A wake-up call on the new American inequality and what to do about it
Harvard economist Richard B. Freeman launches this provocative book with the idea that in equality is the one problem from which all crises in America flow. He contends that inequality-both economic and social-has become more brutal and pervasive in the last twenty years, and that it is now time to stop analyzing its causes and consequences and concentrate on doing something about it. Freeman offers real solutions: raising the income of the working class, reinvesting in cities, and reenergizing democratic institutions through the encouragement of local citizen organizations.
His argument is answered by distinguished activists, social scientists, and activists-James Tobin, Heidi Hartmann, Michael Piore, Frances Fox Piven, James Heckman, Ernesto Cortes, Jr., and Paul R. Krugman-in essays that heed and add depth to Freeman’s call. As they debate the limits of traditional solutions for inequality, all agree on one key prerequisite: A democracy can solve inequality only by living up to its name.
Spirited and engaging, this unique dialogue will serve as a guidebook for activists, students, and all interested in achieving a just society.
The New Democracy Forum is a series of short paperback originals exploring creative solutions to our most urgent national concerns. The series editors (for Boston Review), Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers, aim to foster politically engaged, intellectually honest, and morally serious debate about fundamental issues-both on and off the agenda of conventional politics.
“Beacon kicks off its New Democracy Forum series with a lively debate on tactics to reverse the two-decade trend toward a two-tiered society in the U.S. Provocative ideas, well worth debating.” -Booklist (January, 1999)