Why we can't afford the rich / Andrew Sayer.

by Sayer, R. Andrew [author.]Looking glass.

Publisher: Bristol, England ; Policy Press, 2015.Description: xi, 433 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9781447320791; 1447320794.Subject(s): WealthLooking glass | Income distributionLooking glass | EqualityLooking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Long loan London College of Communication
Main collection
Printed books 339.2 SAY (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Issued 10/01/2022 54244865
Total reservations: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

As inequalities widen and the effects of austerity deepen, in many countries the wealth of the rich has soared. Why we can't afford the rich exposes the unjust and dysfunctional mechanisms that allow the top 1% to siphon off wealth produced by others, through the control of property and money. Leading social scientist Andrew Sayer shows how the rich worldwide have increased their ability to create indebtedness and expand their political influence.Winner of the 2015 British Academy Peter Townsend Prize, this important book bursts the myth of the rich as specially talented wealth creators. It shows how the rich are threatening the planet by banking on unsustainable growth. The paperback includes a new Afterword updating developments in the last year and forcefully argues that the crises of economy and climate can only be resolved by radicalchange to make economies sustainable, fair and conducive to well-being for all.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction
  • Part I A Guide to Wealth Extraction
  • Slippery Terms and Vital Distinctions
  • For rent ... for what?
  • Interest ... for what? or We need to talk about usury
  • Profit from production: or capitalists and rentiers: what's the difference?
  • Other ways to skin a cat
  • Don't the Rich Create Jobs? - and other objections
  • Part II Putting the Rich in Context: What Determines What People Get?
  • To what do we owe our wealth?: Our dependence on the commons
  • So what determines pay?
  • The myth of the level playing field
  • Part III How the Rich Got Richer: Their Part in the Crisis
  • The roots of the crisis
  • Key winners
  • Summing up: the crisis and the return of the rentiers
  • Part IV Rule by the Rich, for the Rich
  • Silent power, pol donations lattice of influence
  • Hiding it
  • Illegal? + poachers
  • What about philanthropy?
  • Plutonomy
  • Part V Ill-gotten and Ill-spent: From Consumption to Ill-Being and CO2
  • Spending it
  • Global warming trumps everything
  • Conclusion: back to basics - what kind of economy do we need?

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

In this thought-provoking book, Sayer (Why Things Matter to People) puts forth a persuasive examination of the rich, the sources of their wealth, and their impact on the planet and its less fortunate inhabitants. For years, he points out, the wealthiest people have been amassing greater and greater wealth while those in lower income brackets have gotten "progressively less." Sayer seeks to shed light on what he calls the politics of injustice, in which the rich become rich thanks to others' hard work and remain so through their own ability to "dominate society for their own interests." In this picture, not only are the wealthy getting and keeping more due to lower taxes for the highest income brackets, they are able to protect their gains in tax havens while exercising outsized influence over politics and media. Though the prevailing economic wisdom states that we need the rich to create jobs, drive spending, and practice entrepreneurship, Sayer argues that the opposite is actually true. In addition, he examines critical components such as earnings, investments, the "distinction between earned and unearned income," shares and dividends, and more. Sayer puts forth a cogent and thoroughly convincing argument that will enlighten and inform-and may even help instigate the radical changes he puts forth. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Andrew Sayer is Professor of Social Theory and Political Economy at Lancaster University, UK. He has a long-standing interest in moral economy and has written several books on political economy, inequality, class, and philosophy and ethics, including Radical Political Economy: A Critique (Blackwell, 1995); The Moral Significance of Class (2005) and Why Things Matter to People: Social Science, Values and Ethical Life (2011) (both Cambridge University Press).

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