There is enormous inequality between the income and wealth of the richest 1 percent and all other Americans. While the top 1 percent own 42 percent of all wealth in America, the lower half on the income ladder has only 2 percent of all of the wealth. This book develops a viewpoint contrary to the prevailing conservative paradigm, setting out both reasons for this inequality and the impact of this.
To explain inequality, conservative economists focus on individual characteristics such as intelligence and hard work. This book puts forward new evidence to show that changes in economic inequality are primarily due to characteristics inherent in the standard operation of capitalist institutions. Furthermore, the authors seek to explain the cycle of boom and bust by considering political and social factors often overlooked by conservative economists. This book also explores how wealth influences political policies in a way that increases economic inequality even more than its present level.
Through analysis of American political and economic institutions, Inequality, Boom, and Bust presents concrete steps for an activist, progressive policy to greatly reduce inequality through free healthcare, free higher education, and reduced unemployment.
"Howard Sherman brings his full set of skills and experience to bear in providing this unique perspective on the issue of inequality in the US economy, focusing on the link between rising inequality and increasing instability. Inequality, Booms and Busts fills a significant gap in the literature on political economy." - Robert Pollin, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
About the Authors, Prologue, Chapter 1. Evolution of capitalism, inequality, and unemployment, Chapter 2. Evolution of inequality and unemployment in America, Chapter 3. Storm over economics, Chapter 4. Inequality and the normal operation of American capitalism, Chapter 5. Unemployment and inequality, Chapter 6. Profit, investment, and inequality, Chapter 7. How boom and bust affects inequality, Chapter 8. How inequality affects consumer demand, Chapter 9. Credit, bubble, and bust, Chapter 10. Government: economic inequality and political inequality, Chapter 11. Global capitalism, inequality, and crisis, Chapter 12. Story of the inequality cycle, Chapter 13. The great recession and inequality, Chapter 14. Financial crisis and inequality, Chapter 15. A progressive road to economic equality and full employment, Technical appendix: model of the inequality cycle, Procedural appendix: measuring business cycles in the 21st century