Economic Inequality: The American Dream Under Siege
Economic Inequality: The American Dream Under Siege
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Annotation: Looks at the problem of economic inequality, in which millions of Americans don't earn enough money to pay for necessities, upward mobility is harder to achieve, and the rich gain an outsize portion of society's resources.
Genre: Economics
Catalog Number: #157085
Format: Library Binding
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 128 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-512-43107-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-512-43107-0
Dewey: 339.2
LCCN: 2017032058
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
This informative volume covers the history, development, and ongoing propagation of economic inequality in the United States. Using accessible language and easily relatable examples, Frazer covers topics such as the housing bubble and economic depression of the 2000s, the inequality of opportunity, and the cycle of poverty, as well as the connection between wealth and political power. Reading list, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up Frazer begins with a history of the American economy, from colonial times to the present. She then defines the extent of current inequalities and the consequences thereof, followed by a discussion of how and why inequality of opportunity is, more often than not, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Final chapters venture into the politics of economic policy and suggestions for citizen participation in the political process. Photos, graphs, charts, sidebars, and the back matter aid in understanding of social and economic concepts and issues. Fifteen of 17 source notes are from websites, such as the Huffington Post and opensecrets.org . The selected bibliography is comprised of 27 sources, 19 of which are websites. The earliest publication date is 2008, with the majority from 201317. It would be impossible to approach this topic without bias, particularly in the current polarized political climate, and the author's is subtle but left-leaning. Frazer does her best, however, to maintain balance throughout, using neutral language and carefully giving credence to both sides of the debate. She analyzes from a variety of viewpoints, including gender, race, and socioeconomic and educational levels, thus delving deeper than examining monetary status. VERDICT This is a valuable resource for young adults attempting to untangle the complexities of economics as wells as claims and counterclaims in the political sphere. Katherine Koenig, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
The wheres, whys, and hows of economic inequality in the United States.This exemplary piece of introductory economics deserves a place in every middle and high school library across the land. Frazer has a bell-clear writing style, and the design is intriguing but not frenetic, with clear graphics and intuitive sidebar placement. After a brief but complete look at the roots of economic inequality—from the early American Colonial period through the Gilded Age and then unionization (one bright spot) to outsourcing and automation—Frazer proceeds to demonstrate the changes in wages and accumulation over the last half-century. Two chapters that cover the costs of inequality and limits to opportunities give Frazer a chance to explore the gender and racial aspects of wealth accumulation, especially how money makes money. Frazer keeps an even attitude but can't help but point a finger here and there. On trickle down, she writes, "The wealthy tend to invest a relatively small percentage of their money in projects that hire American workers." The importance of schooling and the burden of college debt lead to a sharp but balanced look at money and power—specifically government. The book concludes with points taken on redistribution, regulation, tax relief, reunionization, citizen action, and voting with your dollars.A fine example of taking the dismal science and making it everyday-usable and giving it a little vroom. (Nonfiction. 12-16)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* This remarkably evenhanded, lucid volume confidently leads readers through the murky world of wealth and economics in America. After laying out some basic concepts and key moments in economic history, Frazer dives into our current state of economic inequality, wherein a small number of individuals own the majority of the country's wealth, and government policies serve to help the rich get richer. There are a lot of moving parts, of course, but Frazer handily touches on a significant majority, including systemic poverty, racial discrimination, tax loopholes, wage gaps, corporate lobbying, the myth of the American dream, unions, campaign finance, bank deregulation, and voter-suppression policies. Though her angle is clear alth inequality is a significant problem in America, and current policies are only serving to exacerbate it e doesn't ignore opposing viewpoints, giving readers an opportunity to consider both sides. That said, her case is convincing and well supported by evidence, and she does an excellent job of offering concrete context for the dizzying stream of statistics and numbers while encouraging readers to use critical thinking when considering political messaging. Though the message at times seems bleak, especially given how disproportionately wealth inequality affects young, college-bound Americans, she ends on a hopeful note with suggestions for getting involved as a consumer and citizen. Instructive, galvanizing nonfiction for a critical issue with widespread consequences.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Reading Level: 8.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Lexile: 1110L

Millions of Americans don't earn enough money to pay for decent housing, food, health care, and education. Increasingly, families and young people aren't doing better than their parents and grandparents before them. In fact, they're doing worse. And women and minorities earn less than white men. The American Dream is harder to achieve than ever before. Meanwhile, the rich keep getting richer. Many Americans are angry about economic inequality, and many are working on solutions. Readers will learn how state and local governments, businesses, and ordinary citizens--including young people--are fighting to close the gap between rich and poor, to preserve the promises of American democracy, and to give everyone a fair shot at the American Dream.


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