Combating Inequality by ProQuest


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									ogy start-ups                           ues shifts to come into being.              sizes that would fit inside users’
has tripled in                            Prosperity Without Growth is a            home offices.
the last 10                             futurist’s approach to global eco-             Ridley advises having some hope
years.                                  nomics, its potential trajectories, and     in the capacity of future generations
   Besides de-                          the desirable future to which the au-       to solve problems that may seem in-
scribing major                          thor believes societies can and             surmountable today. The key, he
trends under                            should aspire. It is well-suited for        says, is making sure that our institu-
way in neuro-                           economists and for general reading          tions and laws promote innovation
science, the au-                        audiences.                                  rather than stifle it.
thors note the
potential for
great benefits                          Innovation to Avert Catastrophe             Combating Inequality
as well as for misuses.
   The Neuro Revolution                 The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity       The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality
is an overview of a                     Evolves by Matt Ridley. HarperCollins.      Makes Societies Stronger by Richard
major scientific field                  2010. 422 pages. Paperback. $26.99.         Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. Bloomsbury.
                                                                                    2010. 331 pages. $28.
and its relevance to
everyday life now and                      Throughout the last two centuries,
in the future. General                  experts have repeatedly warned that            Societies won’t make major cuts in
                          Zack Lynch.
audiences of all kinds                  civilization was headed for an immi-        their carbon emissions until they first
will find it informa-                   nent collapse and that society would        reduce their socioeconomic inequali-
tive and approachable.                  shortly descend into anarchy, epi-          ties, argue health professors Richard
                                        demics, famines, or other such catas-       Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. Wide
                                        trophes—yet the future kept turning         gaps between the more-affluent and
Alternatives to Consumption             out better than they had expected,          less-affluent members of a society
                                        says conservationist Matt Ridley.           are powerful drivers of consumer-
Prosperity Without Growth: Economics       The disasters never materialized,        ism—people buy and consume far
for a Finite Planet by Tim Jackson.     and instead living standards every-         more than they need in order to ap-
Earthscan. 2009. 264 pages. $22.50.     where continuously improved.                pear to hold higher social statuses.
                                        People in the twenty-first century are         Inequality has risen in most devel-
   Many nations experienced mo-         living longer, eating healthier, earn-      oped countries
mentous economic growth across the      ing more, and enjoying vastly more          over the last
globe over the last few decades, yet    and better ame-                             few decades,
people’s reported levels of happiness   nities than they                            a c c o rd i n g t o
stayed the same, according to envi-     have at any                                 Pickett and
ronmental economist Tim Jackson.        time in human                               Wilkinson; as
He adds that this is not surprising:    history.                                    inequalities
Just because a nation’s economy is         “Apoca-                                  rise, so do un-
growing does not mean that its          holic” experts,                             healthy con-
people are better off. In fact, some-   Ridley argues,                              sumer buying
times economic growth can be detri-     accurately de-                              habits and a
mental to national well-being.          scribed existing                            wide range of
   Jackson points out the roles that    problems but                                associated ills:
uncontrolled speculation and scarci-    failed to con-                              debt, minimal
ties in land and resources played in    sider that                                  personal savings, obesity, crime,
hastening the 2008 economic crash       future technological                        scarce charitable giving, and mood
and hampering economic recovery.        innovations might                           disorders such as anxiety and de-
Nonstop economic growth is
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