Business Books

Inequality is a choice, says famed economist Joseph E. Stiglitz in his new book

(Click here for more business book reviews.)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Rapport Editor Waldimar Pelser for his weekly “Business book reviews” feature.

Pelser reviewed “The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do about Them” by Joseph E. Stiglitz.

At the end of 2013, Pelser reviewed Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”.

Description on Amazon:

How has America become the most unequal advanced country in the world, and what can be done about it?

In “The Great Divide”, Joseph E. Stiglitz expands on the diagnosis he offered in his best-selling book “The Price of Inequality” and suggests ways to counter America’s growing problem.

With his signature blend of clarity and passion, Stiglitz argues that inequality is a choice ― the cumulative result of unjust policies and misguided priorities.

Gathering his writings for popular outlets including Vanity Fair and the New York Times, Stiglitz exposes in full America's inequality: its dimensions, its causes and its consequences for the nation and for the world.

From the Reagan-era to the Great Recession and its long aftermath, Stiglitz delves into the irresponsible policies ― deregulation, tax cuts, and tax breaks for the 1 percent ― that are leaving many Americans farther and farther beyond and turning the American dream into an ever more unachievable myth.

With formidable, yet accessible, economic insight, he urges us to embrace real solutions: increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy; offering more help to the children of the poor; investing in education, science, and infrastructure; helping out homeowners instead of banks; and, most importantly, doing more to restore the economy to full employment.

Stiglitz also draws lessons from Scandinavia, Singapore and Japan.

He argues against the tide of unnecessary, destructive austerity that is sweeping across Europe.

Ultimately, Stiglitz believes our choice is not between growth and fairness - with the right policies we can choose both.

His complaint is not so much about capitalism as such, but how 21st-century capitalism has been perverted.

His is a call to confront America's economic inequality as the political and moral issue that it is.

If it reinvests in people, and pursues the other policies that he describes, America can live up to the shared dream of a more prosperous, more equal society.

Scroll down for quotes from the audio below.

It sketches how the top 1% caused the Global Financial Crisis and benefitted from the recovery.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Young American men in their 30s earn 12% less than their fathers did in real terms.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

87% of Mauritians own a home.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

He says inequality is bad for growth.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Stiglitz attacks Warren Buffett in this book.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Stiglitz says there’s a ‘trickle up’ economics where the poor is funding the super-rich.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Stiglitz says the US system is patently unfair and that it wasn’t always so.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Inequality is the result of policy.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

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