If there was any question before, there is no longer a question today: inequality, discrimination, poverty, and mobility are prominent national issues. The notion of "The American Dream" has been sold to generations of young Americans as the idea that working hard and following your dreams will allow you to break through any barriers in your path and inevitably lead to success. However, recent findings on inequality, discrimination, poverty, and mobility show that "The American Reality" is very different.
The second edition of this introductory-level text brings together the essential materials on what economists have to say about these findings and brings students up to date with current thinking. It covers several ground-shattering events, such as: the election of Barack Obama followed by Donald Trump; the passage of the Affordable Care Act and attempts to repeal it; and the publication of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, among many others. With an emphasis on data, theory, and policy, this book tackles these issues by exploring three key questions in each chapter: What do the data tell us about what has been happening to the American economy? What are the economic theories needed to understand what has been happening? What are the policy ideas and controversies associated with these economic problems?
Key controversies are highlighted in each chapter to drive classroom discussion, and end-of-chapter questions develop student understanding. This clearly written text is ideally suited to a wide variety of courses on contemporary economic conditions, inequality, and social economics in the United States.
Table of Contents
Preface to First Edition
Preface to Second Edition
Part I Inequality
Chapter One The Pie and How We Slice It
Chapter Two Labor’s Slice of the Pie
Chapter Three The Foundations of Labor’s Slice
Chapter Four The Slices of Capital, Land, and Entrepreneurship
Chapter Five Labor Markets That Do Not Clear
Chapter Six Slicing the Pie in a Nondiscriminatory Pure Market Economy
Chapter Seven Equalizing the Slices
Chapter Eight How Big A Slice Do We Deserve?
Part II Discrimination
Chapter Nine Does the Slice We Receive Depend on Our Race, Gender, Ethnicity, etc.?
Chapter Ten Detecting and Measuring Discrimination
Chapter Eleven Reducing the Impact of Discrimination on How the Pie is Sliced
Part III Poverty
Chapter Twelve A Slice Too Small
Chapter Thirteen Making Small Slices Larger
Part IV Mobility
Chapter Fourteen How the Size of a Slice Changes Over a Career
Chapter Fifteen How the Size of a Slice Changes from Generation to Generation
Chapter Sixteen The Accumulation, Distribution, and Transfer of Wealth
Chapter Seventeen Equalizing and Enlarging the Slices