Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future” as Want to Read:
The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,480 Ratings  ·  478 Reviews
A forceful argument against America's vicious circle of growing inequality by the Nobel Prize–winning economist.

America currently has the most inequality, and the least equality of opportunity, among the advanced countries. While market forces play a role in this stark picture, politics has shaped those market forces. In this best-selling book, Nobel Prize–winning economis
Hardcover, 414 pages
Published June 11th 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Shock Doctrine by Naomi KleinA People's History of the United States by Howard ZinnNickel and Dimed by Barbara EhrenreichTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Ecological Rift by John Bellamy Foster
Best Progressive Reads
47th out of 472 books — 346 voters
Gulp by Mary RoachI Am Malala by Malala YousafzaiThe Psychopath Test by Jon RonsonZealot by Reza AslanSalt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
The Colbert Report and The Daily Show
46th out of 127 books — 144 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 02, 2012 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics
I guess the most disturbing part of this book is the fact that we are very unlikely to follow the advice that is contained in it. And this is a real pity, as it seems inevitable that the policies our governments and potential governments are likely to pursue will only make matters worse. That the alternative government in the US is proposing a Vice President who is obsessed with Ayn Rand and Fred Hayek ought to be enough to terrify anyone, such as myself, still foolish enough to believe that cap ...more
Dec 23, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
Recommended to David by: Menjol
Shelves: politics, economics
Joseph Stiglitz is a highly distinguished economist, a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001. His career as an outspoken economist is both illustrious and controversial. He served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration, on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and was senior vice president for development policy and its chief economist at the World Bank.

Stiglitz has a lot to say in this very important book. The basic thesis of this boo
Feb 27, 2015 Book rated it it was amazing
The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"The Price of Inequality" is one of the most compelling economic books about the excessive inequality in the United States. It does a fabulous job of explaining three interlinking themes: that inequality is cause and consequence of the failure of the political system, and contributes to the instability of our economic system, which in turns contributes to inequality. Winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial
Michael Austin
Oct 11, 2012 Michael Austin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
I did not know until I read Joseph Stigletz’s wonderful new book, The Price of Inequality, that economists have a word for making a lot of money without actually creating wealth or jobs: this is caled “rent seeking,” using a very old sense of the word “rent” that means something like “seeking concessions” rather than “deriving income from property.” Rent seeking refers to any economic activity that attempts to manipulate political or social conditions to capture a larger share of a society’s wea ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Caren rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
I see this as an important book which thinking Americans will want to read. It is one of what seems to be a flurry of other books on this topic. The encouraging thing about that is that we seem to realize we have a problem, and serious scholars , such as the Nobel prize winning Dr. Stiglitz, are examining the issues involved and offering possible paths toward amelioration. Although this is not light reading, it is meant for the lay person, and the ideas therein are certainly accessible by the no ...more

Despite winning a Nobel Prize in economics, Joseph Stiglitz has written a book for the lay reader in which he clearly and simply explains what is causing the gross inequality in current American society, why is growing at an alarming rate, and why a large degree of inequality is bad. He doesn't argue for total equality, just less inequality, which will result in more opportunity for ordinary Americans and less economic volatility.

Warning: the transparency this book gives to how the people with
Nov 19, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing
My education was in engineering, not economics. So, in a desire to better understand what is happening to our economy and, more importantly, to our society, I have been trying to educate myself more. I can't be part of the solution if I don't fully understand the problem or the solutions or even that many of the solutions proposed are actually wrong and will only make things worse.

In his book, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future Stiglitz discusses a variety
Jay Roberts
Mar 27, 2013 Jay Roberts rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, politics
Like many other books, this author frames the story of our economic woes in terms of the 1% against the 99%. After reading so many tales such as this one, I have to say that the author is wrong. No, nothing he really says in the book is wrong. And it is a very good read, by the way. He’s just wrong about the 99%.

There is no 99%. The reality is that there are two 49.5%s. The first 49.5% are the kind of people that can actually read a book like this. In fact, they are the kind of people that can r
Travis Todd
Aug 29, 2012 Travis Todd rated it it was amazing
So, a confession...I didn't get remotely close to finishing this book but got tired of seeing it on my facebook so I said that I "finished" it because I didn't know how to say "I abandoned this book and returned it to the library because I just found it too fucking depressing to get through so instead I watched a bunch of episodes of Archer and got drunk." If Goodreads even has that option, ha ha ha. Also I didn't want to say I finished this book because I don't want to compromise the integrity ...more
Peter Mcloughlin
The most practical leader who prides himself a man of action and not theory is usually in thrall of the ideas some dead economist -John Maynard Keynes (paraphrased from memory)

Stiglitz in this book wants to rouse us from the thrall of last generation of Neoclassical economists whose ideas have turned Wall street into a dangerous casino that is too big to fail and has managed through its influence to push the costs and risks of capitalism on ordinary people while it reaps all the rewards. This
Alex Timberman
Finished, February 5h, 2014

On Facebook, I recently saw an interview between Fox conservative TV host Bill O’Riely and President Obama. He asked something like this: Mr. President, how can you try and radically change a country that has given you all the opportunity you received? I like our President more than Mr. O’Riely but it did make me feel that the American system isn’t as bad as Joseph Stigliz makes the case out to be. For all the change that President Obama campaigned on, its up for debat
Jud Barry
Sep 07, 2012 Jud Barry rated it it was amazing
Stiglitz delivers a clearly-written and compelling analysis of the current economic and political situation in the United States. Undoubtedly much of my positive response is driven by the fact that I'm the child of parents who worshipped at the shrine of the New Deal, however no small part of it is simple appreciation for Stiglitz's rare knack for cogent explanations that are as compellingly readable as they are putatively authoritative.

There is also the fact that Stiglitz is very informative ab
Lady Catfood
Oct 07, 2015 Lady Catfood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pretty-damn-good
I can’t say how much of this is going to be a review vs. a rant but here goes: Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz is my hero. His third book, The Price of Inequality (2012) is excellent. I have to admit, I got very distractedly angry while reading this. My family went through the whole mortgage restructuring mess during the housing crisis of 2008 and it was the most stressful time of our lives. Now as a college graduate with a useless degree, tens of thousands of dollars in debt an ...more
Nov 12, 2014 Dave rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Solid economic analysis clouded by repetition, naivete, political bias, and a lack of enough ideas to really go more than a handful of chapters before you find yourself reading the same hate over and over and over. Excellent point - the bankers in the top .1% are jeopardizing the country's economic future and current access to education/wealth/life betterment by shrinking the size of the collective pie through rent-seeking behaviors that do not add value. Stiglitz proves this, but then does hims ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
Great book. The author looks at inequality in America and urges the US to opt for policies that will decrease inequalities. The author debunks myths like incentive pay and decries trickle-down economics.

Here are my reading notes.

# Exposing the inequality
The gap between rich and poor has been widening.
While the GDP was growing, the middle class saw its purchasing power decrease.
The bankers were rewarded for no good reason.
The American dream (vertical mobility) is part of the folklore but not back
Doug Stotland
Sep 05, 2012 Doug Stotland rated it really liked it
Great book to read in the wake of Ryan getting added to the ticket. Even though the solution is pretty half-assed I found the diagnosis very persuasive. I'd imagine those who believe draining the debt through austerity, less government regulation, increased privatization and lower taxes at the top would find this a painful read. That said, I'd love for one of my libertarian-leaning friends to give it a go to hear what they think. I'd gladly read a book of their choosing as a quid pro quo (as lon ...more
Dahiana Acosta
Apr 30, 2015 Dahiana Acosta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Cuantas verdades!! estamos muy jo$%&// y sin señales de mejorar.

Les recomiendo el documental, está en Netflix.
Steven Peterson
Jan 13, 2013 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it
Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize winner in Economics. In this work, he examines the effects of inequality in wealth and income in the United States. In this book, he addresses how inequality (Page xi) ". . .is cause and consequence of the failure of the political system, and it contributes to the instability of our economic system, which in turn contributes to increased inequality. . . ."

The book addresses a number of related issues in its various chapters. He begins by laying out the extent of
Ruth Elisabeth
May 07, 2013 Ruth Elisabeth rated it it was amazing
Jangankan Indonesia, AS sekalipun saat ini menghadapi masalah ketimpangan ekonomi yang serius. 1% orang kaya di AS menikmati 65% pendapatan. Lebih hebatnya lagi, tahun 2010 , 1% orang kaya di sana menikmati tambahan pendapatan 93% paska krisis 2008.
Sebenarnya tidak terlalu mengejutkan untuk negara yang terang2an menyebut dirinya negara kapitalis. Namun, cukup mengejutkan karena angka ketimpangan semakin meroket, ketika mereka ingin dijadikan contoh bagaimana negara yang demokratis dapat mencipt
Clif Hostetler
Nov 17, 2012 Clif Hostetler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-events
Joseph E. Stiglitz, a 2001 Nobel Prize winning economist, in this book targets numerous examples of economic activity/policy what lead to consequences incompatible with America's self image as the "land of opportunity." All through the book he points out needless inefficiencies that are embedded in our banking, tax and legal codes. And with each problem cited there's an existing interest group lobbying and making political contributions to assure that no changes are made to endanger these struct ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Bryan rated it really liked it
More good stuff from Stiglitz, whether you agree with him or not. I imagine there will be a lot who disagree. But the author pulls a heavy truckload of credibility, and ensures he reminds his audience of this regularly throughout the book. This is what I like about Stiglitz: he knows what he knows, and he sees no reason to be modest about his former titles or accolades. I don't blame him.

In the preface I got the sense that this is somewhat of his magnum opus, when it comes to books on economic
Mar 13, 2013 Bobscopatz rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from the library. I am going to purchase a copy. I have the feeling that in the years to come I will want to refer back to it frequently. There are many things I like about it, but the most important is that Stiglitz goes beyond the present economic crisis to talk about choices in laws and policies and what they really mean for our society. In the first few chapters all that he wrote was just making me angrier than I already was about the failures of our economy and the way ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Andybud rated it really liked it

An interesting take on what went wrong with the global economy, courtesy of bad decision making and wishful thinking, primarily from the rightwing (who, to this day, continue to embrace their mistakes as truth and errors as virtue). A few years ago, I was in their camp - these days, I can't even imagine what I was thinking, or if I was really thinking at all. Reality has a way of kidnapping those with minds open to it.

My primary criticism is that the book could have used another round of editin
Bruce Snyder
Sep 13, 2012 Bruce Snyder rated it it was amazing
Turns out that dog-eat-dog, unregulated capitalism ultimately destroys not only the poor and the middle-class, but eventually the 1% as well. Carnegie's insight that lead to his "Gospel of Wealth" recognized the obligation the wealthy had to improve the society that allowed their accumulation of great wealth. Stiglitz takes us one step further in noting that eventually the whole economy self-destructs if there are no regulations to control the amoral profit-motivated "free market". Total freedom ...more
Nov 15, 2013 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An informed approach to a national problem. The face that the author, a Nobel prize winner recognizes the dual society we love in is significant. His argument is an unequal society is bad for the rich as well as the poor is a different and unexpected take. His solution though, that more reform legislation and tighter control of banks and financial institutions doesn't seen like it will work. elsewhere in the book he chronicles how a corporate controlled Congress repeatedly shoots down such legis ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely inspiring! Stiglitz is a genius who is able to siphon through the complexities of our economy and pull together a theory of how we have become unequal as a society. He lays out the information in a smooth and stylistic fashion that allows the reader to fully understand the paradox in which we find ourselves trapped in. He also delineates a trajectory for finding our way out of the labyrinth of favoring practices for the top 1% of our society and making our way to a more equal, perfect ...more
Brendan Illis
I'm an not sure what this book was trying to be, or who its intended audience was. Its confusing mixture between economics, social policy, and political theory. Stiglitz, in my opinion, steps far out of his realm of expertise at a few points, and it shows.

My first main gripe his the authors extended use of relative terms. He writes some 400 pages on inequality, arguing the US is too unequal, but never that I could find tells us what he thinks is an appropriate level of equality.

Second, his pro
Jul 29, 2015 Mlg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stiglitz makes an ironclad case for how the middle class has been hollowed out while the wealthy walk off with a larger and larger share of the goodies in this country. What is so masterful about this book is how he structures what has been happening in this country. Between the predatory lending, loading up students with debt that can never be discharged, the Recession (also caused by the reckless behavior of the wealthy), and the government rewarding those who caused the problem with low cost ...more
Jenny Xiao
Stiglitz is a fantastic economist who knows what he's saying and was the social conscience to care about the well-being of people. In other words, he's prioritizing or maximizing the 'right' thing in a societal sense. However, he's a lousy writer - the book could be condensed to two chapters, in my opinion. He hammers the same point again and again - I get it already! I wish he would be less redundant and more succinct - could have saved some trees and my time. But then again, would the publishi ...more
Magdalene Lim
"Nothing illustrates what has happened more vividly than the plight of today's twenty year olds. Instead of starting a new life, fresh with enthusiasm and hope, many of them confront a world of anxiety and fear." Saddled with loans that would not be reduced even if they are declared bankrupt.

Nothing like a statement you can relate to and agree with, to put things in perspective.

Stiglitz talks about education, the role politics plays in shaping the economy and taxes.

How does one read a book li
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Liberal Polit...: General discussion 8 18 Sep 15, 2012 06:13PM  
  • End This Depression Now!
  • The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It
  • It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the Politics of Extremism
  • The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity
  • Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it
  • The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too
  • Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea
  • Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class
  • Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent
  • The New Industrial State
  • Who Stole the American Dream? Can We Get It Back?
  • Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy
  • Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else
  • 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism
  • Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It
  • So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America
  • Debunking Economics - Revised and Expanded Edition: The Naked Emperor Dethroned?
  • Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right
Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, ForMemRS, FBA, is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. He is known for his critical view of the management of globalization, free-market economists (whom h ...more
More about Joseph E. Stiglitz...

Share This Book

“There are two visions of America a half century from now. One is of a society more divided between the haves and the have-nots, a country in which the rich live in gated communities, send their children to expensive schools, and have access to first-rate medical care. Meanwhile, the rest live in a world marked by insecurity, at best mediocre education, and in effect rationed health care―they hope and pray they don't get seriously sick. At the bottom are millions of young people alienated and without hope. I have seen that picture in many developing countries; economists have given it a name, a dual economy, two societies living side by side, but hardly knowing each other, hardly imagining what life is like for the other. Whether we will fall to the depths of some countries, where the gates grow higher and the societies split farther and farther apart, I do not know. It is, however, the nightmare towards which we are slowly marching.” 25 likes
“Of all the costs imposed on our society by the top 1 percent, perhaps the greatest is this: the erosion of our sense of identity in which fair play, equality of opportunity, and a sense of community are so important.” 7 likes
More quotes…