What Can Be Done?

Book - 2015
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Inequality is one of our most urgent social problems. Curbed in the decades after World War II, it has recently returned with a vengeance. We all know the scale of the problem-talk about the 99% and the 1% is entrenched in public debate-but there has been little discussion of what we can do but despair. According to the distinguished economist Anthony Atkinson, however, we can do much more than skeptics imagine.

Atkinson has long been at the forefront of research on inequality, and brings his theoretical and practical experience to bear on its diverse problems. He presents a comprehensive set of policies that could bring about a genuine shift in the distribution of income in developed countries. The problem, Atkinson shows, is not simply that the rich are getting richer. We are also failing to tackle poverty, and the economy is rapidly changing to leave the majority of people behind. To reduce inequality, we have to go beyond placing new taxes on the wealthy to fund existing programs. We need fresh ideas. Atkinson thus recommends ambitious new policies in five areas: technology, employment, social security, the sharing of capital, and taxation. ‎ He defends these against the common arguments and excuses for inaction: that intervention will shrink the economy, that globalization makes action impossible, and that new policies cannot be afforded.

More than just a program for change, Atkinson's book is a voice of hope and informed optimism about the possibilities for political action.

Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2015.
ISBN: 9780674504769
Characteristics: xi, 384 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Oct 11, 2018

I always experience a quick, sinking feeling when I read a book which contains quotations from the Pew Research Center, and the University of Chicago and, God help us, Harvard's Martin Feldstein [who gave us endless bunkum from the NBER, of which he is an emeritus person - - Feldstein was a director of AIG/Financial Products group - those dudes who sold $480 billion worth of credit default swaps {insurance scam devices} with a potential payout of between $20 trillion to $40 trillion, which was why the US gov't took over AIG, if you'll recall - - Feldstein was also a director of Eli Lilly when they were hit with the then-largest historic penalty fine for illegal marketing of wrong drugs - - Feldstein was a director at HCA when they made the then-largest historic out-of-court settlement for Medicare/Medicaid fraud - - so I do not consider Harvard's Martin Feldstein a quotable source for anything, other than how he continues to avoid prison time!].
The problem with these non-informative types is that the answer is infinitely simple: concentration of ownership. We hear [at least I certainly have] endless USELESS shows on radio/TV and online about the high costs of healthcare yet - - NEVER - - does anyone ever mention the major three causes? Now isn't that most peculiar? [They are (1) concentration of ownership, the top 10 to 50 healthcare insurance companies and biopharmaceutical corps all have the same majority shareholders - - the Big Four: BlackRock, Vanguard Group, State Street and Fidelity {FMR}; (2) private equity leveraged buyouts across the healthcare sector; and (3) hedge fund speculation across the healthcare sector.]
It is that simple . . .
[And who are the majority shareholders of the top six banks: Duh!!!!! BlackRock, Vanguard Group, State Street and Fidelity!]
Yet we have an almost infinite supply of pseudo-econs who are unable to explain this?!?!


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