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Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good
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Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  61 reviews
As heard on NPR's Fresh Air

"This empowering light into a brighter future is a narrative you won't want to miss." - Ralph Nader

"Collins not only talks the talk but walks the walk...this is a worthwhile book to read, digest, and share" - Publishers Weekly

An essential piece of reading for anyone concerned by the increasing wealth inequality-made worse by the global pandemic
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 23rd 2016 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company
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Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just think what the world would be like if we had more Chuck Collins’ doing the Kwakiutl Northwest Indian potlatch thing (if you know your anthropology!) of proving your worth by giving away all your wealth? (The US Calvary thought the practice of the potlatch ceremony by Native leaders proof of lack of human development to the “civilized” stage, and perhaps even still barbaric, as surely consumer goods and wealth are to be acquired and kept as part of the American culture? These thoughts found ...more
Rebecca Rossi
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, very personal book about bringing the very rich back into our economic community. Collins advocates sound policy and strategy, but there is quite a lot of Pollyanna-esque story telling and some too neatly wrapped "quotes". The book is better when it speaks to solid policy, regulatory, and legal action. Less good when it encourages us 99%-ers to do the work of connecting with the super rich and forge "real relationships". Is it possible? Maybe for some. But I would argue it's a bit ...more
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I had very high expectations for this book, having attended an All Star II conference at Star Island at which Chuck Collins was the theme speaker. So, I'd waited eagerly since July for the book's publication. Worth the wait! It exceeded my expectations because it not only contained the information and thoughts I'd anticipated but it also read so well, conveying Chuck's gentle sense of humor and breadth of soul. The book felt like a conversation with Chuck. Amazing!

The title tells you the pe
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who knew how much I'd learn about the tax system and wealth, and in the most humane and engaging way possible. Chuck Collins has written a book that all who care about the future of this planet need to read. I especially enjoyed reading about real people who are stepping out of their 1 percent privilege to reconnect with the rest of the world. ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man, I love this dude. Do me a favor, buy this book and send it to all your rich privileged friends. It's so refreshing to have someone "born on third" just straight up admit it. Maybe he's selling out his class, but I think (as does he) that he's freeing them from their own greed and confusion. I especially love his coverage of the racial wealth gap and reparations. Maybe the super rich white guys will save us! And maybe that makes sense cuz they created the problem of inequality in the first p ...more
Kaylee Thornley
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A nice little book focused on engaging the one-percent in the movement against inequality. One thing I don't like is that it seems like he didn't really see any place for class warfare, which I think can sometimes be a useful tool. The great thing about the book is that Collins is a really great storyteller. The book is filled with illustrations from his life--it's one of those books that makes you feel like what you are doing is worthwhile. I think the most important point that he makes is that ...more
read this book to understand the societal support aka 'entitlement programs' that allowed the US to have such an economic surge after WWII that carried the (white) GIs and their future offspring, generations, to prosperity to this day.

Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enlightening read

I was turned onto thus book after listening to an interview with the author and his discussion about the subject matter sounded very interesting. I am glad I read this book, it has helped to change my views on income inequality.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An idea book focused on establishing income equality in the U.S. Good ideas, real stories and how to examples. This book should be used in finance and sociology classes in high schools and universities.
Everyone ought to read this. Challenges our assumptions about the complex impact of the deep wealth divide.
D Dina Friedman
Honest and inspirational; raises many provocative questions about money and its role in our individual lives and in society.
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For a book that's about 250 pages long it sure packs a lot of insight. I rarely find a book discussing wealth inequality that actually tries to bridge the differences between the wealthy and the poor in a balanced, engaging manner, without stoking anger towards the wealthy or condescension towards the impoverished.

In this book there are practical, organic, local solutions to bridge inequality via wealth redistribution and to improve resilience against economic uncertainty and climate crisis tha
Michael McCue
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chuck Collins the author of Born on Third Base refers to himself as a I%er. He is a great grandson of Oscar Myer. The subtitle A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good makes a good introduction to the book. Collins refers to himself as a 1%er but he has actually given away most of his inheritance. The part of his inheritance he has not and cannot give up is the privilege that comes from education, connections and knowledge.

Eye-opening, thought-provoking. Everyone should read this.
Katie Boland
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. It speaks to all the things I've been working on lately. Thank you for such a well thought out and applicable book. I love the tone, the content and the message. ...more
Jt O'Neill
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first learned about Chuck Collins after reading an interview with him in The Sun Magazine. What he had to say in that interview so impressed me that I immediately requested this book through the library. I was already aware of the notion of privilege but Mr Collins was able to sharpen my awareness and then push me towards greater understanding of how privilege shapes our county (world?). For the most part, it felt as if the 1% is the audience for which this book is intended but not exclusively ...more
Ann Tracy
The first part of this book I found fascinating: Going back to WWII and look at the continuing growth of wealth inequality. Especially well done on systematic racial wealth inequality. I wish there was more than a one sentence mention of wealth inequality for women and for people with disabilities, however I get that one book can only do so much. Regardless I felt I learned a ton about the history of taxation and social programs in the US. Highly recommend! BUT then stop. After 1/2 way through, ...more
DNFed @ page 103

Not a bad book, an interesting one, actually. The first DNFed book on my Goodreads that has higher than a one star rating. So why did I quit? Because 100 pages in, I was seeing a pattern, and I felt I learned the point the author was trying to make. No point in continuing for another 130 pages.
In a nutshell, this book is less about the wealth inequality problem and more a case for supporting the estate tax, or "death tax." Every chapter was an anecdote of privilege or inequality
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insightful and inspirational. This books takes a real look at what it means to be in the 1% and how we can all come together to make a positive change in our communities.
Debbie Evancic
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Inequality is shorthand for all the things that have gone to make the lives of the rich so measurably more delicious, year after year for three decades, and also for the things that have made the lives of working people so wretched and so precarious.” – Thomas Frank

The war between the powerful few and the many is raging and the powerful few are winning. Chuck Collins, someone who was born on third base, in the top 1% of the country, contends that inequality is bad for everyone, even the superric
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
In BORN ON THIRD BASE, we follow the author as he shows us how he was indeed born on third base. Born into a wealthy family, he enjoyed the benefits that come to a child of the rich: health care, excellent schools, a trust fund. He spent from his trust for his college education, yet when he finished school, that fund had doubled, despite withdrawals for his schooling—and none of the increase as payment for work.

Though Collins points out the unbelievable advantages enjoyed by the wealthy, his aim
Kevin Finelli
Economic equality from the 1%

I think the title, as well as the main premise of the book initially put me off, but after hearing what Collins has to say (and having the privilege of hearing him speak last weekend) I think I am on board with this message. Coming from the perspective of a man born into wealth who has tried to convert that wealth into social good and fight for equality, Collins argues that we can make things work by reforming our current democratic and capitalist systems, but only i
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A view from the 1% and how they can be part of the solution to societies equal functioning rather than adhering to the edict of "If it's not nailed down, it's mine. Whatever I can pry loose, is not nailed down (CP Huntington)". Hearing that I have been living under the shining sun of "white privilege" was a little hard to digest. Although, none of us have risen to where we are without some supports from society at large, advantages that I assumed were available to all. Was I was wrong?

Chuck Coll
Kathleen (itpdx)
Chuck Collins is an heir to the Oscar Meyer family. He decided to give away his inherited money. He has been working at getting the 1% to understand the support they have received from the "commonwealth" of the United States--business structure, public investment in infrastructure, the education system, etc. He has been bringing them to the discussion of wealth inequality that has been increasing dramatically in the US.
There is a lot of good information and wisdom in the pages. But it doesn't s
Jo Young Switzer
All citizens who are actively working to improve our nation should read this book. In a very accessible style, Chuck Collins (self-described person of great wealth) explains how the U.S. has given increasing political power to a small number of extremely wealthy citizens and families. As more persons of wealth have entered politics or supported their favorite candidates, legislation has become friendlier and friendlier to wealthy people. Off-shore financial institutions can protect money without ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Worth the read. Collins makes a convincing argument that the wealthy would do well to step up and participate in the local economy to address the wealth gap. Some deep thinking here, good suggestions and good stories. He makes a strong case for higher taxes on the wealthy, but unfortunately he also points out that even redistributing much of that wealth won't put a dent in the "need," and policy prescriptions must be made. The gap is so great that even if you redistributed much of the wealth of ...more
John Brugge
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really well written, honest and personal, full of reminders of reasons that the common good is what is good for all, even those who still believe that they have had success "all by themselves". Plenty of pointers to the invisible commons that are so useful because they are so invisible, and to the visible advantages of the last generation that can be forgotten about (GI bill, government home loans, public works projects).

I particularly liked the comparison of the trajectories of four young adult
Cindy DavisClark
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of the UMW reading program. This is about a man who was from a wealthy family, in the 1%, who gave away his wealth. He talks about the privilege of the wealthy beyond just the financial privilege. He talks abut the way the privileged could use their situation for the good of others. He talks about how paying our taxes helps not only others but our selves with the infrastructure of our country. . I thought about this in light of the recent loss of electricity, heat and wa ...more
Good reminder of the wealth I still have despite choosing a path of downward mobility in terms of income. While I am glad that my parents modeled for me many of the values and strategies Collins espouses, and have always emphasized the importance of investing in public infrastructures, common goods and the importance of taxation for wealth redistribution, I was also clearly reminded how growing up in a wealthy California city with high property tax and a strong school’s foundation was essentiall ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure I can say I loved this book because it's a tough topic to not get frustrated and angry at. It is a very interesting perspective that I needed to hear, that of a privileged white male. He is right on with explaining why the system is all set to give advantages to those who already have the advantage. The examples he gives of how one person's child fairs in the same situation as another are terrific and terrifying for those who are not from a privileged family. I don't want to give an ...more
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