From the list on why we need a world without billionaires.
Who am I?
I grew up in the 1950s next door to Long Island’s iconic Levittown. All my aunts and uncles lived in similar modest suburbs, and I assumed everyone else did, too. Maybe that explains why America’s sharp economic U-turn in the 1970s so rubbed me the wrong way. We had become, in the mid-20th century, the first major nation where most people—after paying their monthly bills—had money left over. Today we rate as the world’s most unequal major nation. Our richest 0.1 percent hold as much wealth as our bottom 90 percent. I’ve been working with the Institute for Public Studies, as co-editor of Inequality.org, to change all that.
Sam's book list on why we need a world without billionaires
Discover why each book is one of Sam's favorite books.
Why did Sam love this book?
The urge to limit vast accumulations of individual wealth, the historian James Huston reminds us in this 1998 deep dive into America’s largely forgotten past, turns out to be as American as apple pie.
The new American nation, as John Adams put in in 1776, would only be able to preserve the “balance of power on the side of equal liberty and public virtue” by dividing the nation’s land “into small quantities, so that the multitude may be possessed of landed estates.”
Thomas Jefferson fully agreed. A republic, he insisted, “cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property.” Our founders never lived up to these noble aims. We still can.
Securing the Fruits of Labor
Why should I read it?
1 author picked Securing the Fruits of Labor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
In his comprehensive study of the economic ideology of the early republic, James L. Huston argues that Americans developed economic attitudes during the Revolutionary period that remained virtually unchanged until the close of the nineteenth century. Viewing Europe's aristocratic system, early Americans believed that the survival of their new republic depended on a fair distribution of wealth, brought about through political and economic equality.
The concepts of wealth distribution formulated in the Revolutionary period informed works on nineteenth-century political economy and shaped the ideology of political parties. Huston reveals how these ideas influenced debates over reform, working-class agitation, political participation,…