Week 10: October 29-2

I recently read a review of CUNY professor Branko Milanovic’s book, Global Inequality: A New Approach For The Age Of Globalization. The review, written by economics professor Diane Coyle, consisted of a summary and evaluation.

Milanovic’s main points:

*There have been several momentous changes in recent history: stagnation of incomes among middle class of developed world, the rise of a global middle class, and the emergence of a global plutocracy (the top 1%)

*These trends have serious political and economic consequences, and need to be addressed.

*Social class has a role in the changes: inequality between countries has narrowed, while inequality within countries has widened since the 1980s.  

*Politics needs to redistribute the gains of economic growth more fairly, since very high inequality eventually becomes unsustainable.

*The 20th century was the only time in history when inequality diminished as average incomes rose. Milanovic argues that political choices regarding taxation, education, or capital ownership could achieve this again.

Coyle’s opinion: The gains from globalization and incomes will not stay so unequally distributed, but the method by which the reversal happens is “up to all of us to determine.”

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