The scourge of America’s economy isn't the success of the 1 percent—quite the opposite. The real problem is the government’s well-meaning but misguided attempt to reduce the payoffs for success. Four years ago, Edward Conard wrote a controversial bestseller, Unintended Consequences, which set the record straight on the financial crisis of 2008 and explained why U.S. growth was accelerating relative to other high-wage economies. He warned that loose monetary policy would produce neither growth nor inflation, that expansionary fiscal policy would have no lasting benefit on growth in the aftermath of the crisis, and that ill-advised attempts to rein in banking based on misplaced blame would slow an already weak recovery. Unfortunately, he was right. Now he’s back with another provocative argument: that our current obsession with income inequality is misguided and will only slow growth further. Using fact-based logic, Conard tracks the implications of an economy now constrained by both its capacity for risk-taking and by a shortage of properly trained talent—rather than by labor or capital, as was the case historically. He uses this fresh perspective to challenge the conclusions of liberal economists like Larry Summers and Joseph Stiglitz and the myths of “crony capitalism” more broadly. Instead, he argues that the growing wealth of most successful Americans is not to blame for the stagnating incomes of the middle and working classes. If anything, the success of the 1 percent has put upward pressure on employment and wages. Conard argues that high payoffs for success motivate talent to get the training and take the risks that gradually loosen the constraints to growth. Well-meaning attempts to decrease inequality through redistribution dull these incentives, gradually hurting not just the 1 percent but everyone else as well. Conard outlines a plan for growing middle- and working-class wages in an economy with a near infinite supply of labor that is shifting from capital-intensive manufacturing to knowledge-intensive, innovation-driven fields. He urges us to stop blaming the success of the 1 percent for slow wage growth and embrace the upside of inequality: faster growth and greater prosperity for everyone.
the upside of inequality
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Summary and Analysis of The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class Based on the Book by Edward Conard So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of The Upside of Inequality tells you what you need to know—before or after you read Edward Conard’s book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader. This short summary and analysis of The Upside of Inequality includes: Historical context Chapter-by-chapter overviews Important quotes Fascinating trivia Glossary of terms Supporting material to enhance your understanding of the original work About The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class by Edward Conard: New York Times–bestselling author Edward Conard argues in favor of an American economic system that results in massive income inequality. Breaking down the causes of inequality while dispelling many of the myths surrounding stagnating wages and financial disparity for the the lower and middle classes, Conard dismisses the call for wealth redistribution. He, instead, makes the case for lower taxes, less regulation of banks, restricted immigration, and lower trade deficits. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of nonfiction.
From the author of the #1 bestselling and Governor General’s Literary Award-winning The Ingenuity Gap – an essential addition to the bookshelf of every thinking person with a stake in our world and our civilization. This is a groundbreaking, essential book for our times. Thomas Homer-Dixon brings to bear his formidable understanding of the urgent problems that confront our world to clarify their scope and deep causes. The Upside of Down provides a vivid picture of the immense stresses that are simultaneously converging on our societies and threatening a breakdown that would profoundly shake civilization. It shows, too, how we can choose a better route into the future. With the immediacy that characterized his award-winning international bestseller, The Ingenuity Gap, Homer-Dixon takes us on a remarkable journey – from the fall of the Roman empire to the devastation of the 9/11 attacks in New York, from Toronto in the 2003 blackout to the ancient temples of Lebanon and the wildfires of California. Incorporating the newest findings from an astonishing array of disciplines, he argues that the great stresses our world is experiencing – global warming, energy scarcity, population imbalances, and widening gaps between rich and poor – can’t be looked at independently. As these stresses combine and converge, the risk of breakdown rises. The first signs are appearing in the wastelands of the Arctic, the mud-clogged streets of Gonaïves, Haiti, and the volatile regions of the Middle East and Asia. But while the consequences of denial in our more perilous world are dire, Homer-Dixon makes clear that we can use our emerging understanding of the complex systems in which we live to avoid catastrophic collapse in a way the Roman empire could not. This vitally important new book shows how, in the face of breakdown, we can still provide for the renewal of our global civilization. We are creating the conditions for catastrophe, but by understanding the underlying principles that make human and natural systems resilient – and by working together to put those principles into effect – we can still limit the severity of collapse and foster regeneration, innovation, and renewal. From the Hardcover edition.
Thoroughly classroom tested, this introductory-level text surveys what economists have to say about inequality (or income and wealth distribution), poverty, mobility - both intragenerational (within careers), and intergenerational (between generations) - and discrimination (on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, gender, and many other factors) in the United States. This text brings the undergraduate treatment of these issues up-to-date, featuring detailed, but not mathematical, examination of the economic theory underlying the analysis. There is a greater emphasis on mobility, on wealth accumulation, distribution and inheritance, and on discrimination law than in other texts. The author provides full and fair treatment of competing sides in several of the controversial issues in the field, written in such a way that instructors can use the text material to motivate a variety of classroom discussions. An Instructor's Manual featuring solutions to the end-of-chapter questions is available online to adoptors.
The surprising finding of this book is that, contrary to conventional wisdom, global income inequality is decreasing. Critics of globalization and others maintain that the spread of consumer capitalism is dramatically polarizing the worldwide distribution of income. But as the demographer Glenn Firebaugh carefully shows, income inequality for the world peaked in the late twentieth century and is now heading downward because of declining income inequality across nations. Furthermore, as income inequality declines across nations, it is rising within nations (though not as rapidly as it is declining across nations). Firebaugh claims that this historic transition represents a new geography of global income inequality in the twenty-first century. This book documents the new geography, describes its causes, and explains why other analysts have missed one of the defining features of our era--a transition in inequality that is reducing the importance of where a person is born in determining his or her future well-being.
Kenneth A. Posner spent close to two decades as a Wall Street analyst, tracking the so-called "specialty finance" sector, which included controversial companies such as Countrywide, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, CIT, and MasterCard many of which were caught in the subprime mortgage and capital markets crisis of 2007. While extreme volatility is nothing new in finance, the recent downturn caught many off guard, indicating that the traditional approach to decision making had let them down. Introducing a new framework for handling and evaluating extreme risk, Posner draws on years of experience to show how decision makers can best cope with the "Black Swans" of our time. Posner's shrewd assessment combines the classic fundamental research approach of Benjamin Graham and David Dodd with more recent developments in cognitive science, computational theory, and quantitative finance. He outlines a probabilistic approach to decision making that involves forecasting across a range of scenarios, and he explains how to balance confidence, react accurately to fast-breaking information, overcome information overload, zero in on the critical issues, penetrate the information asymmetry shielding corporate executives, and integrate the power of human intuition with sophisticated analytics. Emphasizing the computational resources we already have at our disposal our computers and our minds Posner offers a new track to decision making for analysts, investors, traders, corporate executives, risk managers, regulators, policymakers, journalists, and anyone who faces a world of extreme volatility.
In this book an internationally distinguished roster of contributors considers the state of the art of the discipline of archaeology at the turn of the 21st century and charts an ambitious agenda for the future. The chapters address a wide range of topics including, paradigms, practice, and relevance of the discipline; paleoanthropology; fully modern humans; holocene hunter-gatherers; the transition to food and craft production; social inequality; warfare; state and empire formation; and the uneasy relationship between classical and anthropological archaeology.
This text analyses the changing nature of inequality in Australia.
Against a broader backdrop of globalization and worldwide moves toward political democracy, The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America examines the unfolding relationships among social change, equity, and the democratic representation of the poor in Latin America. Recent Latin American governments have turned away from redistributive policies; at the same time, popular political and social organizations have been generally weakened, inequality has increased, and the gap between rich and poor has grown. Hanging in the balance is the consolidation and the quality of new or would-be democracies; this volume suggests that governments must find not just short-term programmes to alleviate poverty, but long-term means to ensure the effective integration of the poor into political life. The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America bridges the intellectual chasm between, on the one hand, studies of grassroots politics, and on the other, explorations of elite politics and formal institution-building. It will be of interest to students and scholars of contemporary Latin American politics and society and, more generally, in the vicissitudes of democracy and citizenship in the late twentieth-century global system.
This jargon-free resource explains the who, what, why, and where of contemporary personal finance in simple, easy-to-grasp language, covering the key people, events, terms, tools, policies, and products that make up modern money management. • Supplies accessible, comprehensive financial information that explains complex topics in simple language • Shows the relationship between personal finance and everyday life, from renting an apartment to saving for retirement • Answers a wide variety of personal finance questions • Provides a resource suitable for both personal and scholarly use