The Political Origins of Inequality: Why a More Equal
    The Political Origins of Inequality: Why a More Equal dream Yet the fact that we now accept such a world a world that values security over freedom, special treatment over universal opportunity, and efficiency over fairness is ultimately because we have stopped even trying in recent decades to build the political architecture the world actually requires Our politics has fallen out of step with the world, then, and at the every moment it is needed than ever Yet it is within our power to address this Doing so involves identifying and then meeting our political responsibilities to others, not just offering them the selective charity of the rich It means looking beyond issues of economics and outside our national borders But above all it demands of us that we reinvent the language of equality for a modern, global world and then institute this The world is not falling apart Different worlds, we all can see, are colliding together It is our capacity to act in concert that is falling apart It is this that needs restoring most of all."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 208 pages
  • The Political Origins of Inequality: Why a More Equal World Is Better for Us All
  • Simon Reid-Henry
  • 23 May 2019
  • 022623679X

The Political Origins of Inequality: Why a More Equal World Is Better for Us All[PDF / Epub] ★ The Political Origins of Inequality: Why a More Equal World Is Better for Us All By Simon Reid-Henry – Essayreview.co.uk Inequality is the defining issue of our time But it is not just a problem for the rich world It is the global % that now owns fully half the world s wealth the true measure of our age of inequality In Inequality is the defining issue of our Origins of eBook ✓ time But it is not just a problem for the rich world It is the global % that now owns fully half the world s wealth the true measure of our age of inequality In this historical tour de force, Simon Reid Henry rewrites the usual story of globalization and development as a story of the management of inequality Reaching back to the eighteenth The Political PDF \ century and around the globe, The Political Origins of Inequality foregrounds the political turning points and decisions behind the making of today s uneven societies As it weaves together insights from the Victorian city to the Cold War, from US economic policy to Europe s present migration crisis, a true picture emerges of the structure of inequality itself The problem of inequality, Reid Henry argues, is a problem that manifests between places Political Origins of PDF/EPUB ✓ as well as over time This is one reason why it cannot be resolved by the usual arguments of left versus right, bound as they are to the national scale alone Most of all, however, it is why the level of inequality that confronts us today is indicative of a general crisis in political thought Modern political discourse has no place for public reason or the common good Equality is yesterday s dream Yet the fact that we now accept such a world a world that values security over freedom, special treatment over universal opportunity, and efficiency over fairness is ultimately because we have stopped even trying in recent decades to build the political architecture the world actually requires Our politics has fallen out of step with the world, then, and at the every moment it is needed than ever Yet it is within our power to address this Doing so involves identifying and then meeting our political responsibilities to others, not just offering them the selective charity of the rich It means looking beyond issues of economics and outside our national borders But above all it demands of us that we reinvent the language of equality for a modern, global world and then institute this The world is not falling apart Different worlds, we all can see, are colliding together It is our capacity to act in concert that is falling apart It is this that needs restoring most of all.


About the Author: Simon Reid-Henry

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10 thoughts on “The Political Origins of Inequality: Why a More Equal World Is Better for Us All

  1. says:

    It was while I was in the midst of reading Reid Henry s latest book The Empire of Democracy that I came across this book written a few years earlier, The Political Origins of Equality.It was interesting to read them in this order This earlier book reads almost as if it were an outline for, or perhapsaccurately, a distillation of, The Empire of Democracy I suspect that Reid Henry decided to write a muchcomprehensive version of his survey of the past 50 years in which he could us It was while I was in the midst of reading Reid Henry s latest book The Empire of Democracy that I came across this book written a few years earlier, The Political Origins of Equality.It was interesting to read them in this order This earlier book reads almost as if it were an outline for, or perhapsaccurately, a distillation of, The Empire of Democracy I suspect that Reid Henry decided to write a muchcomprehensive version of his survey of the past 50 years in which he could useof the supporting data he must have gathered for The Political Origins of Equality.So, if you find yourself balking at tackling the 750 some pages of The Empire of Democracy although it is themasterful account I highly recommend this work of not quite 200 pages for his essential argument is the same My copy has multiple pages edges turned down to mark an important passage, and almost every page has some notation or other that I made while reading it It is a very fine book The kernel of his argument is this 1 Beginning in the 1970s, leaders throughout the West began to turn to the promise of continued growth that they believed only the markets could provide as a replacement for the policies adopted after the Second World War that focused on specific national objectives, such as full employment, sound safety nets, and adequate income in old age.2 While most of them did so not intending let alone understanding that this would come at the cost of these previous objectives the diminution of labor unions, international competition for jobs that effectively depressed wages, and the transformation of decision making power from national elected leaders to trans national organizations which were little, if at all, accountable to citizens, some did Both Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain wanted to reduce the role of the state as well as the alleged dependency of too many citizens upon its social welfare provisions 3 This reliance upon market growth was a consequence of three developments the reality that trade and markets were increasingly global and not national or regional, the doctrines successfully advocated by Austrian economists and for which the Chicago School of Economics became its early champion which celebrated the glories that laissez faire capitalism could deliver, and the realization among many of the largest corporations that money was to be made by profiting on those many countries throughout the world that were successfully throwing off their colonial masters.4 But market growth, argues Reid Simon, is good only if it is promoted as a means to prosperity in the fuller sense of the term , not as an end in itself as the only measure of prosperity He goes on to add that social programmes are all too often cast aside in favour of a narrow fixation of growth this is true in rich and poor countries alike 5 Through global trade compacts and rules established by non elected people, effectively removing many of the most economic decisions from not only the needs but also the will of the people.6 The most significant consequences of all this were a The steady chipping away of social programs upon which large numbers of citizens throughout the West depended or, at least, would likely depend some day b The increase in both income and wealth disparity resulting in today s world of a relatively few obscenely wealthy persons and huge numbers of citizens struggling to just get by c The exploitation of poorer nations aided in many instances by their own corrupt rulers willing to play along by wealthier nations choosing to buy from them only those goods we needed, while at the same time choosing to aid their development with an eye towards our future needs d Disillusionment and anger of the many against those nominally in charge, and a surge of interest in individuals and parties that, while increasingly right wing and nationalistic, nonetheless promise to act on the people s interest The real problem, Reid Henry says, is that for all we live in an economically globalized world, we do not live in anything like a sufficiently politically globalized world It is for this reason, and no other, that the international political system today suffers from a democratic deficit And until we address this, until the public gives itself a voice at the negotiating table of planned trade deals like the TPP, we will continue to see our autonomy as national citizens dug out from underneath it So how might we do this We need, he argues, to get something like an embedded liberal order back for America s postwar commitment to the values of embedded liberalism that is, a liberal political order that accepts regulations on economic activity had the distinct merit of seeing the market as the servant of the state This is also central to Roman Catholic teachings about social justice and social solidarity.The Right has managed to convince many of us that the problem is government when, in fact, there are times that government is the only solution for the many The wealthy and powerful do just fine with limited government, especially since it is what they have shaped to meet their needs They understand that strong and responsive governments, in intending to meet the needs of the people at large, will need to spend money and, thus, to have a sufficient flow of revenue Since adequate taxation is anathema to the rich, they preach the evils of government so that the compliant shmoos I mean, citizens will keep it small and unable to perform.Justice and fairness cannot be realized with a weak and powerless government However, just as a democracy functioning to meet the needs of the people has floundered in this country, so also has the vital element of civic virtue withered away The Founders of this country, agreeing with the famed theorist Montesquieu, knew that if any republic was to survive it would be because its citizens had possessed and practiced such civic virtue In essence, this means putting the needs of the many ahead of our own While such an ethical orientation is still practiced within many families it has long been abandoned in the realm of public policy, including how such policy should regulate the functioning of the economy.We Americans and many others throughout the West, too need to wake up and recognize what has happened Unless we demand to reassert our control over the direction of economic policy a minimum wage that is truly a living wage, for example, or ending the way corporations play off localities and states against each other in order to secure the best tax bargain for themselves we will inevitably see everlower wage jobs, positions that are both temporary and without benefits, and a rich who keep getting everwealthier every day.The rhetoric from the Right largely adopted by the Republican Party intentionally keeps us at each other s throats so that we do not see the truth America has truly been dumb downed, and we have all played a role in it, however passively or unwillingly.Are we willing to play a role in reversing it

  2. says:

    lots of pompous statements, sweeping generalizations very little substance

  3. says:

    The real problem is that for all we live in an economically globalised world, we do not live in anything like a sufficiently politically globalised worldWe will also continue to see a world in which global politicsbroadly respects only the most powerful among us 108 109 Reid Henry argues that attempts to address global inequality fall short because they originate from an often deliberately narrow and selfish, Eurocentric view of economics and Western determinism re forecasting tr The real problem is that for all we live in an economically globalised world, we do not live in anything like a sufficiently politically globalised worldWe will also continue to see a world in which global politicsbroadly respects only the most powerful among us 108 109 Reid Henry argues that attempts to address global inequality fall short because they originate from an often deliberately narrow and selfish, Eurocentric view of economics and Western determinism re forecasting trajectory of poorer nations and, prioritizing equality of opportunity over equality of outcome, ignore the role of geography and politics in the rise of the wealthier Western nations empire, exploitation colonialism, and hypocritical advocacy for deregulation of markets though those measures even undermine progress for their own rich and poor domestically He provides convincing examples of how inequality, poverty, and other similar terms have been redefined through the decades in a self serving and distancing manner by the traditionallypowerful national players.Solutions and approaches should acknowledge the politics underlying these inequalities and be less strictly based on the metric of economic growth Poverty is not just material but relational and power based Reid Henry critiques the liberal West s both excessively technical i.e., economic growth metric and siloed approach victim blaming for programmatic failures, limited scope, where recipients of aid are prioritized according to how well those groups play the game dictated by powerful Western nations toward addressing poverty At the same time, proponents of free market forces deny that politics guide the invisible hand or consider these inequalities not our problem except when framed as a threat to our security increasing the mental distance between us and them Our promises of protection are collapsed into a simultaneous effort to order the world s societies, and its failed states especially, in a manner that is to our likingDevelopment has itself now become a means to reshape poorer societies in light of the rich world s own particular needs and so in many ways it has merely reinforced the problem 113 114 Assistance and policy are to be approached as universal and integrative, not as demeaning alms giving or commodification of its citizenry And taxes paired with global public investment GPI Reid Henry advocates for social democracy beyond the borders of the nation state, a politics that prioritises it helps to avoid such loaded terms as delivers social prosperity over economic growth 123 , looking at examples beginning with the 1930s Scandinavia The question he poses is, Do people not see that self interest does not itself preclude acting in the wider public interest 155 Other terms in the revised framework proposed political responsibilities rather than moral obligations political responsibilities are obligations we incur by virtue of our structural position in society with reference to Iris Marion Young existential guilt rather than personal guilt acknowledging one s material connection to a particular form of injustice re Ruth Marcus.The author takes a few chapters to get into the argument, but once it moves past the very broad and deceptively wishy washy intro, it s definitely worth reading and is somewhatspecific in the latter third than this review may show This was the free e book of the month from the University of Chicago Press

  4. says:

    He is trying to make a case forsocial democracy with the usual arguments disguised as something different and new It s not It s all about inequality, but he mixes it with poverty However, getting rid of inequality is bad if it makes us equally poor He can show to Brazil where the Gini has slowly dropped as a good example, but at the same time tell us how bad the US is where the systems have kept the Gini under the level of Brazil for many many years Then he mixes up global inequality He is trying to make a case forsocial democracy with the usual arguments disguised as something different and new It s not It s all about inequality, but he mixes it with poverty However, getting rid of inequality is bad if it makes us equally poor He can show to Brazil where the Gini has slowly dropped as a good example, but at the same time tell us how bad the US is where the systems have kept the Gini under the level of Brazil for many many years Then he mixes up global inequality and those within countries, and those are different things entirely The reason people are poor at one side of the world is not that it s exploited by the rich It s because the poor countries lack in capitalism what the rich countries have had for a long time and prospered by Simon Reid Henry never goes into the details or principles, rather he argues by many many examples that seems bad and then he points to badly argued reasons shy those things are bad but very sloppily because there is never one reason for a bad thing and he ignores many other reasons in order to create his narratives He never touches upon the solution of a country having the mobility, the possibility of poor to become rich opportunities If people have them, then people will take them if they really want to become richer Then the Gini will not matter at much but in this book, it is the holy grail More taxes on the rich Less tax evasion More social programs More government interference Bad bad bad bad

  5. says:

    I appreciated the authors desire to approach problems with an emphasis on creativity, cooperation and compromise Discussion over such a complicated issue would have benefited fromtangible examples Overall I enjoyed reading about ideas proposed.

  6. says:

    A tad bit underwhelming if I judge it based on my expectations It does delve into the issue of how politics fuels inequality and how we can start to make politics work to not lead to increasing inequality.

  7. says:

    330.1 R355 2015

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