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The Great Divergence

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

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


For the past three decades, America has steadily become a nation of haves and have-nots. Our incomes are increasingly unequal. This steady growing apart is often mentioned as a troubling indicator by scholars and policy analysts, though seldom addressed by politicians. What economics Nobelist Paul Krugman terms "the Great Divergence" has till now been treated as little more than a talking point, a rhetorical club to be wielded in ideological battles. But this Great Divergence may be the most important change in this country during our lifetimes-a drastic, elemental change in the character of American society, and not at all for the better.

The inequality gap is much more than a left-right hot potato-its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration. Timothy Noah's The Great Divergence, based on his award-winning series of articles for Slate, surveys the roots of the wealth gap, drawing on the best thinking of contemporary economists and political scientists. Noah also explores potential solutions to the problem, and explores why the growing rich-poor divide has sparked remarkably little public anger, in contrast to social unrest that prevailed before the New Deal.

The Great Divergence is poised to be one of the most talked-about books of 2012, a jump-start to the national conversation about the shape of American society in the 21st century, and a work that will help frame the debate in a Presidential election year.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 27, 2012 – In this comprehensive, fair-minded, and lucid account, based on his award-winning articles for Slate, New Republic columnist Noah examines growing income inequality in the U.S., where for 33 years, the wealthy have acquired a growing share of the nation s income while the middle class saw its share shrink. Noah synthesizes work by economists, sociologists, and political scientists to explain the phenomenon to nonexperts. He shows how income inequality first came to be measured in the early 20th century, and relates the perspectives of scholars and politicians at a time when the share of the nation s income going to the wealthy either shrank or remained stable during the 1930s through the late 1970s, before powerfully reversing course in the 1980s. Noah studies the contributing factors (immigration, the shortage of better-educated workers, trade with low-wage nations, globalization, the fall of the labor movement, and government policy), and considers the vast changes in the corporate and financial industry that led to a grossly misshapen wage structure, where a CEO now makes 262 times more than the average worker. While this affects many industrialized democracies, income inequality is far greater in the U.S., resulting in a less upwardly mobile society. Noah makes a convincing and passionate case for why rising inequality harms a working democracy, and suggests sensible, though not always politically viable, solutions.
The Great Divergence
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Business & Personal Finance
  • Published: Apr 24, 2012
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Seller: INscribe Digital
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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