includes a briefing on what it takes to qualify for a list of the wealthiest Americans. Covered as well in no great depth are such hot topics as: the widening gap between the incomes of those on the upper and lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder; the persistent disparity between the earnings of blacks and whites, men and women, and immigrants and native- born; and the author's calculations of what constitutes a living wage. All but ignored, by contrast, are the influences of credit, non-monetary motivations, and supply/demand forces on income.

An academic's discontinuous and vaguely discontented survey of the way the money goes in latter-day America.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684846620
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
04/09/1998
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
0.58(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Hacker, who teaches at Queens College, is the author of several books, including the bestselling Two Nations. He lives in New York City.

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