St. Louis, MO — The Wicked Problems Collaborative (WPC) is proud to announce the release of our debut offering, “WPC Book 1: What do we do about inequality?” on U.S. Labor Day (9/5/16).
The economy isn’t working for most of us. Sure, a few have done exceptionally well in the wake of the Great Recession (Oxfam recently found that the world’s 62 richest people now have as much wealth as half of humanity), but most of us are working harder just to stay in place — while ever greater numbers find themselves unable to do even that.
But economic concerns are just the tip of the iceberg. “What do we do about inequality?” works to inform the reader on a range of issues (including: wealth, income, race, access, power, and education) where imbalances foster unjust outcomes and threaten order. In tackling these issues, the WPC’s academics, activists, artists, business and NGO leaders, economists, and journalists offer 37 essays that work to help the reader see opportunities to move forward in collectively beneficial ways. (Chapter titles with author names and links to Twitter bios are available at the bottom.)
Journalists interested in interviews can reach the WPC’s publisher/editor, Chris Oestereich, via email, and advance review copies (available to academics, book reviewers, and journalists) can be requested here: http://goo.gl/forms/1FiscGY7hYqdGvGi1
Our next effort, a look at the promise and peril of the application of scientific advances, “What do we do with technology?” is expected in late 2017.
Plutocrats and their ideologues like to claim that too equal an income distribution destroys incentives to work and turns us into a “nation of takers.” But a return to the inequality levels of the 1960s would not turn us into Maoist China. In the relevant range of levels of inequality, it is much more likely that higher inequality will slow growth by depriving the non-rich of the resources to invest in themselves, their children, and their enterprises; It will further slow growth by focusing effort on helping the rich keep what they have at the cost of squelching the development of the new.
-J. Bradford Delong
Much of the recent debate on inequality has focused on the big picture of how a few individuals (62, in Oxfam’s January paper) have the same wealth as half the world’s population. As usefully provocative as these findings are, ActionAid wants to be sure that we also focus on the lived experience of inequality at the local level. Although we have victories against inequality, this piece aims to highlight how in our work we have witnessed the impact of the excessive power of the wealthiest, of transnational corporations, of large-scale farmers and other elites devastating the lives of the poorest and most disadvantaged people.
Inequality is about power and the domination it allows. Such domination is common at the global, the national, the community, and the household levels, perpetrated by both local and global actors
It’s a seemingly nondescript chart, buried in a Harvard Business School (HBS) professor’s academic paper.A rectangle, divided into parts, depicts U.S. wealth for each fifth of the population. But it appears to show only three divisions. The bottom two, representing the accumulated wealth of 124 million people, are so small that they almost don’t even show up.