The Great Divergence

The Great Divergence

America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
The Hillman Prize-winning lead columnist for The New Republic and Slate critically assesses income inequality in America and the ways it threatens democracy, tracing disturbing income ratio trends throughout the past three decades while outlining an urgent call for nonpartisan solutions. 40,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave

For the past three decades, America has steadily become a nation of haves and have-nots. Our incomes are increasingly drastically unequal: the top 1% of Americans collect almost 20% of the nation's income-more than double their share in 1973. We have less equality of income than Venezuela, Kenya, or Yemen.

What economics Nobelist Paul Krugman terms "the Great Divergence" has until now been treated as little more than a talking point, a club to be wielded in ideological battles. But it may be the most important change in this country during our lifetimes-a sharp, fundamental shift in the character of American society, and not at all for the better.

The income gap has been blamed on everything from computers to immigration, but its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration. In The Great Divergence, Timothy Noah delivers this urgently needed inquiry, ignoring political rhetoric and drawing on the best work of contemporary researchers to peer beyond conventional wisdom. Noah explains not only how the Great Divergence has come about, but why it threatens American democracy-and most important, how we can begin to reverse it.

The Great Divergence is poised to be one of the most talked-about books of 2012, a jump-start to the national conversation about what kind of society we aspire to be in the 21st century: a land of equality, or a city on a hill-with a slum at the bottom.



Baker
& Taylor

Critically assesses income inequality in America and the ways it threatens democracy, tracing disturbing income ratio trends throughout the past three decades while outlining an urgent call for nonpartisan solutions.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2012
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781608196333
160819633X
Branch Call Number: 339.22097 N661g 2012
Characteristics: 264 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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s
stewstealth
Oct 18, 2016

Well written and interesting. The data points that are quoted across time and countries make the conclusions suspect and debatable. Worth reading however.

n
naturalist
Dec 15, 2014

Reactionary commenters “has” no knowledge of grammar.

s
seadragonclintonli
Nov 09, 2014

The lower income people has no knowledge of money, that is why they are stuck at the bottom of the scale. Knowledge that deals with money is power; not calculus, physics, chemistry and other nonsense. If you plan on using academic high school subjects in the society, good luck because that's not how you make money. When was the last time you saw AP physics 12 in the US stock exchange? But of course, you will need these subjects to graduate high school if you are to enroll into any university courses
(includes finance and business course). After university, then you take your first step into society (where you start to experience real life first hand).

s
StarGladiator
Feb 13, 2014

Overall, this book is basically a waste of paper. The author reads the // official \\ studies and regurgitates the nonsense, without really explaining anything, the typical American book of bewilderment so commonplace today!
OK, this is how it is: the extreme concentration of wealth of the past 60 years has evolved from 17 Wall Street firms being the major owners of everything - - to 4 major investment firms being the owners today!
Got that? Four - - 4 - - The Big Four: BlackRock, Vanguard Group, State Street and Fidelity [FMR LLC] - - but who are the actual investors through those four who are the actual owners? We do not know, and they will not tell us!
Got that? [They offshore the jobs, import foreign visa workers, finagle the stats to indicate a static percentage of workers to population - - by excluding that 94,000,000 from the labor participation numbers, and thus falsify everything, while rigging all the markets because the banks/oil companies own all the financial exchanges and clearinghouses.]
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!

voisjoe1 Sep 13, 2013

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.

m
mccal006
Jun 25, 2012

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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