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Income Inequality in America by Phil Gramm,Robert Ekelund,John Early Pdf
Everything you know about income inequality, poverty and other measures of economic well-being in America is wrong. In measuring income inequality, poverty and other indexes of well-being our government does not count two-thirds of all transfer payments that are received or any of the taxes paid. When we get our facts straight poverty has virtually been eliminated, income inequality is lower than it was in 1947 and America is still the great land of opportunity.
The Myth of American Inequality by Phil Gramm,Robert Ekelund,John Early Pdf
Everything you know about income inequality, poverty, and other measures of economic well-being in America is wrong. In this provocative book, a former United States senator, eminent economist, and a former senior leader at the Bureau of Labor Statistics challenge the prevailing consensus that income inequality is a growing threat to American society. By taking readers on a deep dive into the way government measures economic well-being, they demonstrate that our official statistics dramatically overstate inequality. Getting the facts straight reveals that the key measures of well-being are greater than the official statistics of the country would lead us to believe. Income inequality is lower today than at any time in post- World War II America. The facts reveal a very different and better America than the one that is currently described by policy advocates across much of the political spectrum. The Myth of American Inequality provides clear and convincing evidence that the American Dream is alive and well.
A “brilliant” (The Washington Post), “clear-eyed and incisive” (The New Republic) analysis of how the wealthiest group in American society is making life miserable for everyone—including themselves. In 21st-century America, the top 0.1% of the wealth distribution have walked away with the big prizes even while the bottom 90% have lost ground. What’s left of the American Dream has taken refuge in the 9.9% that lies just below the tip of extreme wealth. Collectively, the members of this group control more than half of the wealth in the country—and they are doing whatever it takes to hang on to their piece of the action in an increasingly unjust system. They log insane hours at the office and then turn their leisure time into an excuse for more career-building, even as they rely on an underpaid servant class to power their economic success and satisfy their personal needs. They have segregated themselves into zip codes designed to exclude as many people as possible. They have made fitness a national obsession even as swaths of the population lose healthcare and grow sicker. They have created an unprecedented demand for admission to elite schools and helped to fuel the dramatic cost of higher education. They channel their political energy into symbolic conflicts over identity in order to avoid acknowledging the economic roots of their privilege. And they have created an ethos of “merit” to justify their advantages. They are all around us. In fact, they are us—or what we are supposed to want to be. In this “captivating account” (Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone), Matthew Stewart argues that a new aristocracy is emerging in American society and it is repeating the mistakes of history. It is entrenching inequality, warping our culture, eroding democracy, and transforming an abundant economy into a source of misery. He calls for a regrounding of American culture and politics on a foundation closer to the original promise of America.
The scourge of America’s economy isn't the success of the 1 percent—quite the opposite. The real problem is the government’s well-meaning but misguided attempt to reduce the payoffs for success. Four years ago, Edward Conard wrote a controversial bestseller, Unintended Consequences, which set the record straight on the financial crisis of 2008 and explained why U.S. growth was accelerating relative to other high-wage economies. He warned that loose monetary policy would produce neither growth nor inflation, that expansionary fiscal policy would have no lasting benefit on growth in the aftermath of the crisis, and that ill-advised attempts to rein in banking based on misplaced blame would slow an already weak recovery. Unfortunately, he was right. Now he’s back with another provocative argument: that our current obsession with income inequality is misguided and will only slow growth further. Using fact-based logic, Conard tracks the implications of an economy now constrained by both its capacity for risk-taking and by a shortage of properly trained talent—rather than by labor or capital, as was the case historically. He uses this fresh perspective to challenge the conclusions of liberal economists like Larry Summers and Joseph Stiglitz and the myths of “crony capitalism” more broadly. Instead, he argues that the growing wealth of most successful Americans is not to blame for the stagnating incomes of the middle and working classes. If anything, the success of the 1 percent has put upward pressure on employment and wages. Conard argues that high payoffs for success motivate talent to get the training and take the risks that gradually loosen the constraints to growth. Well-meaning attempts to decrease inequality through redistribution dull these incentives, gradually hurting not just the 1 percent but everyone else as well. Conard outlines a plan for growing middle- and working-class wages in an economy with a near infinite supply of labor that is shifting from capital-intensive manufacturing to knowledge-intensive, innovation-driven fields. He urges us to stop blaming the success of the 1 percent for slow wage growth and embrace the upside of inequality: faster growth and greater prosperity for everyone.
Meritocracy and Economic Inequality by Kenneth Arrow,Samuel Bowles,Steven N. Durlauf Pdf
Most Americans strongly favor equality of opportunity if not outcome, but many are weary of poverty's seeming immunity to public policy. This helps to explain the recent attention paid to cultural and genetic explanations of persistent poverty, including claims that economic inequality is a function of intellectual ability, as well as more subtle depictions of the United States as a meritocracy where barriers to achievement are personal--either voluntary or inherited--rather than systemic. This volume of original essays by luminaries in the economic, social, and biological sciences, however, confirms mounting evidence that the connection between intelligence and inequality is surprisingly weak and demonstrates that targeted educational and economic reforms can reduce the income gap and improve the country's aggregate productivity and economic well-being. It also offers a novel agenda of equal access to valuable associations. Amartya Sen, John Roemer, Robert M. Hauser, Glenn Loury, Orley Ashenfelter, and others sift and analyze the latest arguments and quantitative findings on equality in order to explain how merit is and should be defined, how economic rewards are distributed, and how patterns of economic success persist across generations. Moving well beyond exploration, they draw specific conclusions that are bold yet empirically grounded, finding that schooling improves occupational success in ways unrelated to cognitive ability, that IQ is not a strong independent predictor of economic success, and that people's associations--their neighborhoods, working groups, and other social ties--significantly explain many of the poverty traps we observe. The optimistic message of this beautifully edited book is that important violations of equality of opportunity do exist but can be attenuated by policies that will serve the general economy. Policy makers will read with interest concrete suggestions for crafting economically beneficial anti-discrimination measures, enhancing educational and associational opportunity, and centering economic reforms in community-based institutions. Here is an example of some of our most brilliant social thinkers using the most advanced techniques that their disciplines have to offer to tackle an issue of great social importance.
Rugged Individualism and the Misunderstanding of American Inequality by Lawrence M. Eppard,Mark Robert Rank,Heather E. Bullock,Noam Chomsky,David Brady,Dan Schubert Pdf
"In Rugged Individualism and the Misunderstanding of American Inequality, the authors argue that a culture of individualism in the U.S. limits the pressure politicians face to develop robust social policies. This individualism combines with racism and features of the political system to help perpetuate high levels of poverty and inequality"--
We’ve all heard that the American Dream is vanishing, and that the cause is rising income inequality. The rich are getting richer by rigging the system in their favor, leaving the rest of us to struggle just to keep our heads above water. To save the American Dream, we’re told that we need to fight inequality through tax hikes, wealth redistribution schemes, and a far higher minimum wage. But what if that narrative is wrong? What if the real threat to the American Dream isn’t rising income inequality—but an all-out war on success? In Equal is Unfair, a timely and thought-provoking work, Don Watkins and Yaron Brook reveal that almost everything we’ve been taught about inequality is wrong. You’ll discover: • why successful CEOs make so much money—and deserve to • how the minimum wage hurts the very people it claims to help • why middle-class stagnation is a myth • how the little-known history of Sweden reveals the dangers of forced equality • the disturbing philosophy behind Obama’s economic agenda. The critics of inequality are right about one thing: the American Dream is under attack. But instead of fighting to make America a place where anyone can achieve success, they are fighting to tear down those who already have. The real key to making America a freer, fairer, more prosperous nation is to protect and celebrate the pursuit of success—not pull down the high fliers in the name of equality.
A revolutionary new argument from eminent Yale Law professor Daniel Markovits attacking the false promise of meritocracy It is an axiom of American life that advantage should be earned through ability and effort. Even as the country divides itself at every turn, the meritocratic ideal – that social and economic rewards should follow achievement rather than breeding – reigns supreme. Both Democrats and Republicans insistently repeat meritocratic notions. Meritocracy cuts to the heart of who we are. It sustains the American dream. But what if, both up and down the social ladder, meritocracy is a sham? Today, meritocracy has become exactly what it was conceived to resist: a mechanism for the concentration and dynastic transmission of wealth and privilege across generations. Upward mobility has become a fantasy, and the embattled middle classes are now more likely to sink into the working poor than to rise into the professional elite. At the same time, meritocracy now ensnares even those who manage to claw their way to the top, requiring rich adults to work with crushing intensity, exploiting their expensive educations in order to extract a return. All this is not the result of deviations or retreats from meritocracy but rather stems directly from meritocracy’s successes. This is the radical argument that Daniel Markovits prosecutes with rare force. Markovits is well placed to expose the sham of meritocracy. Having spent his life at elite universities, he knows from the inside the corrosive system we are trapped within. Markovits also knows that, if we understand that meritocratic inequality produces near-universal harm, we can cure it. When The Meritocracy Trap reveals the inner workings of the meritocratic machine, it also illuminates the first steps outward, towards a new world that might once again afford dignity and prosperity to the American people.
The first book to reveal how the Federal Reserve holds the key to making us more economically equal, written by an author with unparalleled expertise in the real world of financial policy Following the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy placed much greater focus on stabilizing the market than on helping struggling Americans. As a result, the richest Americans got a lot richer while the middle class shrank and economic and wealth inequality skyrocketed. In Engine of Inequality, Karen Petrou offers pragmatic solutions for creating more inclusive monetary policy and equality-enhancing financial regulation as quickly and painlessly as possible. Karen Petrou is a leading financial-policy analyst and consultant with unrivaled knowledge of what drives the decisions of federal officials and how big banks respond to financial policy in the real world. Instead of proposing legislation that would never pass Congress, the author provides an insider's look at politically plausible, high-impact financial policy fixes that will radically shift the equality balance. Offering an innovative, powerful, and highly practical solution for immediately turning around the enormous nationwide problem of economic inequality, this groundbreaking book: Presents practical ways America can and should tackle economic inequality with fast-acting results Provides revealing examples of exactly how bad economic inequality in America has become no matter how hard we all work Demonstrates that increasing inequality is disastrous for long-term economic growth, political action, and even personal happiness Explains why your bank's interest rates are still only a fraction of what they were even though the rich are getting richer than ever, faster than ever Reveals the dangers of FinTech and BigTech companies taking over banking Shows how Facebook wants to control even the dollars in your wallet Discusses who shares the blame for our economic inequality, including the Fed, regulators, Congress, and even economists Engine of Inequality: The Fed and the Future of Wealth in America should be required reading for leaders, policymakers, regulators, media professionals, and all Americans wanting to ensure that the nation’s financial policy will be a force for promoting economic equality.
The Meritocracy Myth challenges the widely held American belief in meritocracy—that people get out of the system what they put into it based on individual merit. The book examines talent, attitude, work ethic, and character as elements of merit and evaluates the effect of nonmerit factors such as family background, social connections, luck, market conditions, unequal educational opportunities, and discrimination. The fourth edition has been revised and streamlined throughout. It features new material on the current economic and political climate; the reasons behind the increasing levels of inequality in the United States and globally; how economic, social, and cultural factors shaped Donald Trump’s rise to political prominence, and more. The fourth edition includes a new chapter on marriage and mobility that examines how patterns in marriage tend to increase the concentration of wealth and pass on nonmerit advantages to children, furthering trends toward social inequality. A compelling book on an often-overlooked topic, The Meritocracy Myth is ideal for introducing students to this provocative topic while sparking discussion and reflection.
Mark Robert Rank,Lawrence M. Eppard,Heather E. Bullock
Author : Mark Robert Rank,Lawrence M. Eppard,Heather E. Bullock Publisher : Oxford University Press Page : 376 pages File Size : 45,7 Mb Release : 2021-03-01 Category : Social Science ISBN : 9780190881405
Poorly Understood by Mark Robert Rank,Lawrence M. Eppard,Heather E. Bullock Pdf
What if the idealized image of American societya land of opportunity that will reward hard work with economic successis completely wrong? Few topics have as many myths, stereotypes, and misperceptions surrounding them as that of poverty in America. The poor have been badly misunderstood since the beginnings of the country, with the rhetoric only ratcheting up in recent times. Our current era of fake news, alternative facts, and media partisanship has led to a breeding ground for all types of myths and misinformation to gain traction and legitimacy. Poorly Understood is the first book to systematically address and confront many of the most widespread myths pertaining to poverty. Mark Robert Rank, Lawrence M. Eppard, and Heather E. Bullock powerfully demonstrate that the realities of poverty are much different than the myths; indeed in many ways they are more disturbing. The idealized image of American society is one of abundant opportunities, with hard work being rewarded by economic prosperity. But what if this picture is wrong? What if poverty is an experience that touches the majority of Americans? What if hard work does not necessarily lead to economic well-being? What if the reasons for poverty are largely beyond the control of individuals? And if all of the evidence necessary to disprove these myths has been readily available for years, why do they remain so stubbornly pervasive? These are much more disturbing realities to consider because they call into question the very core of America's identity. Armed with the latest research, Poorly Understood not only challenges the myths of poverty and inequality, but it explains why these myths continue to exist, providing an innovative blueprint for how the nation can move forward to effectively alleviate American poverty.
A vivid character-driven narrative, fused with important new economic and political reporting and research, that busts the myths about middle class decline and points the way to its revival. For over a decade, Jim Tankersley has been on a journey to understand what the hell happened to the world's greatest middle-class success story -- the post-World-War-II boom that faded into decades of stagnation and frustration for American workers. In The Riches of This Land, Tankersley fuses the story of forgotten Americans-- struggling women and men who he met on his journey into the travails of the middle class-- with important new economic and political research, providing fresh understanding how to create a more widespread prosperity. He begins by unraveling the real mystery of the American economy since the 1970s - not where did the jobs go, but why haven't new and better ones been created to replace them. His analysis begins with the revelation that women and minorities played a far more crucial role in building the post-war middle class than today's politicians typically acknowledge, and policies that have done nothing to address the structural shifts of the American economy have enabled a privileged few to capture nearly all the benefits of America's growing prosperity. Meanwhile, the "angry white men of Ohio" have been sold by Trump and his ilk a theory of the economy that is dangerously backward, one that pits them against immigrants, minorities, and women who should be their allies. At the culmination of his journey, Tankersley lays out specific policy prescriptions and social undertakings that can begin moving the needle in the effort to make new and better jobs appear. By fostering an economy that opens new pathways for all workers to reach their full potential -- men and women, immigrant or native-born, regardless of race -- America can once again restore the upward flow of talent that can power growth and prosperity.
A Times Literary Supplement’s Book of the Year 2020 A New Statesman's Best Book of 2020 A Bloomberg's Best Book of 2020 A Guardian Best Book About Ideas of 2020 The world-renowned philosopher and author of the bestselling Justice explores the central question of our time: What has become of the common good? These are dangerous times for democracy. We live in an age of winners and losers, where the odds are stacked in favor of the already fortunate. Stalled social mobility and entrenched inequality give the lie to the American credo that "you can make it if you try". The consequence is a brew of anger and frustration that has fueled populist protest and extreme polarization, and led to deep distrust of both government and our fellow citizens--leaving us morally unprepared to face the profound challenges of our time. World-renowned philosopher Michael J. Sandel argues that to overcome the crises that are upending our world, we must rethink the attitudes toward success and failure that have accompanied globalization and rising inequality. Sandel shows the hubris a meritocracy generates among the winners and the harsh judgement it imposes on those left behind, and traces the dire consequences across a wide swath of American life. He offers an alternative way of thinking about success--more attentive to the role of luck in human affairs, more conducive to an ethic of humility and solidarity, and more affirming of the dignity of work. The Tyranny of Merit points us toward a hopeful vision of a new politics of the common good.