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Chapter by chapter, he summarizes the consensus among liberal economists and thinkers about the prime factors that have created the staggering wealth inequality that exists in present day America. Starting aroundthis divergence of wealth as opposed to the Great Compression of has become an increasingly challenging political grenade.
He is a fine journalist and his analysis is not wrong. The taxation, globalization, and decline of unions chapters are fine if somewhat cursory. And, as many reviewers have mentioned, the last chapter is devoted to solutions to the crisis.
I once read about something called the "Chapter Ten Problem. At the end, they feel the book cannot be complete unless they offer some kind of proposed solutions. Well, this book has a Chapter Ten Problem. Substantially raise taxes on the rich.
Somehow revitalize the labor movement. Allow more skilled immigrants into the country.
Noah himself admits that his solutions are politically impossible to achieve in the present environment. If Noah is going to suggest politically impossible solutions, he might as well have considered more radical solutions.
The Great Divergence does the job it sets out to do. But rather than submitting to the "soft bigotry of low expectations," I have to say I expected more.
Noah identifies various reasons for the growing income gap. First he dispenses with the factors that have had little effect. Despite race and gender inequality the Black-White income gap has actually not increased and the male- female wage gap has actually shrunk by nearly half.
There is also little evidence that immigration harms the economic interests of native-born Americans: Computers and automation have eliminated some middle wage jobs but they also create new jobs so technology cannot be blamed. The effect of international trade is negligible but might still be a contributing factor.
Noah shows how each of these elements may have had a small effect but points to other factors that have had a larger effect: What makes the book such a bracing read is that Noah retains a health skepticism towards any single theory for rising wealth inequality. He shares research on either side of each argument, which makes this book a worthwhile read for both liberals and conservatives.The Great Divergence: Book summary and reviews of The Great Divergence by Timothy Noah.
The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It, by Timothy Noah (Bloomsbury, pp., $25) Not long ago, a former colleague asked me to recommend the best. Content Posted in PDF. Securities Law Developments. PDF.
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Great Divergence primary themes and main arguments by Timothy Noah Great Divergence: primary themes and main arguments by Timothy Noah Introduction The most striking change in American society in the past generation roughly since Ronald Reagan was elected President has been the increase in the inequality of income and .
Timothy’s answers are extensive and elaborate; the caliph is, from time to time, reduced to putting crisp and short questions and, even when Timothy’s answers are patently uncomprehensible or in need of clarification, Timothy’s “caliph” is kept silent. What educated people from poor countries make of the “brain drain” argument.
A better understanding of the Great Divergence would help to refine some received economic wisdom.