Stiglitz, Joseph - THE PRICE OF INEQUALITY:a political call to action in defense of equality and human rights.

http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/timothy-noah/great-diverg...

 

Increasing inequality in the United States stems from:

• breakdown of the country's political and economic systems,

• failure to hold bankers accountable for actions that contributed to the recent economic crisis,

• effects of technology,

• greed,

• absence of bank regulation.        

 

Consequences of current level of inequality: 

• increases instability,

• reduces productivity,

• undermines democracy,

• creates more inequality,

• exploits consumers through monopoly power,

• exploits borrowers through shady practices.

• creates monopolistic redistribution powerful enough to have caused massive distortions in the U.S. financial system.

 

This is still not the deeper problem, however. More fundamentally:

• people underestimate the problem of inequality;

• they fail to perceive the changes that are already underway.

 

There is a “bigger battle over perceptions and over big ideas,”

• a battle that uses persuasion, framing, misrepresentation and obfuscation.

 

“Changing course requires winning this battle for truth. In this way, equality, the rule of law and accountability, can be reestablished.”

~ Stiglitz

 

Views: 49

Replies to This Discussion

Tonya Wynn, you stated the problem correctly, people are invited to have credit cards who cannot afford them, many pay the minimum, thus going deeper and deeper into debt. Some don’t have a “Mama or Dada” or a bank to instruct them about compound interest and the true cost of things purchased with borrowed money. I don’t know if they didn’t pay attention in school or just ignored instruction, but even young people from moneyed families fall into this trap. Some are rescued; some are not. But the responsibility resides in the individual who signs the credit card slip.  Ignorance, carelessness, irresponsibility are no excuse for running a credit balance.

The banks have a responsibility in that they may not do an appropriate credit check, they may allow the debt to grow too large, and in the case of mortgages, it appears to be a deliberate plan to sell houses to people that can’t afford them and then foreclose when payments fall behind. The bank shares some responsibility for this. 

Poor nutrition, whether caused by ignorance, eating too many processed foods, or buying cheap foods and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables, or addiction to fats, sugars and salts, causes obesity, medical problems and expensive medical costs. Some “fool around” instead of understanding nutrition.

Yes, there are still fools who spend beyond their means. There are still employers who offer minimum wage or part time jobs with no benefits and there are still workers who failed to get an education to prepare for today’s economy.

With all the temptations to pass time on recreation, or sports, or TV, or movies, or whatever, it takes real dedication to set a course for employment training. Who is responsible for this situation? I guess there is enough blame to go around.

As a teacher training adults for employment and those who finally realized they needed to learn something and were dedicated to being their own motivator,  it was relatively easy to teach them.

I agree wholeheartedly with your statement:

“How many refuse to read up on gov't/law, yet bitch about the way things are...while running to watch stupid, trahy tv shows?  How many invest in companies/mutual funds without doing research and without staying up on it, routinely checking?  How many bitch about their medical costs, yet never study health?  If you are sick, who cares what kinda phone you have or what you watched on tv last night?”

 

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