Toxic Inequality

How America's Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future

Author: Thomas M. Shapiro

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465094872

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 2937

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From a leading authority on race and public policy, a deeply researched account of how families rise and fall today Since the Great Recession, most Americans' standard of living has stagnated or declined. Economic inequality is at historic highs. But inequality's impact differs by race; African Americans' net wealth is just a tenth that of white Americans, and over recent decades, white families have accumulated wealth at three times the rate of black families. In our increasingly diverse nation, sociologist Thomas M. Shapiro argues, wealth disparities must be understood in tandem with racial inequities--a dangerous combination he terms "toxic inequality." In Toxic Inequality, Shapiro reveals how these forces combine to trap families in place. Following nearly two hundred families of different races and income levels over a period of twelve years, Shapiro's research vividly documents the recession's toll on parents and children, the ways families use assets to manage crises and create opportunities, and the real reasons some families build wealth while others struggle in poverty. The structure of our neighborhoods, workplaces, and tax code-much more than individual choices-push some forward and hold others back. A lack of assets, far more common in families of color, can often ruin parents' careful plans for themselves and their children. Toxic inequality may seem inexorable, but it is not inevitable. America's growing wealth gap and its yawning racial divide have been forged by history and preserved by policy, and only bold, race-conscious reforms can move us toward a more just society. "Everyone concerned about the toxic effects of inequality must read this book."--Robert B. Reich "This is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read on economic inequality in the US."--William Julius Wilson
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Making Education Work for the Poor

The Potential of Children's Savings Accounts

Author: Willliam Elliott,Melinda Lewis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190621583

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 1951

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Making Education Work for the Poor identifies wealth inequality as the gravest threat to the endangered American Dream. Though studies have clearly illustrated that education is the primary path to upward mobility, today, educational outcomes are more directly determined by wealth than innate ability and exerted effort. This accounting directly contradicts Americans' understanding of the promise the American Dream is supposed to offer: a level playing field and a path towards a more profitable future. In this book, the authors share their own stories of their journeys through the unequal U.S. education system. One started from relative privilege and had her way to prosperity paved and her individual efforts augmented by institutional and structural support. The other grew up in poverty and had to fight against currents to complete higher education, only to find his ability to profit from that degree compromised by student debt. To directly counter wealth inequality and make education the 'great equalizer' that Americans believe it to be, this book calls for a revolution in financial aid policy, from debt dependence to asset empowerment. The book examines the evidence base supporting Children's Savings Accounts, including CSAs' demonstrated potential to improve children's outcomes all along the 'opportunity pipeline': early education, school achievement, college access and completion, and post-college financial health. It then outlines a policy that builds on CSAs to incorporate a sizable, progressive wealth transfer. This new policy, Opportunity Investment Accounts, is framed as the cornerstone of the wealth-building agenda the nation needs in order to salvage the American Dream. Written by leading CSA researchers, the book includes overviews of the major children's savings legislation proposed in Congress and the key features of prominent CSA programs in operation around the country today, as well as new qualitative and quantitative CSA research. The book ultimately presents a critical development of the theories that, together, explain how universal, progressive, asset-based education financing could make education work equitably for all American children.
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A Few Thousand Dollars

Sparking Prosperity for Everyone

Author: Robert E. Friedman

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1620974045

Category: Political Science

Page: 326

View: 1697

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A guide to making the U.S. economy work for everyone, by a leading advocate of asset development The majority of Americans do not have a few thousand dollars to weather an unexpected illness, job loss, or accident. Most Americans, including 80 percent of people of color, are locked out of the mainstream economy, unable to add their talents, work, and dreams, unable to share in the bounty of this economy. Without a nest egg most Americans cannot invest in their future—and the future of our country—through saving, entrepreneurship, education, and homeownership. We can—and we should—do better. Longtime leader in the field of asset-building Robert E. Friedman demonstrates how a few simple policy changes would address wealth inequality—and build a better economy and a stronger country for us all. In six sharp, compelling chapters, accented by sixteen original black-and-white illustrations by Rohan Eason that present the realities of income and asset inequality and explain the needed policy interventions, Friedman addresses savings, business, education, home, and prosperity to articulate a vision for making inclusive investments without spending an additional dollar, just by transforming tax subsidies for the wealthy few into seeds for prosperity for everyone. This is an investment with a huge return: the redemption of the American promise of prosperity for all.
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Diversity in the Power Elite

Ironies and Unfulfilled Promises

Author: Richard L. Zweigenhaft,G. William Domhoff

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1538103389

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 6324

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Diversity in the Power Elite examines the diversity that exists—and doesn’t exist—among America’s powerful people. Revised and updated throughout, the third edition contrasts profound changes, such as the election of Barack Obama and the growing acceptance of LGBTQ people, with the stark reality that little diversity exists in many circles of power.
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American Exceptionalism and American Innocence

A People's History of Fake News—From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror

Author: Roberto Sirvent,Danny Haiphong

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1510742379

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 7652

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Did the U.S. really “save the world” in World War II? Should black athletes stop protesting and show more gratitude for what America has done for them? Are wars fought to spread freedom and democracy? Or is this all fake news? American Exceptionalism and American Innocence examines the stories we’re told that lead us to think that the U.S. is a force for good in the world, regardless of slavery, the genocide of indigenous people, and the more than a century’s worth of imperialist war that the U.S. has wrought on the planet. Sirvent and Haiphong detail just what Captain America’s shield tells us about the pretensions of U.S. foreign policy, how Angelina Jolie and Bill Gates engage in humanitarian imperialism, and why the Broadway musical Hamilton is a monument to white supremacy.
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Aging A-Z

Concepts Toward Emancipatory Gerontology

Author: Carroll L. Estes,Nicholas B. DiCarlo

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429619588

Category: Social Science

Page: 396

View: 2548

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This provocative, intellectually charged treatise serves as a concise introduction to emancipatory gerontology, examining multiple dimensions of persistent and hotly debated topics around aging, the life course, the roles of power, politics and partisanship, culture, economics, and communications. Critical perspectives are presented as definitions for reader understanding, with links to concepts of identity, knowledge construction, social networks, social movements, and inequalities. With today’s intensifying concentration of wealth and corporatization, precarity is the fate for growing numbers of the world’s population. Intersectionality as an analytic concept offers a new appreciation of how social advantage and disadvantage accumulate, and how constructions of race, ethnicity, class, ability, and gender influence aging. The book’s entries offer a bibliographic compendium, crediting the salience of early pioneering theorists and locating these within the cutting-edge of research (social, behavioral, policy, and gene–environment sciences) that currently advances our understandings of human development, trauma, and resilience. Accompanying these foundations are theories of resistance for advancing human rights and the dignity of marginalized populations.
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