Stiglitz states that the "United States...has the highest level of inequality among the advanced industrial countries." He shows how the top 1% have used our political system to enact laws to improve their lot at the expense of the 99%. (Read "The Conscience of a Liberal" by Paul Krugman, to see how we have gotten to this level of inequality over the last 30 years). Stigletz says that the Affordable Care Act reduces the inequality, but we need to lower the price of higher education, we need fairer taxes on the wealthy (40% of the Bush tax cuts went to the top 1%), and we need to protect the safety nets of Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance. This book is very readable for those having just a few elementary college courses in business and economics.
A highly disappointing read. Very little substantive analysis.
I might be being a little harsh on Stiglitz since I read Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century immediately before jogging through The Price of Inequality, but I don't think so.
A highly intelligent (brilliant?) Jewish-American thinker, in an introduction to a Thorstein Veblen book, explained that economics is the farce of an explanation for why a small number of people have everything and the majority have nothing. (I admit to paraphrasing a bit here.) Sitglitz is a decent fellow, but he's still sucked in by the status quo, the World Bank? The IMF? A pox on control entities, and front organizations! He does state the obvious, but in stating the obvious while continuing to support the status quo, one comes off sounding relatively schizoid! I would prefer the "Spirit Level" to this book, and far superior would be Donald Gibson's "Wealth, Power and the Crisis in Laissez Faire Capitalism". The problem with individuals like Stiglitz, is that first they worked for the oligarchs, and now they are attempting to - - oh so subtley - - negate them, and their verbal and written tactics define fecklessness.
Joseph E. Stiglitz is a prolific writer and I have enjoyed every book I read by him. The same is true of this book, tempered by an irritation about the cheapness of the publisher (or the writer?) not to hire a proof reader and use a spell checker instead. This is very annoying! A spellchecker cannot tell the difference between a misspelled (but otherwise existing) word, e.g. heath (instead of health) or that (instead of than). It can also not detect redundant words (i.e. the inappropriate repetition of the same word), or missing words. Moreover, when the wrong word (e.g. stability instead of instability) is used a spellchecker is useless. Unfortunately there are numerous examples of the above instances in the book. One can stop and reflect to see the errors but it is annoying and lowers the quality of the book.
The 'HAVES' must be relieved confirmation bias exists because the truth contained within books such as this one should motivate a complete overhaul of how things are done in our society.
But alas, we will continue to believe in the myths such as, they earned it, we all have equal opportunity etc...
Maybe one day?
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