cover image The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future

Joseph E. Stiglitz. Norton, $27.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-393-08869-4

In his concise and clearly argued newest, Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, outlines the economic, political, and social obstacles currently facing the U.S. and explores possibilities for how we can overcome them. Beginning with the financial collapse of 2008 and the ensuing Great Recession, Stiglitz (Globalization and Its Discontents) makes the now-ubiquitous point that "the rich were getting richer, while the rest were facing hardships that seem inconsonant with the American dream." The author opines that from this growing gap stem many other sobering social ills, such as "pollution, unemployment, and%E2%80%A6 the degradation of values to the point where everything is acceptable and no one is accountable." And while he contends that our current modus operandi is "neither stable nor sustainable," Stiglitz insists that inequality is not inherent in the system. He then goes on to lay out a plan for the long term, recommending practical changes to macroeconomic policies, taxes, labor laws, and how we navigate a globalizing world and dealing with the deficit. His visions of America's two possible futures reveals the extent of the dishearteningly large socioeconomic rift and its forecasted consequences, but Stiglitz's solutions%E2%80%94upheld by experience, perceptive analysis, and copious research%E2%80%94could very well bridge that divide, and reduce it in the process. (June)