Business Books

Inequality is a choice, says famed economist Joseph E. Stiglitz in his new book

(Click here for more business book reviews.)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Rapport Editor Waldimar Pelser for his weekly “Business book reviews” feature.

Pelser reviewed “The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do about Them” by Joseph E. Stiglitz.

At the end of 2013, Pelser reviewed Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”.

Description on Amazon:

How has America become the most unequal advanced country in the world, and what can be done about it?

In “The Great Divide”, Joseph E. Stiglitz expands on the diagnosis he offered in his best-selling book “The Price of Inequality” and suggests ways to counter America’s growing problem.

With his signature blend of clarity and passion, Stiglitz argues that inequality is a choice ― the cumulative result of unjust policies and misguided priorities.

Gathering his writings for popular outlets including Vanity Fair and the New York Times, Stiglitz exposes in full America's inequality: its dimensions, its causes and its consequences for the nation and for the world.

From the Reagan-era to the Great Recession and its long aftermath, Stiglitz delves into the irresponsible policies ― deregulation, tax cuts, and tax breaks for the 1 percent ― that are leaving many Americans farther and farther beyond and turning the American dream into an ever more unachievable myth.

With formidable, yet accessible, economic insight, he urges us to embrace real solutions: increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy; offering more help to the children of the poor; investing in education, science, and infrastructure; helping out homeowners instead of banks; and, most importantly, doing more to restore the economy to full employment.

Stiglitz also draws lessons from Scandinavia, Singapore and Japan.

He argues against the tide of unnecessary, destructive austerity that is sweeping across Europe.

Ultimately, Stiglitz believes our choice is not between growth and fairness - with the right policies we can choose both.

His complaint is not so much about capitalism as such, but how 21st-century capitalism has been perverted.

His is a call to confront America's economic inequality as the political and moral issue that it is.

If it reinvests in people, and pursues the other policies that he describes, America can live up to the shared dream of a more prosperous, more equal society.

Scroll down for quotes from the audio below.

It sketches how the top 1% caused the Global Financial Crisis and benefitted from the recovery.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Young American men in their 30s earn 12% less than their fathers did in real terms.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

87% of Mauritians own a home.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

He says inequality is bad for growth.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Stiglitz attacks Warren Buffett in this book.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Stiglitz says there’s a ‘trickle up’ economics where the poor is funding the super-rich.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Stiglitz says the US system is patently unfair and that it wasn’t always so.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Inequality is the result of policy.

Waldimar Pelser, Editor of Rapport

Subscribe to our Business Wrap Newsletter


702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
How do you have sex in space? John Maytham on his new book ‘Rapid Fire’…

How do you have sex in space? John Maytham on his new book ‘Rapid Fire’…

Bruce Whitfield interviews famed CapeTalk presenter John Maytham about his new book "Rapid Fire: Remarkable Miscellany".

How Satya Nadella rediscovered Microsoft’s soul

How Satya Nadella rediscovered Microsoft’s soul

Strive’s Andy Golding reviews Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s new book “Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul..."

‘There are a lot of d***s in business. I want to be the best one!’

‘There are a lot of d***s in business. I want to be the best one!’

Bruce Whitfield interviews Mike Sharman, cofounder at Retroviral and author or “The Best Dick”.

Pay back the money, Rich People! – Thomas Piketty

Pay back the money, Rich People! – Thomas Piketty

Bruce Whitfield interviewed Thomas Piketty, famed economist and author of the bestselling “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”.

Most Influential Book of 2014: Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty)

Most Influential Book of 2014: Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty)

Gill Marcus calls it “one of the most important books of this century”. 5 thought leaders debate Thomas Piketty’s tour de force...

SA’s two richest people have wealth equal to the poorest 26.5-million - Oxfam

SA’s two richest people have wealth equal to the poorest 26.5-million - Oxfam

South Africa is a country of breath-taking wealth and life stealing poverty, according to an Oxfam report on extreme inequality.

Popular articles
Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Ndlozi explains the significance of the the first chapter of his thesis: 'Trauma in the archives'.

German prosecutors probing Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste (for accounting fraud)

German prosecutors probing Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste (for accounting fraud)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Steinhoff International Chairperson Christo Wiese.

Happy 50th birthday, Pick n Pay (congrats on growing your bottom line by 18%)!

Happy 50th birthday, Pick n Pay (congrats on growing your bottom line by 18%)!

50 years ago the retailer started out when Raymond Ackerman bought three tiny stores from Click founder Jack Goldin.

Is it normal to have a curved penis? Dr Shingai explains

Is it normal to have a curved penis? Dr Shingai explains

Urologist Dr Shingai Mutambirwa says penile curvature is only a concern if it impedes a man's ability to have penetrative sex.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

Meet Shoprite’s Christo Wiese, ruler of retail (and 3rd richest African)

Meet Shoprite’s Christo Wiese, ruler of retail (and 3rd richest African)

Bruce Whitfield interviews the remarkable Wiese (net worth R100 billion!) about how it all began and where it’s going.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?