Toxic Inequality by Thomas M. Shapiro
How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future

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...Shapiro makes it clear that many people suffer due to circumstances well beyond their control—they do everything right and still end up on the wrong side of the ledger—and that the country could afford to address this by refocusing its priorities. A strong case that deserves a wider readership than just policy wonks.
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Synopsis

"Everyone concerned about the toxic effects of inequality must read this book."--Robert B. Reich
"This is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read on economic inequality in the US."--William Julius Wilson
Since the Great Recession, most Americans' standard of living has stagnated or declined. Economic inequality is at historic highs. But inequality's impact differs by race; African Americans' net wealth is just a tenth that of white Americans, and over recent decades, white families have accumulated wealth at three times the rate of black families. In our increasingly diverse nation, sociologist Thomas M. Shapiro argues, wealth disparities must be understood in tandem with racial inequities--a dangerous combination he terms "toxic inequality."

In Toxic Inequality, Shapiro reveals how these forces combine to trap families in place. Following nearly two hundred families of different races and income levels over a period of twelve years, Shapiro's research vividly documents the recession's toll on parents and children, the ways families use assets to manage crises and create opportunities, and the real reasons some families build wealth while others struggle in poverty. The structure of our neighborhoods, workplaces, and tax code-much more than individual choices-push some forward and hold others back. A lack of assets, far more common in families of color, can often ruin parents' careful plans for themselves and their children.

Toxic inequality may seem inexorable, but it is not inevitable. America's growing wealth gap and its yawning racial divide have been forged by history and preserved by policy, and only bold, race-conscious reforms can move us toward a more just society.
 

About Thomas M. Shapiro

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Thomas M. Shapiro is Pokross Chair of Law and Social Policy, Heller School of Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. Black Wealth/White Wealth, which he wrote in collaboration with Melvin Oliver, received wide spread acclaim and won several awards, including C. Wright Mills award, the American Sociological Association Distinguished Scholarly Award, and The Myers Center Award for Human Rights.
 
Published March 14, 2017 by Basic Books. 288 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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on Dec 26 2016

...Shapiro makes it clear that many people suffer due to circumstances well beyond their control—they do everything right and still end up on the wrong side of the ledger—and that the country could afford to address this by refocusing its priorities. A strong case that deserves a wider readership than just policy wonks.

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