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The Vanishing Middle Class

ebook

Why the United States has developed an economy divided between rich and poor and how racism helped bring this about.

The United States is becoming a nation of rich and poor, with few families in the middle. In this book, MIT economist Peter Temin offers an illuminating way to look at the vanishing middle class. Temin argues that American history and politics, particularly slavery and its aftermath, play an important part in the widening gap between rich and poor. Temin employs a well-known, simple model of a dual economy to examine the dynamics of the rich/poor divide in America, and outlines ways to work toward greater equality so that America will no longer have one economy for the rich and one for the poor.

Many poorer Americans live in conditions resembling those of a developing country—substandard education, dilapidated housing, and few stable employment opportunities. And although almost half of black Americans are poor, most poor people are not black. Conservative white politicians still appeal to the racism of poor white voters to get support for policies that harm low-income people as a whole, casting recipients of social programs as the Other—black, Latino, not like "us." Politicians also use mass incarceration as a tool to keep black and Latino Americans from participating fully in society. Money goes to a vast entrenched prison system rather than to education. In the dual justice system, the rich pay fines and the poor go to jail.


Expand title description text
Publisher: The MIT Press

Kindle Book

  • Release date: March 10, 2017

OverDrive Read

  • ISBN: 9780262339995
  • File size: 640 KB
  • Release date: March 10, 2017

EPUB ebook

  • ISBN: 9780262339995
  • File size: 640 KB
  • Release date: March 10, 2017

Formats

Kindle Book
OverDrive Read
EPUB ebook

Languages

English

Why the United States has developed an economy divided between rich and poor and how racism helped bring this about.

The United States is becoming a nation of rich and poor, with few families in the middle. In this book, MIT economist Peter Temin offers an illuminating way to look at the vanishing middle class. Temin argues that American history and politics, particularly slavery and its aftermath, play an important part in the widening gap between rich and poor. Temin employs a well-known, simple model of a dual economy to examine the dynamics of the rich/poor divide in America, and outlines ways to work toward greater equality so that America will no longer have one economy for the rich and one for the poor.

Many poorer Americans live in conditions resembling those of a developing country—substandard education, dilapidated housing, and few stable employment opportunities. And although almost half of black Americans are poor, most poor people are not black. Conservative white politicians still appeal to the racism of poor white voters to get support for policies that harm low-income people as a whole, casting recipients of social programs as the Other—black, Latino, not like "us." Politicians also use mass incarceration as a tool to keep black and Latino Americans from participating fully in society. Money goes to a vast entrenched prison system rather than to education. In the dual justice system, the rich pay fines and the poor go to jail.


Expand title description text
  • Details

    Publisher:
    The MIT Press

    Kindle Book
    Release date: March 10, 2017

    OverDrive Read
    ISBN: 9780262339995
    File size: 640 KB
    Release date: March 10, 2017

    EPUB ebook
    ISBN: 9780262339995
    File size: 640 KB
    Release date: March 10, 2017

  • Creators
  • Formats
    Kindle Book
    OverDrive Read
    EPUB ebook
  • Languages
    English