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Stiglitz is an important voice in economics, and he is working hard to help non economists understand that capitalism comes in many different varieties depending on the policy decisions made by the people in power where it is practiced This collection of material, much of it previously published in a variety of columns and articles in business and policy journals, centers on the way capitalism, as currently practiced in the United States, has moved our economy toward a two tier reality without Stiglitz is an important voice in economics, and he is working hard to help non economists understand that capitalism comes in many different varieties depending on the policy decisions made by the people in power where it is practiced This collection of material, much of it previously published in a variety of columns and articles in business and policy journals, centers on the way capitalism, as currently practiced in the United States, has moved our economy toward a two tier reality without much room for a benefit to the middle class His main point is that we don t have to abandon capitalism to improve the efficiency and essential fairness of our economy Since this book is a collection of articels it s a bit repetitive And those that has read some other of Stiglitz books wont find much new stuff Despite this it s a good read. #Read Pdf õ The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them ç A singular voice of reason in an era defined by bitter politics and economic uncertainty, Joseph E Stiglitz has time and again diagnosed America s greatest economic challenges, from the Great Recession and its feeble recovery to the yawning gap between the rich and the poor The Great Divide gathers his most provocative reflections to date on the subject of inequality As Stiglitz ably argues, a healthy economy and a fairer democracy are within our grasp if we can put aside misguided interests and ideologies and abandon failed policies Opening with the essay that gave the Occupy Movement its slogan, We are the %, later essays in The Great Divide reveal equality of opportunity as a national myth, show that today s outsized inequality is a matter of choice, and explain reforms that would spur higher growth, opportunity, and greater equality If you ve read one you ve read them all Stiglitz s the Price of Inequality did a better job detailing his arguments clearly and succinctly His solutions were also very reasonable and straightforward Here, there areor less very similar arguments and the same repetitive rhetoric thrown in with powerful buzz words for effect. Dr Stiglitz is a very accomplished economist with a decidedly liberal point of view His focus on income inequality and the necessity of addressing the issue is very timely What I don t understand is his insistence on demonizing those who may not agree with him, or believe there are other solutions to the problem In recent articles I ve read, it s clear there are some 1%ers, and even some of those crass and greedy bankers who agree with his conclusions But Dr Stiglitz s gratuitous, demeanin Dr Stiglitz is a very accomplished economist with a decidedly liberal point of view His focus on income inequality and the necessity of addressing the issue is very timely What I don t understand is his insistence on demonizing those who may not agree with him, or believe there are other solutions to the problem In recent articles I ve read, it s clear there are some 1%ers, and even some of those crass and greedy bankers who agree with his conclusions But Dr Stiglitz s gratuitous, demeaning descriptions of those who disagree with him will only make itdifficult to resolve the issue, and detracts from the positions he is advocating Nice collection for Stiglitz fansThe growing disparity in income and wealth between the richest Americans and the rest of us is very much in the news these days, but Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stigliz has been writing about it for a long time This book brings together short pieces that appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair and the New York Times warning of the dangers of inequality as long ago as 2007.The book is in nine sections The first section he calls a Prelude because Nice collection for Stiglitz fansThe growing disparity in income and wealth between the richest Americans and the rest of us is very much in the news these days, but Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stigliz has been writing about it for a long time This book brings together short pieces that appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair and the New York Times warning of the dangers of inequality as long ago as 2007.The book is in nine sections The first section he calls a Prelude because it discusses the 2007 2008 recession and the response to it that built the background for the increasing inequality seen today The middle sections contain articles describing the disparity, personal reflections from Stiglitz s life, dimensions of inequality such as student debt and health care, causes for inequality such as a tax system that favors the elite, and consequences of the inequality The later sections elaborate on his argument that such inequality is not inevitable but is a political choice and explore the international picture in countries like Japan, Australia, Spain, China, Singapore, Scotland, and even Mauritius The final section consists of articles in which Stiglitz outlines the kinds of actions America should take to combat inequality In an Afterword, Vanity Fair editor Cullen Murphy interviews Stiglitz responding to conservative critics who claim that the rich create jobs Each of the nine sections of the book is preceded by a lengthy introduction providing an overview of the topic of that section.This anthology format has strengths and weaknesses It allows for the presentation of a broad range of topics relating to inequality, and it is interesting to see how the topics develop over the course of the time period in which the articles were written On the other hand, since the articles are generally short Many were op ed pieces , readers new to a topic may feel they need fordata or a longer explanation In addition, because they were written at different times for different publications, there was a great deal of repetition, e.g., Thomas Piketty s book Capitalism in the Twenty first Century is discussed at length in at least two of the articles as well as the introduction to Part I Readers who want in depth presentation of Stiglitz s thinking would probably be happier reading one of his other books, such as The Price of Inequality, that containdata and acomprehensive exposition of his ideas, but those who want a broad survey or who already admire him and want to hearfrom this influential thinker will welcome this book I bought this book in hope to discover Stiglitz s conjecture on inequality, hoping to do so by reading his latest book His promotion of it on Bloomberg might have precipitated this choice If only I knew this would be a mere collection of articles of his most of which are freely available online and an interview Not that the positions he espouses in this book are particularly alien to me I just felt a bit ripped off to buy a book that only contains lots of surface level discussions of such I bought this book in hope to discover Stiglitz s conjecture on inequality, hoping to do so by reading his latest book His promotion of it on Bloomberg might have precipitated this choice If only I knew this would be a mere collection of articles of his most of which are freely available online and an interview Not that the positions he espouses in this book are particularly alien to me I just felt a bit ripped off to buy a book that only contains lots of surface level discussions of such a plethora of issues Economy might be a boring subject for the majority of readers, however, a number of economists have been trying to popularise important debates on economic issues Such arguments have caught the imaginations of several citizens concerned with their economic prospects Joseph E Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and former chief economist of the World Bank, has raised serious concerns about the distribution of wealth in the USA in particular and across the world in general in his latest book, quite pr Economy might be a boring subject for the majority of readers, however, a number of economists have been trying to popularise important debates on economic issues Such arguments have caught the imaginations of several citizens concerned with their economic prospects Joseph E Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and former chief economist of the World Bank, has raised serious concerns about the distribution of wealth in the USA in particular and across the world in general in his latest book, quite provocatively yet aptly titled The Great Divide It is a compilation of articles written for The New York Times over the past seven years.The concept of income inequality is not a new one However, it has long been neglected by mainstream economists and policymakers Income inequality refers to the uneven distribution of wealth in a society which results in a widening gulf between the rich and the poor Stiglitz has explained that conservative economists have focused only on increasing the size of the economy or GDP The distribution of wealth was considered a question of politics despite having enormous economic implications This is why, Stiglitz states, that while GDP was growing, the incomes of most Americans were stagnating This stagnating income of the middle class meant stagnant demand, and that resulted in economic slowdown Therefore, according to Stiglitz, taxing the rich does not cause an economic slowdown, rather, stagnating incomes of the middle class cause economic slowdown This is how Stiglitz challenges the basic tenet of trickle down economics.The failure of market economies to fairly distribute wealth has caused several analysts, particularly those on the left of the politico economic spectrum, to question the very basis of the system, i.e capitalism On the eve of the global financial crisis that started in 2007, Marx s critique of capitalism was once again analysed thoroughly, in an attempt to find a cure for the ills which haunt our global economic model Such rethinking also gave rise to political agitations, such as in the form of the Occupy Wall Street movement The history of capitalism has been marred by successive recessions and a persistent existence of inequality in the distribution of wealth Stiglitz points out that, in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, hundreds of billions went to save the banks, and little went to help homeowners What sparked this rebellion on both academic and practical planes were the shocking statistics revealed by economic measures Hence, the global rallying for capitalism v2.0 was not as much ideologically motivated as it was grounded in economic data.Stiglitz has backed his arguments with hard facts The average wage of male high school leavers has declined by 12pc in the past 25 years, while CEOs salaries have swelled from 30 times the average worker s wage to 300 times The concern is not only limited to the historical comparison of the US s economy, it also extends to the decline of these measures in comparison to other global statistics The economic and employment prospects of top performing students from poor families in the US are now lower than those of the weakest performing students from families in the top economic quartile A bus with some 85 billionaires has as much wealth as the bottom half of the world s population, some three billion people.Comparing the economic performance of USA with China, Stiglitz states that China moved some 500 million out of poverty over the same period that stagnation seized America s middle class Further, he informs readers that we USA had become the advanced country with the highest level of inequality, and we had among the lowest levels of equality of opportunity Keeping in mind the prevailing politico economic system, it was Stiglitz who, in a Vanity Fair essay in 2011, coined the catchphrase of the 1pc, by the 1pc, for the 1pc , which aptly encompasses his main contentions.Stiglitz has argued that successive governments in the US have not only been complicit in worsening the situation but that, through their fiscal and monetary policies, they have actively contributed towards it Big businesses, large banks, and financial regulators have also collaborated with these administrations.Stiglitz s efforts to popularise these economic issues did not begin with this book In his 2012 book, The Price of Inequality, he introduced concepts such as the 99pc and the 1pc Popular awareness of these issues, in Stiglitz s opinion, is the first step towards solving them Following this trend, a number of books on the subject have been penned by other contemporary economists One such book is Thomas Piketty s Capital in the Twenty First Century, a remarkable treatise which became an unlikely bestseller Everyone now understands that a large percentage of wealth is amassed by the elite class and that the gap between rich and poor is widening day by day.Stiglitz is not just a doomsday prophet He has, along with criticising the current economic policies, suggested remedial measures too He vehemently states that widening and deepening inequality is not driven by immutable economic laws, but by laws we have written ourselves His central message is that any government can address the issue of inequality by astutely utilising the economic tools on hand such as finding the right placement for the burden of taxation, effective monitoring and regulation of financial institutions, investing in human resources to gain long term benefits, providing for the essential needs of its citizens, etc Moreover, he cites the example of free university education introduced in Mauritius which, according to him, should also be adopted by the US.The central theme of the book is also relevant to the economic issues and policy making in Pakistan Although Pakistan s GDP has been increasing over the last 25 years, a larger share of income is concentrated in the hands of a few According to figures released by the government, the reported income of the richest 20pc of households has been almost 7pc higher than the poorest 20pc households over the last 25 years To improve this situation, important lessons can be learnt from the ideas proposed by Stiglitz We need to create a fairer economic regime and a political system that treats everyone equally.The strength of this book is that although it has been written for the layperson, it addresses such issues in a way that can be useful to economists and policymakers as well Stiglitz weaves his narrative in an easy to comprehend style The central message of the book is very clear the level of inequality in America is not inevitable it is not the result of inexorable laws of economics It is a matter of policies and politics Sorry, I cannot recommend this book First, if you re looking for scholarship, this is not it Rather it is nearly totally a collection of newspaper columns and of course we cannot expect good references for those Some of them are many years old and clearly outdated There is a little additional information some of which is documented but very little.Another problem I find bothersome is that the book lacks an index That, for a non fiction book, is a major offense.The author assumes, with some Sorry, I cannot recommend this book First, if you re looking for scholarship, this is not it Rather it is nearly totally a collection of newspaper columns and of course we cannot expect good references for those Some of them are many years old and clearly outdated There is a little additional information some of which is documented but very little.Another problem I find bothersome is that the book lacks an index That, for a non fiction book, is a major offense.The author assumes, with some but not nearly enough reasoning, that disparity between the top and bottom of the income levels is a major problem In a country where most of the poor have air conditioning, big screen TVs, cars, cell phones etc that is a bit much Clearly most of us would prefer to see the poor get good jobs and take themselves out of poverty However his assumption that government can do that for them is questionable at best.Stiglitz correctly points out the education problem among the poor However he fails to even mention any possible cause other than money Broken families abetted by the war on poverty that subsidized single motherhood , crime, and the ghetto idea that getting an education is acting white all go unmentioned.This is clearly a statist publication, assuming that government should fix all our problems Stiglitz ignores any non government ideas that would fix the problem Worse, the author comes close to outright lying in some cases For example, he several times refers to the Bush tax cut for the rich That was a general tax cut, including a major increase in child credit which primarily benefited the lower and middle classes He also lists tax cuts in absolute dollars rather than percentages There is no way to give the middle class a tax cut in dollars as great as for those withmoney since they do not pay that much in taxes in the first place He also claims that the scientists and venture capitalists who support technology advances do not get much money for their contributions That is completely false, most get stock options or other ownership, many enough to become quite wealthy I know because I worked in that industry and got some of those options He also criticizes speculation but venture capital is speculation, and helps the economy a great deal He fails to discriminate between that type of speculation and the speculation some banks engaged in which did cause problems The book is a collection of Stiglitz s writings in popular media My low ratings owe mainly to the repetitiveness of the main themes and arguments in various chapters It gets very boring to read Sectional introductions are written pretty well and reading just them is sufficient in my opinion the chapters don t add much value after the sectional introductions