Summary of 99 to 1

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Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Public Policy and the co-author of several books on social disparity, examines the overall scope of wealth inequality. He offers a history of how today’s economic situation evolved, makes an impassioned plea for deflating the superrich and provides a political prescription for economic equality. Collins occasionally indulges in over-the-top phrasing – for example, “the inequality death spiral.” This shows his genuine passion about the massive issue of wealth inequality, but perhaps he would be even more persuasive without the rhetorical flourishes. getAbstract recommends Collins’s book, even to those who may disagree, as an important portrait of crucial economic issues.

About the Author

Chuck Collins is the author or co-author of several books on economic inequality including Economic Apartheid in America with Felice Yeskel and Wealth and Our Commonwealth with Bill Gates Sr.



The Rich Get Richer

In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan implemented substantial tax reductions for the rich. Since then, the wealthiest 1% of Americans have become enormously richer. At the same time, everyone else (the 99%) has lost ground, including the once thriving US middle class.

From 1983 to 2009, the 1% realized more than 40% of all gains in wealth, and the 60% at the bottom became poorer. The combined wealth of the 400 richest people in the US (the Forbes 400) is more than the combined fortunes of the poorest 150 million Americans. The total wealth of the world’s richest 1% is $42.7 trillion, more than the aggregate worth of the world’s three billion poorest people. The 1% rigs the economic system so it will win – and everyone else will lose – in five ways:

  1. “Political influence” – Politicians serve those who contribute most heavily to their political campaigns. The 1% donates lavishly.
  2. “Charity sector influence” – Some people in the 1% make charitable donations to tax-exempt organizations that conduct lobbying to further the interests of the wealthy.
  3. “Media influence” – The 1% owns a large segment ...

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    a. A. 8 years ago
    Great read for those who wonder why Occupy Wall Street resonates with so many people. OWS need to make this book part of a platform for change in America.
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    R. D. 8 years ago