The top 1 percent of Americans control 40 percent of the nation's wealth. And, as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains, while those at the top enjoy the best health care, education, and benefits of wealth, they fail to realize that "their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live."
Stiglitz draws on his deep understanding of economics to show that growing inequality is not inevitable: moneyed interests compound their wealth by stifling true, dynamic capitalism. They have made America the most unequal advanced industrial country while crippling growth, trampling on the rule of law, and undermining democracy. The result: a divided society that cannot tackle its most pressing problems. With characteristic insight, Stiglitz examines our current state, then teases out its implications for democracy, for monetary and budgetary policy, and for globalization. He closes with a plan for a more just and prosperous future.
©2012 Joseph E. Stiglitz (P)2012 Tantor
This is a critical analysis of the problems with our nation's economy and government, showing how both the free market and the government controls are failing the Vast majority of Americans (and because of globalization, many in other countries). Its conclusions are probably only obvious to US liberals, but as one I got a lot of great sources of studies to support that position.
It is biased, of course, but he also points out a lot that I think the Right would agree with - that rent seeking behavior, and policies that support it, are huge burdens on our economy. The conclusion of the need for eliminating rent seeking by taxation on those practices and closing loopholes in our tax code is probably not universal, but it's sound and he supports it well. Maybe audiobooks omit citations because of narrative flow, but I would have liked more links to specific studies.
The book is extremely repetitive in highlighting the inequality problem - without adding much value or describing in depth alternatives.
Just a proud daddy of the most beautiful girl in the world
Always leaned center right but Damn this is a mess we must fix both parties should be ashamed
I've gone through chapter 4 and can't continue. Everything felt like an extended introduction with idea after idea being thrown at you, but never explored in any detail. To make matters worse, he'd often circle back to the same idea later on and then continue to fail to expand on it a second or third time or fourth time.
Flesh out his ideas. I know he's talking to regular folk, not economists, but thats no excuse for failing to expand his ideas. Yes, I get that the 1 percent rigs the system in their favor and that one of the ways they do this is regulatory capture, but maybe you can give me more than 1 sentence about it. I learned far more from a 15 minute podcast I listeneded to last year than I have any chchance of learning from this book.
Gravitas. I felt like I was listening to someone important and worthy of my attention.
So far everything but the introduction. Chapters 1 through 4 did not add anything beyond what I heard right up front. No illumination or expansion of ideas. I have not read past that and don't intend to as it literally feals like a waste of my time.
I'd bought this book because I was hoping to hear about the complex relationship between government and the economy and a way to produce a system with more positive feedback loops that will dissuade abuses and help make our economy stronger. He's not going there. If you want to hear complaints, this is your guy. If you want to hear anything but one-line solutions, apparently he doesn't want to go there.
there a lot to this book. i like some of it and some of it scary me. that being said this book should be read.
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.
Non Fiction Reader
If you like Big Government solving all problems regardless of the cost or consequences, then you will agree with the author's thesis. I do not subscribe to his arguments and frankly his are not convincing. It's the old canard that society owes those less successful a handout becasue they are not responsible for their adversity. Whatever personal problems an individual has are not their fault. There is a collective guilt that must be atoned by spending more and only Big Government, in its infinite wisdom, knows how to do it. It glorifies "experts" over common sense. The arguments, in many cases, also twist facts or chose them selectively That in all cases our collective sympathy must triumph over reason.
His arguments are tired and old and unconvincing. But then I don't subscribe to the belief that societies all ills must be addressed and remedied by more government whatever the cost or damage both to society or the economy it causes. He believes that more taxes (revenue) and spending (investments) are good unto themselves and neutral to the economy. He discounts individual will to strive and succeed or to overcome. A cabal of the rich, corporations and conservatives stand in the way of utopia with the federal government in the vangard.
Since I was not persuaded by the arguments, I was less than thrilled by the narrator's seeming enthusiasm. He reminds me of old hippie aquiantences I (still) keep in contact with who chase conspiracies, old rock bands, as well as crystal power et. al. and every new (left) fad, gadget, artifice that arrives.
My overall reaction was disgust. I listened and was not persuaded.
As I don't subscribe to the author's politics or economics I found listening frustrating and tedious. The book raises no new persuasive arguments. It's old wine in old bottles. However, if this it your metier, than you will probably find it re-enforcing...certainly not enlightening.
This is a very subjective piece that attacks Capitalism and Republicans and generally exonerates the left.There is plenty of blame to go around. The author starts with his conclusion and justifies it with selected facts. I was hoping for an objective piece and this was very disappointing.
The whiney narration emphasized the tone of the book!
Stiglitz lays out a compelling view of our increasingly unequal society. Causes, implications, and how we might address the problems are discussed with clarity. While this issues from the "liberal" side of the political spectrum - it is one to read if a balanced view of our current political debate is desired.
It is rare that I write a review and have never started halfway through a book... but I fear I will not finish this book and find myself so disappointed that I feel compelled to write something. Joseph Stiglitz sets up soft arguments and knocks them down. He uses statistics, historical perspective and data in an unbalanced way that weaken the usefulness of his conclusions. For those looking for a serious discussion as to the costs of inequality this is not your book, sorry.
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