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That kind of model is precisely one Giridharadas now suggests is a possible solution.

Winners Take All — Anand Giridharadas

The World Bank regularly publishes data and reports on inequality. There are plenty of examples I could think of that corroborate rather than disprove his analysis. But in the end, Giridharadas takes a few too many shortcuts. His book is an eye-opening read, and one that much deserves to be read by the elites it calls out.

But to be most powerful, it should have spent more time focusing on policy responses than on laying easy blames. Creative new approaches are being pioneered by cities, utilities, investors and businesses to fund smart cities. Log In or sign up to comment. Joseph Stiglitz among a small group of economists and policy analysts has pointed to the fundamental system problem shared by nearly all societies. Namely, systems of law and taxation that favor rentier privilege and rent-seeking over the actual production of goods and delivery of services. The solution is to change the way government at all levels raises revenue to pay for public goods and services.

Taxation of rent-derived income and gains on the sale of land and financial instruments is where the funds should come from. In the United States and some other countries, the taxation of real estate is a function of multiple layers of local government and public school districts. Property improvement values should be made exempt from the tax base, with the objective of public collection of the full potential annual rental value of every privately-owned location.

This change would curtail sprawl by providing a financial incentive to owners of land to develop the land held to its highest, best use or selling to someone who would do so. Rent-derive income can also be captured by restructuring the individual income tax to combine simplification with real progressivity, inasmuch as it is in the highest incomes where rent-derived income is greatest. What might this look like? Exempt all individual incomes up to come percentage of the national median.

Eliminate all other deductions and exemptions. Above this level impose an increasing rate of taxation on higher ranges of income. Paul Allen died this week. He is noted as being the co-founder of Microsoft and the largest philanthropist to the Seattle community.


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Unlike Bill and Melinda Gates charitable funding through their foundation and pledges from wealthy donors, Paul Allen choose to keep his very generous donations close to his Seattle home. Where am I going with this? Seattle, like Austin, San Jose and satellite communities surrounding Silicon Valley, were home to global enterprises that received national and foreign profits. These major tech cities generated the highest per capita GDP of all urban census metropolitan areas in the United States. Wealth begets wealth.

Winner-Takes-All Market

Instead, they seem preoccupied with having their names on hospitals, universities and distinguished architectural structures to house a variety of cultural artifacts — museums, art galleries, etc. I have read thoughtful well-written articles by professional writers that offer analysis and prescriptions to inequality challenges in advanced countries. Some articles focus on complicated measures to eliminate poverty and enhance social services to help those in need. Others provide a simpler method that has been around since ancient empires existed a few thousand years ago — hundreds of years before the rise and fall of the Roman empire.

That method is taxation. Income to these people would need to be focused on food costs, shelter, schools and healthcare in each jurisdiction. The contrary argument, that welfare detracts an individual recipient from finding work and contributing to GDP, is a Straw Man argument. Analytical charts are drawn to prove the point! Are all poor people cut from the same cloth? The reality is that many people are unemployable due to demand for work exceeding work supply. Some unemployed people are unemployable due to mental or physical illness.

Other unemployed live in poor communities that do not have adequate transit and affordable means to find and secure work in suburban locations that have become new homes to old businesses and affluent residents who had abandoned city centers to avoid higher taxes, crime rates and poor schools with unqualified teachers. The barriers to acquiring a job that pays a living wage is the distance between home and work location in the absence of effective and affordable transit servcies.

Job seekers require affordable transit services to find and hang-on to full-time work that will pay a living wage. The greatest challenge facing poor people outside of developed countries is a lack of law and order and adherence by political leaders and local police to the rule of law. There is too much corruption in undeveloped and developing economies. Developed countries need to resolve global poverty issues by funding national security policies that include police training to interdict organized crime networks operating freely in less developed and developing economies.

Improving economic standing and reducing fear of gang violence are the keys to social-economic development and alleviation from wide-scale poverty. The cost of a war on global poverty requires funding. We fund these policies by increasing taxes on wealthy global citizens. After-all, much of the economic growth that occurs in poor nations trails-back to enterprises in developing and developed nations. A service-oriented global circular economy. There is much truth to what you have written Mr.

Ability to pay is one but not the most important criteria for taxation. How income is derived and how wealth is obtained are others. The approach to tax reform I have come to has the added virtue to significantly expanding equality of opportunity. A call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike. He has also… More about Anand Giridharadas. I suggest they might want to read a copy of this book while in the Hamptons this summer. Read it and beware. Giridharadas writes brilliantly on the parasitic philanthropy industry.

Unequal Distribution

That Giridharadas questions an idea that has become part of the air we breathe is alone worth the price of the book, and his delicious skewering of the many who exalt their own goodness while making money from dubious business practices makes for entertaining reading. A lacerating critique. An excellent book for troubled times. I appreciate his commitment and dedication to spreading social justice. This is an important book from a gifted writer whose honest exploration of complex problems provides urgently needed clarity in an increasingly confusing era.

The book courageously answers so many of the critical questions about how, despite much good will and many good people, we struggle to achieve progress in twenty-first-century America. If you want to be part of the solution, you should read this book. Thought-provoking, expansive, and timely. It not only reorients us as we lurch out of a long ideological intoxication; it also embodies the values—intellectual autonomy and dissent—that we need to build a just society. Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book! Join Reader Rewards and earn points when you purchase this book from your favorite retailer.

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