Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences

Jim Lardner, Editor, David Smith, Jr., Editor, Bill Moyers, Foreword by . New Press $24.95 (328p) ISBN 978-1-56584-995-2

With the exception of Bill Moyers's fiery foreword, most of the essays in this collection examine the growing divide between the rich and the poor with irrefutable calm. "Today the United States is by far the most unequal rich democracy in the world," Christopher Jencks observes in his essay, "The Fork in the Road," which traces wealth disparity to constitutional design. "Gaps in [college] enrollment by class and race, after declining in the 1960s and 1970s, are once again as wide as they were thirty years ago, and getting wider," remarks Tamara Draut; at the same time, she points out, the wage disparity between college-degree-haves and have-nots grew starker. Meanwhile, Robert H. Frank analyzes how "spending cascades"— in which high-end wage earners "initiate a process that leads to increased expenditures... even among those whose incomes have not risen"—may have aggravated middle class bankruptcy. Though less vividly written than the New York Times ' recently published Class Matters , this collection presents a similarly troubling vision of America's economic future. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-1-59558-175-4
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