It is now conventional wisdom to focus on the wealth of the top 1 percent—especially the top 0.01 percent—and how the ultra-rich are concentrating income and prosperity while incomes for most other Americans are stagnant. But the most important, consequential, and widening gap in American society is between the upper middle class and everyone else.
Reeves defines the upper middle class as those whose incomes are in the top 20 percent of American society. Income is not the only way to measure a society, but in a market economy it is crucial because access to money generally determines who gets the best quality education, housing, health care, and other necessary goods and services.
As Reeves shows, the growing separation between the upper middle class and everyone else can be seen in family structure, neighborhoods, attitudes, and lifestyle. Those at the top of the income ladder are becoming more effective at passing on their status to their children, reducing overall social mobility. The result is not just an economic divide but a fracturing of American society along class lines. Upper-middle-class children become upper-middle-class adults.
These trends matter because the separation and perpetuation of the upper middle class corrode prospects for more progressive approaches to policy. Various forms of “opportunity hoarding” among the upper middle class make it harder for others to rise up to the top rung. Examples include zoning laws and schooling, occupational licensing, college application procedures, and the allocation of internships. Upper-middle-class opportunity hoarding, Reeves argues, results in a less competitive economy as well as a less open society.
Inequality is inevitable and can even be good, within limits. But Reeves argues that society can take effective action to reduce opportunity hoarding and thus promote broader opportunity. This fascinating book shows how American society has become the very class-defined society that earlier Americans rebelled against—and what can be done to restore a more equitable society.
Originally published in 1912, Ludwig von Mises’s The Theory of Money and Credit remains today one of economic theory’s most influential and controversial treatises. Von Mises’s examination into monetary theory changed forever the world of economic thought when he successfully integrated “macroeconomics” into “microeconomics” —previously deemed an impossible task —as well as offering explanations into the origin, value and future of money.
One hundred years later, von Mises and the Austrian school of economic theory are still fiercely debated by world economists in their search for the solution to America’s current financial crisis. His theorems continue to inspire politicians and market experts who aim to raise up the common man and reduce the financial power of governments. In a preface added in 1952, von Mises urges the people of the world to see economic truth:
“The great inflations of our age are not acts of God. They are man-made or, to say it bluntly, government-made. They are the off-shoots of doctrines that ascribe to governments the magic power of creating wealth out of nothing and of making people happy by raising the ‘national income.’”
“The best book on money ever written.” —Murray Rothbard, economist and historian
“The greatest economist of the twentieth century.” —Sandeep Jaitly, economist
But trouble is cracking its shiny veneer. In the U.S., Europe, and Japan, economic growth has slowed down. Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few; natural resources are exploited for short-term profit; and good jobs are hard to find.
With piercing clarity, Philip Kotler explains 14 major problems undermining capitalism, including persistent poverty, job creation in the face of automation, high debt burdens, the disproportionate influence of the wealthy on public policy, steep environmental costs, boom-bust economic cycles, and more.
Amidst its dire assessment of what's ailing us, Confronting Capitalism delivers a heartening message: We can turn things around. Movements toward shared prosperity and a higher purpose are reinvigorating companies large and small, while proposals abound on government policies that offer protections without stagnation. Kotler identifies the best ideas, linking private and public initiatives into a force for positive change.
Combining economic history, expert insight, business lessons, and recent data, this landmark book elucidates today's critical dilemmas and suggests solutions for returning to a healthier, more sustainable Capitalism—that works for all.
Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a study of inequity, both historically and in the present. The book describes how the concentration of wealth has changed over time. Its central thesis is that return on capital is greater than growth over time, which means that capital and inequality inevitably increase. The book also considers the ways governments might address the increasing concentration of wealth in the future.
Many economists have argued that increasing worker productivity in the modern era will inevitably result in reduced inequality. The historical record suggests that this is untrue. For most of history, there has been a huge gap between the rich and poor with no real middle class.
That changed in developed countries during the twentieth century for a number of reasons. First, two world wars caused massive shocks to the status quo and resulted in severe losses to many holders of capital…
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The authors, building on their earlier book Economics: Marxian versus Neoclassical, offer an expanded treatment of Keynesian economics and a comprehensive introduction to Marxian economics, including its class analysis of society. Beyond providing a systematic explanation of the logic and structure of standard neoclassical theory, they analyze recent extensions and developments of that theory around such topics as market imperfections, information economics, new theories of equilibrium, and behavioral economics, considering whether these advances represent new paradigms or merely adjustments to the standard theory. They also explain why economic reasoning has varied among these three approaches throughout the twentieth century, and why this variation continues today--as neoclassical views give way to new Keynesian approaches in the wake of the economic collapse of 2008.
"Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling is the first major work to examine why women candidates for executive office have been successful in some countries but not others. With top scholars and elegant methodology, it makes a unique and foundational contribution to the literature. This edited volume will be widely read by scholars and students alike."---Caroline Heldman Associate Professor, Occidental College, and coeditor of Rethinking Madam President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House?
In recent years, more and more high-profile women candidates have been running for executive office in democracies all around the world. Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling: A Global Comparison of Women's Campaigns for Executive Office is the first study to undertake an international comparison of women's campaigns for highest office and to identify the commonalities among them. For example, women candidates often begin as front-runners as the idea of a woman president captures the public imagination, followed by a decline in popularity as stereotypes and gendered media coverage kick in to erode the woman's perceived credibility as a national leader. On the basis of nine international case studies of recent campaigns written by thirteen country specialists, the volume develops an overarching framework which explores how gender stereotypes shape the course and outcome of women's campaigns in the male-dominated worlds of executive elections in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia. This comparative approach allows the authors to discriminate between the contingent effects of a particular candidate or national culture and the universal operation of gender stereotyping. Case studies include the campaigns for executive office of Hillary Rodham Clinton (United States, 2008), Sarah Palin (United States, 2008), Angela Merkel (Germany, 2005 and 2009), Segolene Royal (France, 2007), Helen Clark (New Zealand, 1996-2008), Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina, 2007), Michelle Bachelet (Chile, 2006), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia, 2005), and Irene Saez (Venezuela, 1998).
These eight interrelated crises do not have tidy beginnings and ends. Most, in fact, are still ongoing, often in altered form. The U.S. semiconductor industry's fear that it would be overtaken by Japan in the 1980s, for example, foreshadows current concerns over the new global competitors China and India. The intersecting crises of rising costs for both design and manufacturing are compounded by consumer pressure for lower prices. Other crises discussed in the book include the industry's steady march toward the limits of physics, the fierce competition that keeps its profits modest even as development costs soar, and the global search for engineering talent.
Other high-tech industries face crises of their own, and the semiconductor industry has much to teach about how industries are transformed in response to such powerful forces as technological change, shifting product markets, and globalization. Chips and Change also offers insights into how chip firms have developed, defended, and, in some cases, lost global competitive advantage.
Economics is a broken science, living in a kind of Alice in Wonderland state believing in multiple inconsistent things at the same time. Prior to the financial crisis, mainstream economics argued simultaneously for small government on taxation, regulation and spending, but big government on monetary policy. After the financial crisis, economics is now arguing for more government spending and for less government spending.
The premise of this book is that the internal inconsistencies between economic theories - the apparently unresolvable debates between leading economists and the incoherent policies of our governments - are symptomatic of economics being in a crisis. Specifically, in a scientific crisis.
The good news is that, thanks to the work of scientist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn, we know what needs to be done to fix a scientific crisis. Moreover, there are two scientists in particular whose ideas could show how to do this for economics: Charles Darwin, the man who discovered evolution, and William Harvey, doctor to King Charles I and the first person to understand blood flow and the workings of the human heart.
In Fixing Economics, bestselling financial writer George Cooper explains how the ideas of Darwin and Harvey could revolutionise economics, making it more scientific and understandable, and might even reveal the true origin of economic growth and inequality.
Taking readers on a gripping tour of scientific revolution, social upheaval and the secrets of money and debt, this is an unmissable read for anyone curious to understand how the world really works - and the amazing future of economics.
Bardhan investigates the two countries' economic reforms, each nation's pattern and composition of growth, and the problems afflicting their agricultural, industrial, infrastructural, and financial sectors. He considers how these factors affect China and India's poverty, inequality, and environment, how political factors shape each country's pattern of burgeoning capitalism, and how significant poverty reduction in both countries is mainly due to domestic factors--not global integration, as most would believe. He shows how authoritarianism has distorted Chinese development while democratic governance in India has been marred by severe accountability failures.
Full of valuable insights, Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay provides a nuanced picture of China and India's complex political economy at a time of startling global reconfiguration and change.
This work also emphasizes the connection between optimal control theory and the classical themes of capital theory. It offers a fresh approach to fundamental questions such as: What is income? How should it be measured? What is its relation to wealth?
The book will be valuable to students who want to formulate and solve dynamic allocation problems. It will also be of interest to any economist who wants to understand results of the latest research on the relationship between comprehensive income accounting and wealth or welfare.
Table of Contents:
Part I. Introduction to the Maximum Principle
1. The Calculus of Variations and the Stationary Rate of Return on Capital
2. The Prototype-Economic Control Problem
3. The Maximum Principle in One Dimension
4. Applications of the Maximum Principle in One Dimension
Part II. Comprehensive Accounting and the Maximum Principle
5. Optimal Multisector Growth and Dynamic Competitive Equilibrium
6. The Pure Theory of Perfectly Complete National Income Accounting
7. The Stochastic Wealth and Income Version of the Maximum Principle
In clear-cut prose, Benjamin M. Friedman examines the political and social histories of the large Western democracies–particularly of the United States since the Civil War–to demonstrate the fact that incomes on the rise lead to more open and democratic societies. He explains that growth, rather than simply a high standard of living, is key to effecting political and social liberalization in the third world, and shows that even the wealthiest of nations puts its democratic values at risk when income levels stand still. Merely being rich is no protection against a turn toward rigidity and intolerance when a country’s citizens lose the sense that they are getting ahead.
With concrete policy suggestions for pursuing growth at home and promoting worldwide economic expansion, this volume is a major contribution to the ongoing debate about the effects of economic growth and globalization.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This book is a self-contained introduction to comparative statics analysis which is appropriate for a first year PhD course in mathematics for economists. The demands that modern economic analysis places upon the student renders an incremental approach to learning essential. This permits students' intuition to develop as mathematical tools are employed in problem solving. In this book, students learn comparative statics by doing comparative statics in progressively more sophisticated models. Repeated application of the basic technique allows the student to gain competence in comparative statics analysis with minimal distraction.
In Borderless Economics, Robert Guest, The Economist's Business Editor, travels through dozens of countries and 44 American states, observing how these networks create wealth, spread ideas and foster innovation. He shows how:
* Brainy Indians in America collaborate with brainy Indians in India to build $70 fridges and $300 houses
* Young Chinese study in the West and then return home (where they're known as "sea turtles"), infecting China with ideas that will eventually turn it democratic
* The so-called "brain drain" - the flow of educated migrants from poorcountries to rich ones - actually reduces global poverty
*America's unique ability to attract and absorb migrants lets it tap into the energy of all the world's diaspora networks. So despite its current woes, if the United States keeps its borders open, it will remain the world's most powerful nation indefinitely.
With on-the-ground reporting from Asia, Africa, Europe and even Idaho, this book examines how migration, for the all the disruption it causes, makes the world wealthier and happier.
Dysfunctional government: It’s become a cliché, and most of us are resigned to the fact that nothing is ever going to change. As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge show us, that is a seriously limited view of things. In fact, there have been three great revolutions in government in the history of the modern world. The West has led these revolutions, but now we are in the midst of a fourth revolution, and it is Western government that is in danger of being left behind.
Now, things really are different. The West’s debt load is unsustainable. The developing world has harvested the low-hanging fruits. Industrialization has transformed all the peasant economies it had left to transform, and the toxic side effects of rapid developing world growth are adding to the bill. From Washington to Detroit, from Brasilia to New Delhi, there is a dual crisis of political legitimacy and political effectiveness.
The Fourth Revolution crystallizes the scope of the crisis and points forward to our future. The authors enjoy extraordinary access to influential figures and forces the world over, and the book is a global tour of the innovators in how power is to be wielded. The age of big government is over; the age of smart government has begun. Many of the ideas the authors discuss seem outlandish now, but the center of gravity is moving quickly.
This tour drives home a powerful argument: that countries’ success depends overwhelmingly on their ability to reinvent the state. And that much of the West—and particularly the United States—is failing badly in its task. China is making rapid progress with government reform at the same time as America is falling badly behind. Washington is gridlocked, and America is in danger of squandering its huge advantages from its powerful economy because of failing government. And flailing democracies like India look enviously at China’s state-of-the-art airports and expanding universities.
The race to get government right is not just a race of efficiency. It is a race to see which political values will triumph in the twenty-first century—the liberal values of democracy and liberty or the authoritarian values of command and control. The stakes could not be higher.
In scenarios that range from the optimistic to the guardedly gloomy, these thinkers consider such topics as the transformation of work and wages, the continuing increase in inequality, the economic rise of China and India, the endlessly repeating cycle of crisis and (projected) recovery, the benefits of technology, the economic consequences of political extremism, and the long-range effects of climate change. For example, 2013 Nobelist Robert Shiller provides an innovative view of future risk management methods using information technology; and Martin Weitzman raises the intriguing but alarming possibility of using geoengineering techniques to mitigate the inevitable effects of climate change.
Contributors Daron Acemoglu, Angus Deaton, Avinash K. Dixit, Edward L. Glaeser, Andreu Mas-Colell, John E. Roemer, Alvin E. Roth, Robert J. Shiller, Robert M. Solow, Martin L. Weitzman
In this book, Rhoda Halperin offers an analytical tool kit for studying economic processes in all societies and at all times. She uniquely organizes the book around key concepts: economy, ecology, equivalencies, householding, storage, and time and the economy. These concepts are designed to facilitate the understanding of similarities, differences, and changes between contemporary and past economies. While this is not only a "how-to" book or handbook, it can be used as such. It will be of great value to scholars and students of archaeology and history, as well as to ethnographers and economists.
The book provides a market-oriented focus, arguing that a just international economy would be one that is inclusive, participatory, and welfare-enhancing for all states. Rejecting radical redistribution schemes between rich and poor, Ethan Kapstein asserts that a politically feasible approach to international economic justice would emphasize free trade and limited flows of foreign assistance in order to help countries exercise their comparative advantage.
Kapstein also addresses justice in labor, migration, and investment, in each case defending an approach that concentrates on nation-states and their unique social compacts. Clearly written for all those with a stake in contemporary debates over poverty reduction and development, the book provides a breakthrough analysis of what the international community can reasonably do to build a global economy that works to the advantage of every nation.
In Best Laid Plans, the author examines how any action can have cascading impacts across time, place, and sector, explaining the eight social mechanisms of unintended consequences that complicate matters and often defeat best laid plans. This book will be of great interest to managers, analysts, researchers, or other employees working for businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations, as well as general nonfiction readers who delight in learning about how the world works.