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Unjust Deserts: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance Hardcover – October 17, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Unjust Deserts reveals the untold story of wealth creation in our time. - Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed; and Chuck Collins, Director of Inequality and the Common Good
The viewpoint presented in this important and provocative book should alter the current public discourse on income distribution. - Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, 1972
Their timely, deftly argued book redefines our vision of the common good. - Jacob S. Hacker, Professor of Political Science, Yale University
This is one of the most original and most intelligent works on economic justice I have read in many years. - Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan and Professor of History, Georgetown University
...deeply informed and carefully argued study of the social and historical factors that enter into creative achievement… - Noam Chomsky
Unjust Deserts is an elegant work of moral philosophy… - James K. Galbraith, Professor of Government, The University of Texas at Austin
Agree or disagree, you will see the world differently after you have read this book. - William A. Galston, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
The moral conclusion is unmistakable: society itself is the source of wealth, and all of us deserve an equal share. - Howard Zinn
...authors strike upon a vital topic when they highlight the need for the benefits from productivity gains to be shared… (Mark Engler - The Nation)
Deliciously subversive. The authors lace their narrative with fascinating asides… and statistics that give their story plenty of dramatic oomph. (Too Much)
More About the Author
More information at http://garalperovitz.com
Top Customer Reviews
carefully documenting how technology and knowledge generally are cumulative over time, so that inventors or enterpreneurs stand on the shoulders of the entire history of their predecessors and make only a small marginal contribution to innovation. If the authors had a sense of humor, they might have entitled the book: "You Don't Learn Less".
In format, the book reads like a cross between a doctoral dissertation chapter reviewing the relevant literature and a legal brief. The authors want to convince readers of their thesis that the accumulated resources in technology , infrastructure, education, dissemination, et al are in effect a free lunch for would-be innovators. To make sure we understand this fairly obvious point, they assiduously mention almost everyone, especially Nobel Prize winners, who ever had a similar or supporting thought, not unlike a legal brief citing any previous case with a supportive or even tangential holding. I felt I was being submitted to an intellectual bludgeoning when they pretty much had me at hello.
The corollary to their main thesis is since society has produced most of the necessary conditions for innovation, society, not the innovator, should get most of the recompense. Since this is the most controversial part, I wish the authors had spent more time addressing possible objections. Their one foray into this terrain is to observe that our highest growth rate in US history was obtained with a top marginal tax rate of 91%, but the concern about curtailing incentives runs deeper and broader.Read more ›
Wealth disparity between the upper two percent and the remaining population has never been greater. A US nation of masters and serfs is at hand unless wealth concentration is drastically reduced. Outrageous amounts of monetary payments from executive compensation, capital gains, estate inheritance, and other sources to the already super rich have thrown any semblance of economic rationale out the window.
In this book Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly clearly explain why monetary distribution is so lopsided and hubris rules. They explain the injustice of wealth distribution and how it can be eliminated to get the US back on an even keel so all citizens have a shot at a decent life. Surprises abound in this book and make for exciting reading. If you have always been bored by economics, that will not happen here. Every page contains a new revelation and is understandable.
This book is part of the spearhead for economic change in the US. It will not disappoint those who seek to renew this country and its promise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This gave me a new way of thinking about income inequality. I wish everyone would read it. Especially those who think that they deserve to be rich.Published on December 9, 2013 by Frank Rosekrans
This book offers up a valuable potential `society changing' idea whose time has come. Read more
This is very well stated Communist doctrine. It's basically a justification of Proudhon's "Property is theft", stating the theoretical underpinnings for the attack on property... Read morePublished on October 16, 2012 by Gderf
From the press release for this book:
"Drawing on cutting-edge research as well as their knowledge of philosophy and economics, Alperovitz and Daly prove that up to 90%... Read more
This book ignores the reality that some people dedicate their lives and energies to tapping into this knowledge and then building upon it or transcending beyond it with new... Read morePublished on May 29, 2009 by B. Wink
"desert, n. . . . (often plural) deserved reward or punishment: as, he got his just deserts." So please get on to real critiques.Published on March 16, 2009 by Arista
First for those who attack the authors for misspelling 'deserts' need to get educated. The word 'deserts', in the sense of 'things deserved' has been used in English since at... Read morePublished on March 15, 2009 by BookWORM
I was beginning to think I was crazy... that I really didn't know the difference between desert and dessert...so thank you for confirming my observation. Read morePublished on March 15, 2009 by Striving for Excellence
It's Desserts. Not deserts. Deserts have cacti and sand. Desserts have that if you're a really bad cook, but I digress. This is a little embarrassing. Read morePublished on March 15, 2009 by Angular Velocity