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The Great Divergence

America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It
Noah, Timothy (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Great Divergence
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The income gap in America has been blamed on everything from computers to immigration, but its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration. Noah explains not only how this "Great Divergence" has come about, but why it threatens American democracy--and most important, how we can begin to reverse it.
Authors: Noah, Timothy
Title: The great divergence
America's growing inequality crisis and what we can do about it
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2012
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Characteristics: 264 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Timothy Noah ; illustrations by Catherine Mulbrandon
Contents: Paradise lost
Going up
Usual suspects
Teeming shores
Kudoka and the college premium
Offshore
Unequal government
The fall of Detroit
Rise of the stinking rich
Why it matters
What to do
Summary: The income gap in America has been blamed on everything from computers to immigration, but its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration. Noah explains not only how this "Great Divergence" has come about, but why it threatens American democracy--and most important, how we can begin to reverse it.
ISBN: 9781608196333
160819633X
Branch Call Number: 339.220973 N7399g 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Headings: Income distribution United States Wealth United States Poverty United States Equality United States United States Economic conditions United States Economic policy
Topical Term: Income distribution
Wealth
Poverty
Equality
LCCN: 2011048447
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Feb 13, 2014
  • StarGladiator rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This reads like more half-hearted attempt to come down on the side of the workers, while oftentimes repeating a US Chamber of Commerce talking point instead. While they lay off the most technically astute, they claim a shortage of educated workers - - sorry, does not compute! When Nike sent the jobs offshore, the pocketed the difference, they never passed on the savings to the consumer, which is why their senior executives made so much more money! Likewise so many other industries and companies. Which is why the senior exeuctives' salary so dramatically increased, while any remaining workers decreased! The author does correctly, thankfully, report that social mobility in America is at an all-time low, and worse than so many other OECD countries!

Sep 13, 2013
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Around 1932, the economic inequality of the United States gradually decreased and stabilized in 1970 where the income share of the top 1% was about 9% of the nation’s income. Then in and after 1979, the inequality increased until today the top 1%’s share is 24% of the nation’s income. The period of greatest equality is the the Great Compression and the period of greatest inequality is the Great Divergence. Harvard professors, Goldin and Katz, have come to the conclusion that 60% of the income inequality is related to the amount of education one is able to obtain. Noah, the author, explores trade with developing countries, stating that it has exploded, and after much discussion suggests that approximately 12% of the income inequality is related to this trade as the wealthy decide where to send jobs and the middle-class are the ones who lose the jobs. In the last thirty years, the wealthy have learned that through 24hour/7day lobbyists, with just $3 billion a year of lobby money they can obtain favorable laws to increase their wealth by hundreds of billions of dollars. One great victory of the wealthy through the law is the destruction of the unions by means of the Taft-Hartley Law, which made it easy for employers to eliminate unions, but it also meant that there was one less group fighting for the middle-class on election-day.

Jun 25, 2012
  • mccal006 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Very well researched, coherent compilation of decades of economic data and trends toward rampant income inequality. As usual in this type of empirically based social commentary, the author's recommendations and "way forward" are generally weak and on the whole, depressing, but Noah acknowledges from the first that there is no political will to implement remedial measures and likely will not be for any time in the foreseeable future.

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