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99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality Is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do about It Paperback – April 9, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1609945923 ISBN-10: 1609945921 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (April 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609945921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609945923
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity, co-authored with Felice Yeskel and Wealth and Our Commonwealth, a case for taxing inherited fortunes, which he co-authored with Bill Gates, Sr. He is co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, a network of business leaders, high-income households and other partners working together to promote shared prosperity and fair taxation, as well as co-founder of United for a Fair Economy (UFE), which works to raise the profile of wealth inequality.


More About the Author

Chuck Collins is author of 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It (www.99to1book.org). He is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good (www.inequality.org). He is cofounder of Wealth for the Common Good (www.wealthforcommongood.org), a national network of business leaders and high net worth individuals concerned about shared prosperity and fair taxation. He is a national expert on economic inequality, tax policy, corporate power and class privilege and power. He lives in Boston, Mass.

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Customer Reviews

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mal Warwick on March 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Leave it to a scrappy little San Francisco publishing house to be first out of the gate with a primer on the central lesson to be learned from the Occupy Wall Street movement: that the disparity in wealth (not income) between the 99% and the 1% is the most significant economic fact about the U.S. today. Most books spring from the minds of authors, who in turn seek out publishers, but Berrett-Koehler has a long history of identifying themes and issues that cry out for analysis -- and then finding the authors to take them on. In Chuck Collins, one of the nation's leading scholars and activists on the topic of wealth inequality, Berrett-Koehler struck paydirt.

In 99 to 1, Collins lucidly spotlights the terrible price we all pay for the massive imbalance in wealth between today's haves and have-nots. He surveys U.S. economic history, drawing a parallel between the Gilded Age of the 1890s through the 1920s and the current era, beginning in the late 1970s -- both of them periods when the disparity of wealth grew to unprecedented proportions. Collins explains the political dynamics that gave rise to today's wealth disparity, identifying those responsible as the "rule-riggers" among the 1%, chiefly the leaders of Wall Street-based financial institutions and of the transnational corporations they finance as well as a small number of the individuals who are benefiting the most from the current economic regime.

"In a nutshell," Collins writes, "(1) the rules of the economy have been changed to benefit asset owners at the expense of wage earners, and (2) these rule changes have benefited global corporations at the expense of local businesses.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joshua P. OConner VINE VOICE on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Chuck Collins release of 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality Is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do about It comes on the heels of the Occupy Wall Street movement which gained mainstream notoriety throughout the press. 99 to 1 seeks to explore the concepts of inequality as well as their origins and how inequality impacts us as a society today. In other words, it provides a more in-depth exploration of the gross disparities that the Occupy movement highlighted within the American economic system.

Collins delivers an informative glance into the issues of wealth, power, and influence within the United States while avoiding the opportunity to engage in rhetoric and blame. 99 to 1 examines what wealth is and how it has become such a pervasive and defining element within both our social and political systems today. Personally I found myself gravitating toward Collins' non-accusatory writing style.

Interestingly one of the major facets of Collins's book is how wealth has become the key to influence within our modern political system. As we've all expected, political contributions appear to purchase influence and those who have lots of money to throw at politics typically gain a level of direct access that's unavailable to us. It's not necessarily any one dramatic revelation within the book that makes it worth the read, but rather Collins' well-referenced discussion that really drives home the audacity of wealth.

Collins wraps things up with some specific recommendations regarding reform and the 1%. As one might imagine, they're not altogether palatable if you're a member of a 1%, but the reality of the situation is that we can't continue to engage in rhetoric which avoids directly addressing the advantages that the 1% has within the current system.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David H. Gleason on April 2, 2012
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Chuck Collin's new book is clear, concise and expertly presented. His knowledge of the field of inequality is encyclopedic, yet he distills his message into a short, readable presentation. Documented with extensive references and data, his message couldn't be more straightforward or timely - if we want a civil society, we must figure out a way to balance the use of our resources. Never one to boast, Chuck puts the action back into the hands of the citizen. He does not judge and is not naive about the value of profitability. He is not radical, nor does he vilify the wealthy. Rather, he points to specific ways in which we can resolve the core issues of our economy that would work for everyone. Both scholarly and poignant, this is a must read for anyone seeking solutions to inequity in our society.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard H. Burkhart on October 6, 2012
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This book uses an easy-to-read format to lay out the essential facts that citizens need to know about the devastating causes and effects inequality. Collins describes the "rule riggers" among the 1%, what they do, and how they do it (taxes, monopolies, political and media influence, even "charity").

Then he tells what this does to the 99% - how it harms health, social mobility, public services, economic growth, and more. Then there's the Wall Street and corporate CEO racket to swindle investors and citizens for the really big bucks. Yet the Occupy Movement demonstrates the possibility of a real power shift. Our leaders will follow if we build a strong enough social movement, and we have allies even among the 1%, globally too.

Some choice quotes: "The richest 400 taxpayers have seen their effective tax rates decline from over 40% in 1961 to 18.% in 2010. " "Between 2001 and 2010 the United States borrowed almost $1 trillion to give tax breaks to the 1%." "The wealth of the bottom 60% of population has declined since 1983." "By 2007 an estimated 40% or corporate profits came from the financial sector." "Billionaires move from compound to compound, with servants flying ahead to prepare for dinner parties and other seasonal activities." "Only 3% of charitable contributions from private foundations are given to projects that address poverty alleviation and the root causes of social problems." "The mega-corporations of Wall Street fund a network of pro-free-market think tanks, research organizations advocacy groups, and associations such as the US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable that have armies of lobbyists and public relations firms." "Corporations that are built to last versus built to loot." "The inequality death spiral."
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