America’s richest 1
percent now holds more
wealth — over $2 trillion more — than
America’s entire bottom 90 percent.
Might America need a ‘maximum wage’?
FDR once thought so, and so
does Sam Pizzigati, the veteran labor journalist whose new Greed
and Good makes vividly
clear why inequality remains our nation’s most crushing
New York, N.Y.: A
century ago, Americans feared —and fought — the
towering concentrations of wealth they saw rising all around them.
Today, by contrast, our nation’s top elected leaders see
absolutely no reason to challenge, or hardly even discomfort, America’s
grand and growing concentrations of wealth.
That reluctance, Sam
Pizzigati argues in Greed and Good, his provocative new book
that has received
the American Library Association’s
highest review rating (Choice magazine, March 2005), endangers
Over recent years, academics and activists the world over have
generated a broad and often brilliant body of work that exposes
just how concentrated wealth is poisoning everything we hold dear,
from our health to our happiness, from our arts to our Earth.
In Greed and Good,
author Sam Pizzigati brings together this critically important
body of work, for the
first time ever inside
book, and builds upon it. His riveting pages make undeniably plain
the horrific price we pay for accepting, as an inevitable given,
“A generation ago, Michael Harrington’s The
Other America inspired an entire nation to face up to poverty,” notes Ward
Morehouse, the veteran social justice activist who directs The
Apex Press. “I believe Sam Pizzigati’s new Greed
and Good can make an equally stunning impact — on how America
contemplates concentrated wealth.”
Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming
the Inequality That Limits Our Lives takes readers on an eye-opening tour of nearly
every aspect of modern American life.
In the workplaces
where we labor and the communities where we live, author Pizzigati
helps us understand,
we feel the impact
each and every day. Our nation’s ever-widening gaps between
the wealthy and everyone else, he shows, are squeezing pride out
of our professions, pleasure out of our pastimes, even years out
of our lives.
This widening inequality, in return, offers us nothing significant
of value. Greed and Good dissects and demolishes the old saws that
apologists for inequality regularly trot out to justify the gaps
that divide us. These gaps, Sam Pizzigati counsels, not only should
be narrowed, they can be narrowed.
And just how? Greed
and Good explores the most promising options for creating a less
then offers a practical political
guide for moving forward incrementally on the boldest option of
all, a “maximum wage,” a national ceiling on annual
individual income that would rise if and only if the minimum wage
Sam Pizzigati, says
Jeff Faux, the co-founder of the Economic Policy Institute, “has put together the definitive case against
the excessive inequality of income, wealth and power in our society.” Author
Bill Greider calls Greed and Good “a sweeping tour of life
in these United States” that “ends in hope and vision.”
No book, adds Congressman
George Miller, “suggests
a more thought-provoking strategy for ending the gross inequalities
are rotting the American dream.”
If all men and women are indeed created equal,” as author
Sam Pizzigati makes so clear in Greed and Good, “then any
society that winks at the monstrously large fortunes that make
some people decidedly more equal than others is asking for trouble.”
And trouble is what
that society gets — from
Greed and Good.