The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Date: September 2016
Duration: 10 hours 29 minutes
From the New York Times-bestselling author of Unintended Consequences comes another bold and contrarian book by the man who famously defended capitalism and the one percent at the height of the Occupy movement.
Conventional wisdom says income inequality is rising and harmful to nearly everyone, and the rich are to blame. But as Ed Conard shows, anyone who can produce a product valued by the entire economy will find his or her income growing faster than those who are limited by the number of customers they can serve, such as schoolteachers, plumbers, doctors, and lawyers.
Consider Taylor Swift, the current queen of pop, who made $64 million in 2014. She earns more because her audience is huge, not because she takes anything away from the tens of millions of fans who happily pay for all those concert tickets, iTunes downloads, and souvenir t-shirts. Her ability to generate value can scale with the economy. The same is true for others who improve the lives of millions, like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook. The growing success of innovators doesn't hurt the rest of the workforce. In fact, the opposite is true--their success increases the demand for our middle and working class labor.
Challenging the arguments of liberal economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, Conard reveals the truth about the income inequality panic. And by drawing on a historical study of the ebbs and flows of our economy, he proposes ways to grow the economy faster, which will benefit everyone on the income spectrum.