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For over thirty years, we've lived through a radical redistribution of wealth upward, to a tiny fraction of the population. It's as though we're undertaking a bizarre social experiment to see how much inequality a democratic society can tolderate.
As a result "We are the 99%," the rallying cry of the Occupy movement, has spread far beyond its ranks. But who are the 99 percent? Who are the 1 percent? How extensive and systematic is inequality throughout society? What are its true causes and consequences? How is inequality changing our world? And what can be done about it?
For many years, Chuck Collins has been a leading voice and activist on these questions. In this book he marshals wide-ranging data from a variery of sources to paint a graphic picture of how disparities in wealth and power play out in America and the world. For the first time, this book reveals the concrete meaning of "the 99% and the 1%," looking not just at individual households but at the business world, the media, and the earth as a whole.
Collins identifies the shifts in social values, political power, and economic policy that have led to our current era of extreme inequality particularly the way Wall Street has managed to rig the rules of the game in favor of the 1 percent and surveys the havoc inequality has wreaked on virtually every aspect of society. But there is hope. Not only does he offer common-sense proposals for closing the inequality gap, but Collins provides a guide to many of the groups including some made up of millionaires that are working to bring about a society that works for everybody: for the 100 percent. This is a struggle that can be won. After all, the odd are 99 to 1 in our favor.
About the Author
Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and directs IPS's Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is an expert on U.S. inequality and author of several books, including Economic Apartheid in America, co-authored with Felice Yeskel. He co-authored with Bill Gates Sr. Wealth and Our Commonwealth, a case for taxing inherited fortunes. He is co-author with Mary Wright of The Moral Measure of Our Economy, a book about Christian ethics and economic life.
He is co-founder of Wealth For The Common Good, a network of business leaders, high-income households and partners working together to promote shared prosperity and fair taxation.