inequality

In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well, Richard Florida argues in The New Urban Crisis. Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement in his groundbreaking The Rise of the Creative Class, demonstrates how the same forces that power the growth of the world's superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality.

Richard Florida is University Professor and Director of Cities at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and Distinguished Fellow at NYU's Schack Institute of Real Estate. He is Senior Editor at The Atlantic, editor-at-large for The Atlantic's CityLab, and founder of the Creative Class Group.

Why did Donald Trump follow Barack Obama into the White House? Why is America so polarized? And how does American exceptionalism explain these social changes?

In Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other, Mugambi Jouet describes why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues, including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, gender roles, abortion, gay rights, sex, gun control, mass incarceration, the death penalty, torture, human rights, and war. Raised in Paris by a French mother and Kenyan father, Jouet then lived in the Bible Belt, Manhattan, and beyond.

While exceptionalism once was a source of strength, it may now spell decline, as unique features of U.S. history, politics, law, culture, religion, and race relations foster grave conflicts. Exceptional America dissects the American soul, in all of its peculiar, clashing, and striking manifestations.

Keith Payne is a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an international leader in the psychology of inequality and discrimination. His research has been featured in The Atlantic and The New York Times, and on NPR, and he has written for Scientific American and Psychology Today.

Today’s inequality is on a scale that none of us has seen in our lifetimes, yet this disparity between rich and poor has ramifications that extend far beyond mere financial means. In The Broken Ladder, Payne examines how inequality divides us not just economically, but also has profound consequences for how we think, how our cardiovascular systems respond to stress, how our immune systems function, and how we view moral ideas such as justice and fairness.

Veteran health journalist Mary Otto looks inside America’s mouth, revealing unsettling truths about our unequal society.

Her new book, Teeth, takes readers on a disturbing journey into America’s silent epidemic of oral disease, exposing the hidden connections between tooth decay and stunted job prospects, low educational achievement, social mobility, and the troubling state of our public health.

Mary Otto is the oral health topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists. She began writing about oral health at the Washington Post, where she worked for eight years covering social issues including health care and poverty. 

In his new book, A Generation of Sociopaths, author Bruce Cannon Gibney looks to show how America was hijacked by Baby Boomers, a generation, he believes, whose reckless self-indulgence degraded the foundations of American prosperity. A former partner in a leading venture capital firm, Gibney examines the policies of the most powerful generation in modern history, saying Boomers enriched themselves at the expense of future generations.

Gibney says acting without empathy, prudence, or respect for facts--acting, in other words, as sociopaths--the Boomers turned American dynamism into stagnation, inequality, and bipartisan fiasco. Gibney argues that younger generations have a window to hold the Boomers accountable and begin restoring America.

Bruce Gibney is a writer and venture capitalist, working at a hedge fund and as a partner at one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture firms, Founders Fund. 

In a collection of essays entitled We Gon' Be Alright, acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, Who We Be) takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country.

Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, passionately personal writing, and distinguished cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism.

Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity.

  Runaway inequality is now America’s most critical economic fact of life. In 1970, the ratio of pay between the top 100 CEOs and the average worker was 45 to 1. Today it is a shocking 829 to one! During that time a new economic philosophy set in that cut taxes, deregulated finance, and trimmed social spending. Those policies set in motion a process that greatly expanded the power of financial interests to accelerate inequality. But how exactly does that happen?

In Runaway Inequality, Les Leopold explains the process by which corporation after corporation falls victim to systematic wealth extraction by banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds. It reveals how financial strip-mining puts enormous downward pressure on jobs, wages, benefits, and working conditions, while boosting the incomes of financial elites.

How has America become the most unequal advanced country in the world? And what can we do about it? In the new book The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them, Joseph Stiglitz expands on the diagnosis he offered in his book The Price of Inequality and suggests ways to counter America’s growing problem. 

The Nobel Prize Winning Economist and the best-selling author, Joseph Stiglitz, joins The Roundtable this morning.

Herbert London: The Inequality Hoax

Jan 22, 2014

The continued refrain from the Obama administration is that they are engaged in a struggle against inequality. This may sound good for the denizens of class warfare, but in fact, it is a claim without substance.