Shocking ‘Aftershock’ at top of must-reads

Published on Fresno Bee, by Donald Munro, December 16, 2010.

… I plowed through a lot of books since my last post, and a few titles really stand out for me. One is Robert Reich’s “Aftershock,” a political/economics commentary that hit the bestseller list, and I’m going to start with that at the top of my list. The upshot of this extremely depressing book: The inequity of income levels between the rich and poor in this country has reached its widest point since right before the Great Depression.  

Reich, the former secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton and an outspoken liberal economist, writes that the share of total income going to the richest 1% of Americans peaked in both 1928 and in 2007, at over 23%. Indeed, he writes, some economists are starting to wonder whether income inequality can cause depressions.

For a brief, glorious era after World War II, middle-class America actually made great strides, Reich writes. But in the past three decades, the middle class has been relentlessly eroded through the demise of progressive taxation, the outsourcing of American jobs, the explosion of pay on Wall Street and the refusal to invest in infrastructure … (full text).

Comments are closed.