The Great Divide
By: Joseph Stiglitz
In this book, Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz address the growing inequality in the United States. This book helped developed my understanding of macroeconomics and how inequalities within a society can have negative impacts not only on culture, but on the economy as well. The main argument within the book is the government needs to do a better job at regulating the market, and making the opportunity to succeed less dependent on the circumstances of your birth. In the United States, the circumstances of your birth (the education level and income of your parents mainly) have more of an impact on your chances to succeed than in almost any other developed nation. While I disagree that government can solve all the problems facing our country today, I do agree that higher education needs to be made more readily available (cheaper) to everyone within the United States. I think states need to do more to subsidize community colleges so than can lower tuition cost. This book also addresses the Fed’s role in the economy and the Bush/Obama bailouts. His argument was that while bailouts may have been necessary, more could have been done to regulate where the money went after it was given to the banks. Instead of using it to invest in small and medium size loans, like mortgages and small business loans, bank executives used to give themselves large bonuses. It was a gross misuse of American taxpayer money, and a twisted version of American values in which we privatized profits and socialized losses. If you would like to learn more, check this book out.