The Price of Inequality by Nobel Prize winner, Joseph E. Stiglitz is by far the best book on Economics that I have read. His arguments will not be embraced by the free market advocates, but to those with an open mind and some social conscience his explanations of the issues at play in our country will resonate. His illustration of how the very rich are able to use many rent seeking devices to redirect wealth to themselves is very clear and hard to refute. His speculation of where the American economy is heading is alarming. I think his book ought to be mandatory reading for all undergraduate economics students.
While I support the overall view of the book, I found the absolutes and many examples of stretching the facts disappointing. There are enough facts to make the case for closing the economic gaps that create inequality and you will find those in this book. However, the simple facts must not have dramatic enough for Stiglitz. This book will fan the flames of the far right and give them more reasons to do the same with their own slanted interpretations of facts and partial truths. It certainly will not help them understand and is not likely to move a person in the center to agree. It will simply cause those of a common attitude to dig in deeper thus further preventing us from reaching resolution.
The performance of the reader is great, it's the actual content that ruins it for me. I understand why he writes what he does, and am ok with what he believes but there is nothing new or exciting in his ideas or explanations
Realize that the problem is the Human condition, all of his "solutions" ignore this fact, I feel as if he has a very naive and unrealistic view of people. He assumes that people wont take advantage of every situation they can. I believe there is a very small portion of the population that is altruistic, but the true 99% are the amount of people who will look after themselves 1st and foremost.
Yes, I enjoy the diversity of his thinking from mine, and find that I agree with most every problem he conveys, I just disagree with almost all of his solutions.
The title says it all. The author presents well reasoned, well documented arguments about how the average citizen is losing out to special interests.
The roots of the hyperpartisanism were clearly explained - at least this authors hypothesis. What was really interesting are the games that politicians play to get what THEY want and there are times that what they want is not in alignment with what is best for their constituents.
I was of the belief that the present lack of bipartisan cooperation was due to Obama being an African American (and I do believe that plays a big part especially in the minds of some very vocal voters) but I have come to realize that there are bigger issues at play.
A frightening book.
Stiglitz paints a very compelling picture of American economic inequality and its consequences for America and the world. In its descriptions of area after area of the Economy, it functions as both an explanation and a warning that American Capitalism as it is practiced today is incompatible with anyone's model of fairness, reason or simple decency. His description of "rent-seeking" (the process by which companies and individuals seek forms of subsidy to make money faster and with less effort), is clear, compelling and almost painful.
Stiglitz and Boehmer make you understand this, and once you do, you understand the fundamental problem with American economic policy and why it is that YOU as an American have bailed out the richest slice of American Economic actors (who make money by *breathing*) but not the poor people who were the victims of unscrupulous lending policies made in the name of those at the top and who are even now being evicted from homes.It is a great book that is clear and current and one that will make you angry.
Paul Boehmer's vocal timbre and reading clarity make the writings of a world-class economist more easily accessible.
In most reviews, the usual approach is to say, "blah, this and that were good" or "blah, this and that could have been improved." With Stiglitz and Boehmer, the only thing to say is: "I recommend this and I think you should hear it."If you read it, you will understand and despise, Mitt Romney.
Accessible to both the academic and layperson, this book critiques American political economy, the devastating and anti-democratic effects of our vast inequality, and outlines corrective measures that could be taken.
If you liked Krugman's "Conscience of a Liberal" or "End this Depression Now," you will likely enjoy this book.
The reading is well-done and lively--no droning monotone here.
As the author states, the ideas and data are presented in ways so as to allow readers of all levels of economic understanding to enjoy and gain from this book.
Paul does a fantastic job reading the book. He is quite enjoyable to listen to.
The author presents data, and also presents suggestions. The idea that the author wants to raise taxes to 70% is absurd. He simply states that some economists have said that mathematically that would be a realistic amount and that at that percentage, the top earners would still do fine. Contrary to what some reviews on here have said, he is not suggesting actually doing that.
What the author does suggest is that, while the government isn't perfect (people are fallible) and corporations are not perfect (the market is entirely fallible), minor adjustments are needed in a civilized society to make sure the market behaves properly and functions for the good of more, not less people. This idea is not radicle. This idea is also not unproven.
The key to the authors suggestions are just that, MINOR adjustments. Nothing radical at all about that. And nothing that ordinary, logical people could not agree with.
The author shows, that if you are voting for people who pretend to care about you so they can keep more of what they earn (and trickle down to you as if more supply will equal more demand) you are doing so at great cost to yourself, your society, and your country.
This is one of those rare books that is enjoyable for both individuals who have studied economics and those who have never taken an econ. class. The book is very well written—seamlessly weaving together a variety of facts and findings from various disciplines with current economic conditions at both the international and domestic level in a way that one is led inexorably to agree with Stiglitz's conclusions about the need for more equitable distribution.
I can't yet compare it to the print version, but listening has convinced me that this is an important book to read.
Why Fairness Matters