The Inequality Trap

The Inequality Trap

Fighting Capitalism Instead of Poverty

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:

US President Barack Obama has called economic inequality the "defining issue of our time." It has inspired the "Occupy" movements, made a French economist into a global celebrity, and given us a new expression - the "one percent." But is our preoccupation with inequality really justified? Or wise?

In his new book, William Watson argues that focusing on inequality is both an error and a trap. It is an error because much inequality is "good," the reward for thrift, industry, and invention. It is a trap because it leads us to fixate on the top end of the income distribution, rather than on those at the bottom who need help most. In fact, if we respond to growing inequality by fighting capitalism rather than poverty, we may end up both poorer and less equal.

Explaining the complexities of modern economics in a clear, accessible style, The Inequality Trap is the must-read rejoinder to the idea that fighting inequality should be our top policy priority.

Publisher: Toronto ; Buffalo ; London : University of Toronto Press, [2015]
ISBN: 9781442637245
Branch Call Number: 305 WAT 2015
Characteristics: xviii, 218 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 24, 2017

The sub-title is deeply misleading. The book dissects the meaning of the Gini coefficient and shows how it helps and where it falls short in understanding inequality. The first half is very helpful in this respect, however the second half less so, falling back on typical right wing platitudes, unsupported by any of the technical and factual data that appeared in the first half.

Feb 07, 2017

An excellent, authoritative & entertaining read for anyone with an open mind. But will be ignored by the "social engineers" of Washington & Ottawa -- which, as Watson points out -- were two of the top four cities Googling "inequality". The politics of envy...

Feb 07, 2016

This is one of those horrendous, .01% financed books to redirect and misdirect one's attention away from the real problems: whether it is the career-long thievery of oil by the Koch brothers [lying about the measurements of oil extracted, thereby underpaying for it at all sites], the fraudulent financial machinations such as creating crap CDOs, while purchasing // insurance \\ endless numbers of CDSes against them, et cetera; engineering tax laws to profit the .01%, and on and on. Far better to peruse Jane Mayer's outstanding book, Dark Money, and/or David Talbot's book, The Devil's Chessboard, and/or Satyajit Das' book, Extreme Money, or Alyssa Katz's book, The Influence Machine, or Erin Arvedlund's book, Open Secret!

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at FSPL

To Top