Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Joseph Stiglitz's The Price Of Inequality Is Required Reading

Joseph E. Stiglitz's recent (2012) book, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future, is a book about America's and Americans' current economic status that all Americans ages, oh, 15-85 should read. As you'll find at the link, Amazon offers it in paperback for under a sawbuck. (Do you know what a sawbuck is? Look it up if you're too young to have heard the term.) Or if you're like me and want to spend even less on it, go to your public library: system-wide, HPL has 10 print copies and one audio CD; I placed a hold on one of the print editions and it came to me in under 2 days. 

Did I mention that this book is a must-read for every intelligent, caring adult American?

Stiglitz visits many topics related to inequality: how inequality across American society is no accident but rather a result of a set of conscious policy choices, choices which at least in principle could be made in ways that have more egalitarian results, but which probably won't be pursued, absent pressure from sources not yet clear to me about a third of the way through the book. Sources of inequality... corporate and individual rent-seeking, tax policies favoring the well-heeled, disguised government gifts in one form or another, government institutions' often misconceived responses to the various bubbles the American economy has encountered (housing, tech, etc.), globalization in various forms, and financial deregulation... are all examined in terms of their consequences for the top 1% and the rest of us. If you're like me, you've run across all of these in print at one point or another, but never all together in one place; let me tell you, they have a powerful impact in combination that no one of them packs singly.

Did I mention that this book is required reading?

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