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Book Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity

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Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Joseph E. Stiglitz(Author)

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Inequality is a choice. The United States bills itself as the land of opportunity, a place where anyone can achieve success and a better life through hard work and determination. But the facts tell a different story-the U.S. today lags behind most other developed nations in measures of inequality and economic mobility. For decades, wages have stagnated for the majority of workers while economic gains have disproportionately gone to the top one percent. Education, housing and health care-essential ingredients for individual success-are growing ever more expensive. Deeply rooted structural discrimination continues to hold down women and people of colour, and more than one-fifth of all American children now live in poverty. These trends are on track to become even worse in the future. Some economists claim that today's bleak conditions are inevitable consequences of market outcomes, globalisation and technological progress. If we want greater equality, they argue, we have to sacrifice growth. This is simply not true. American inequality is the result of misguided structural rules that actually constrict economic growth. We have stripped away worker protections and family support systems, created a tax system that rewards short-term gains over long-term investment, offered a de facto public safety net to too-big-to-fail financial institutions, and chosen monetary and fiscal policies that promote wealth over full employment.

Stiglitz realizes that deepening inequality in our country is not an unlucky act of nature, but a consequence of the policies we have chosen. This lively book suggests a whole menu of policy changes to move us toward a more widely shared prosperity.--Robert Solow, winner of the Nobel PrizeAn aggressive blueprint for rewriting 35 years of policies [that] have led to a vast concentration of wealth among the richest Americans and an increasingly squeezed middle class.The secret truth about economic inequality in America: once you look at the issue this way, it's hard to think of it any other way.At a time when 25 hedge fund managers make more than all our nation's kindergarten teachers combined, it is clear that the rules are rigged in favor of the wealthy few. Joseph Stiglitz has proposed a bold plan to rewrite these rules by rebuilding our economy for the twenty-first century.--Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers

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Book details

  • PDF | 256 pages
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz(Author)
  • W. W. Norton & Company (27 Nov. 2015)
  • English
  • 4
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy

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Review Text

  • By digsblues on 5 November 2015

    This is a must read book for anyone interested in narrowing the gap between the top 1% and the rest of us Americans. I've wondered now for several years why economists can't figure out the growing disparity between the top and bottom classes and the demise of the middle class. It's seemed to me that economics should be more like science and be able to prove that the "trickle down" theory really works, the results of globalization on American jobs, and other things that most of us consider to be truths.This book examines the problems in great detail, complete with statistics, charts and graphs. There is also an extensive appendix that gives sources so the claims can be checked. The author explains why the rules need to be rewritten, and redistributing the wealth will not work.Half of the book gives suggestions on what to change, in very specific detail, so it's like a financial plan that could be adopted. I'll be frank and admit that I was rather shocked when I first looked at the suggestions, but later I started thinking "why not?"One specific example that I believe is true is what we've been told about the brilliant 1% who are wildly successful. While it is correct that some are innovators increasing our quality of life, many others do nothing productive; they trade in futures, financial exchanges, and use the system design to make an obscene amount of money. They do not contribute anything of value, except to themselves. Many will think "move power to them" but this book shows how the odds were stacked in their favor, especially in the last 30 years.Another example is the rule changes on repaying college loans. Making them immune to bankruptcy always seemed like a good idea to me. However, it does seem out of balance when a rich person can borrow money for a month long European vacation or yacht and have it all discharged by filing bankruptcy, then starting over.The statistics on the number of full-time wage earners who have no retirement or even a day of sick leave were depressing, and it's becoming the norm for low wage earners who have begun competing with Chinese workers for jobs. The lack of regulations on imports made by child laborers, or with harsh environmental consequences was also eye-opening.Anyone interested in our future, whether conservative or liberal should take a look at the ideas here. Many were refreshingly new to me.Highly recommended. I would love to see opinions, especially by economists.ETA - Though the focus of the book is the US, the solutions will apply to the UK, too.


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