For Information on Income Inequality…
You’ll find many, many articles on income inequality at www.youtube.com. A good place to start is “What Does Income Inequality Mean to Americans?,” a 2-minute 12-second piece by BBC News. Other suggested articles are lined up in a column on the right, and there is a search tool. Also check out the TED Talks at www.ted.com, which is also easy to search.
Here’s a passel of think tanks that offer a rich array of research on income inequality: American Enterprise Institute (www.aei.org), Brookings Institution (www.brookings.edu), Catalyst (www.catalyst.org), Cato Institute (www.cato.org), Center for American Progress (www.americanprogress.org), Economic Policy Institute (www.epi.org), Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org), Mises Institute (www.mises.org), National Bureau of Economic Research (www.nber.org), Peterson Institute for International Economics (www.iie.com), Pew Research Center (www.pewresearch.org), RAND Corporation (www.rand.org).
Some Books You Might Find of Interest
Inequality: What Can Be Done? (2015), by the distinguished British economist Anthony B. Atkinson, outlines specific policies with which countries could reduce income inequality.
Wealth and Poverty (2012), by George Gilder, describes supply-side economics and explains why they are more effective at decreasing poverty than government-regulated markets.
Charles Murray argues that the social programs of the 1960s and 1970s hurt the poor in Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950--1980 (1984). In Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 (2013), he attributes a growing social and economic divide among white Americans to the weakening of religion, marriage, industriousness, and morality in our culture.
The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It (2013), by Timothy Noah, describes the rise of income inequality and how it might be stemmed.
Marvin Olasky provides a history of the welfare state as seen from a conservative point of view in The Tragedy of American Compassion (1994) and contends that government is the wrong way to address issues of poverty and inequality.
In Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis (2015), Robert D. Putnam looks at socioeconomic mobility, tracing changes in families, parenting, schooling, and community over the past five decades, and concludes that income inequality and the opportunity gap are connected.
In Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014), Thomas Piketty lays out his deep dive into data on the accumulation and distribution of income and wealth in countries around the world and looks at ways to address income inequality.
Beyond Outrage, Expanded Edition: What Has Gone Wrong with Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How the Fix It (2012), by Robert B. Reich, urges citizens to organize to force Washington to write legislation focused on the public good.
Joseph E. Stiglitz warns that inequality weakens our economy, undermines our democracy, and divides our society in The Price of Inequality (2012). The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them (2015) is a compilation of his pieces published by, among others, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Project Syndicate, Politico, and The Guardian.
Douglas J. Amy Recommends
Edward Royce, Poverty and Power: The Problem of Structural Equality, 2nd Edition (2015). Dr. Amy considers this the best book about the causes of poverty and inequality, problems rooted not in individual failings but in our economic and political system,
Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (2011). An insightful and readable book on how problems in our political system and the power of wealthy interests have worsened inequality.
Thomas Piketty, “New Thoughts on Capital in the Twenty-First Century” (2014). In this TED Talk, Piketty explains why capitalism inevitably produces growing inequality.
Timothy Smeeding, Lee Rainwater, and Gary Burtless, “United States Poverty in a Cross-National Context” (2001). This is an important study showing how and why other Western democracies do a much better job of reducing poverty in their countries than we do in the U.S.
“10 Solutions to Fight Economic Inequality” (2015) is a brief guide to leftist policies to reduce poverty and inequality.
Douglas J. Amy, “Equal Opportunity Will Not Reduce Poverty” (2014). In this op-ed Dr. Amy explain why reducing unequal opportunity in education and the workplace—a favorite approach of liberals, moderates, and even some conservatives—will do nothing to reduce the overall poverty rate.
Gene Callahan Recommends
Go to Wikipedia.org for the entry on “Distributism.”
Chesterton, G. K. Three Works on Distributism (2009).
Interview of Mikel Lezamiz, of Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, by Amy Goodman (2013).
“Mondragón and the System Problem.” (2013).
Vincent Navarro, “The Case of Mondragon” (2014).
William Foote Whyte and Kathleen King Whyte, Making Mondragón: The Growth and Dynamics of the Worker Cooperative Complex, 2nd Edition (1991).
Scott Winship, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, interviewed by Tom Woods, September 4, 2015. Winship holds that income inequality below the top has not grown significantly. The interview runs about 25 minutes.
Richard Wolff, “Yes, There Is an Alternative to Capitalism: Mondragon Shows the Way” (2012).
Ilene H. Lang Recommends
“17 Things We Learned About Income Inequality in 2014” (2014).
Colin Gordon, Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality (2014).
Catalyst, “Women's Earnings and Income: Quick Take” (2015).
Catalyst, “Pipeline's Broken Promise: Report” (2010).
Catalyst, “The Myth of the Ideal Worker: Does Doing All the Right Things Really Get Women
Ahead?: Report” (2011).
Catalyst, “Buying Power: Global Women” (2015).
Catalyst, “Buying Power: Women in the U.S.” (2015).
Susan Harkness, “The contribution of Women’s Employment and Earnings to Household
Income Inequality: A Cross-Country Analysis,” Revised (2010). This paper is based on micro-data for seventeen OECD countries.
Jennifer L. Hook and Becky Pettit, “Reproducing Occupational Inequality: Motherhood and Occupational Segregation” (2008, revised 2015).
Chris Kirk, “Gender Inequality by State and County” (2012).
Rense Nieuwenhuis, Ariana Need, and Henk van der Kolk, “Women’s Earnings: Trends in Earnings Inequality within and Between Coupled Households in 18 OECD countries, 1981-2005” (2013).
Algernon Austin, “Wealth Losses by Race and Ethnicity,” Working Economics Blog, June 20, 2012.
Darrick Hamilton, “Race, Wealth, and Intergenerational Poverty,” American Prospect, August 12, 2009. This article proposes public provision of a substantial trust fund for newborns from wealth-poor families as a way toward achieving a race-fair America.
Meizhu Lui, Bárbara Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright, Rose Brewer, and Rebecca Adamson, The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Divide (2006). For centuries, laws and discrimination have blocked people of color from participating in government wealth-building programs.
Thomas M. Shapiro, The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Race Perpetuates Inequality (2004).
Markella B. Rutherford Recommends
Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, People Like Us: Social Class in America (2001). A classic, the documentary looks at the many ways class predicts the educational and financial opportunities an individual will have. Go to to see it.
Karl D. Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson, The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood (2014).
Sharon Hays, Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform (2004).
Jacob Kornbluth, director, Inequality for All (2013). Starring Robert B. Reich, with Lily Tomlin and Candace Bergen, this 91-minute documentary argues that income inequality threatens the middle class and even our democracy. Available for rent or sale.
Annette Lareau, Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life (2011).
Jay MacLeod, Ain’t No Makin’ It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood, 3rd Edition (2008).
Mark Robert Rank, One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All (2005).
Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger (2009).
Jennifer M. Silva, Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty (2013).