Our Kids

Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476769905
Release Date: 2016-03-29
Genre: History

A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).

Our Kids

Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476769899
Release Date: 2015-03-10
Genre: History

In an authoritative, yet personal, examination of the growing inequality gap, a leading humanist and renowned scientist who has consulted for the last four U.S. Presidents, drawing on poignant life stories of rich and poor kids across the country, provides a disturbing account of the American dream. By the author of Bowling Alone. Includes 30 charts and graphs.

Our Kids

Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476769912
Release Date: 2015-03-10
Genre: History

A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).

Bowling Alone

Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780743203043
Release Date: 2001-08-07
Genre: History

Shows how changes in work, family structure, women's roles, and other factors have caused people to become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and democratic structures--and how they may reconnect.

American Grace

Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781416566731
Release Date: 2012-02-21
Genre: Political Science

Draws on three national surveys on religion, as well as research conducted by congregations across the United States, to examine the profound impact it has had on American life and how religious attitudes have changed in recent decades.

Dream Hoarders

Author: Richard V. Reeves
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815735496
Release Date: 2018-06-12
Genre: Political Science

Dream Hoarders sparked a national conversation on the dangerous separation between the upper middle class and everyone else. Now in paperback and newly updated for the age of Trump, Brookings Institution senior fellow Richard Reeves is continuing to challenge the class system in America. In America, everyone knows that the top 1 percent are the villains. The rest of us, the 99 percent—we are the good guys. Not so, argues Reeves. The real class divide is not between the upper class and the upper middle class: it is between the upper middle class and everyone else. The separation of the upper middle class from everyone else is both economic and social, and the practice of “opportunity hoarding”—gaining exclusive access to scarce resources—is especially prevalent among parents who want to perpetuate privilege to the benefit of their children. While many families believe this is just good parenting, it is actually hurting others by reducing their chances of securing these opportunities. There is a glass floor created for each affluent child helped by his or her wealthy, stable family. That glass floor is a glass ceiling for another child. Throughout Dream Hoarders, Reeves explores the creation and perpetuation of opportunity hoarding, and what should be done to stop it, including controversial solutions such as ending legacy admissions to school. He offers specific steps toward reducing inequality and asks the upper middle class to pay for it. Convinced of their merit, members of the upper middle class believes they are entitled to those tax breaks and hoarded opportunities. After all, they aren’t the 1 percent. The national obsession with the super rich allows the upper middle class to convince themselves that they are just like the rest of America. In Dream Hoarders, Reeves argues that in many ways, they are worse, and that changes in policy and social conscience are the only way to fix the broken system.

American Dream

Author: Jason DeParle
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143034375
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Political Science

Provides an in-depth study of the conflict between government social policy and the realities of life in post-welfare America, focusing on the lives of three women in a single extended family.

City Schools and the American Dream

Author: Pedro Noguera
Publisher: Teachers College Press
ISBN: 9780807774007
Release Date: 2015-04-29
Genre: Education

What will it take for urban schools to achieve the kind of academic performance required by new state and national educational standards? How can classroom teachers in city schools help to close the achievement gap? What can restore public confidence in public schools? Pedro Noguera argues that higher standards and more tests, by themselves, will not make low-income urban students any smarter and the schools they attend more successful without substantial investment in the communities in which they live. Drawing on extensive research performed in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond, Noguera demonstrates how school and student achievement is influenced by social forces such as demographic change, poverty, drug trafficking, violence, and social inequity. Readers get a detailed glimpse into the lives of teachers and students working "against the odds" to succeed. Noguera sends a strong message to those who would have urban schools “shape up or shut down”: invest in the future of these students and schools, and we can reach the kind of achievement and success that typify only more privileged communities. Public schools are the last best hope for many poor families living in cities across the nation. Noguera gives politicians, policymakers, and the public its own standard to achieve—provide the basic economic and social support so that teachers and students can get the job done! “In this engaging book, Pedro Noguera provides a compelling vision of the problems plaguing urban schools and how to address them. City Schools and the American Dream is replete with insights from a scholar and former activist who makes great use of both personal and professional experiences.” —William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

The Stickup Kids

Author: Randol Contreras
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520273375
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Social Science

Randol Contreras came of age in the South Bronx during the 1980s, a time when the community was devastated by cuts in social services, a rise in arson and abandonment, and the rise of crack-cocaine. For this riveting book, he returns to the South Bronx with a sociological eye and provides an unprecedented insider’s look at the workings of a group of Dominican drug robbers. Known on the streets as “Stickup Kids,” these men raided and brutally tortured drug dealers storing large amounts of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and cash. As a participant observer, Randol Contreras offers both a personal and theoretical account for the rise of the Stickup Kids and their violence. He mainly focuses on the lives of neighborhood friends, who went from being crack dealers to drug robbers once their lucrative crack market opportunities disappeared. The result is a stunning, vivid, on-the-ground ethnographic description of a drug robbery’s violence, the drug market high life, the criminal life course, and the eventual pain and suffering experienced by the casualties of the Crack Era. Provocative and eye-opening, The Stickup Kids urges us to explore the ravages of the drug trade through weaving history, biography, social structure, and drug market forces. It offers a revelatory explanation for drug market violence by masterfully uncovering the hidden social forces that produce violent and self-destructive individuals. Part memoir, part penetrating analysis, this book is engaging, personal, deeply informed, and entirely absorbing.

Democracies in Flux

Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199882205
Release Date: 2002-08-15
Genre: Social Science

In his national bestseller Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam illuminated the decline of social capital in the US. Now, in Democracies in Flux, Putnam brings together a group of leading scholars who broaden his findings as they examine the state of social capital in eight advanced democracies around the world. The book is packed with many intriguing revelations. The contributors note, for instance, that waning participation in unions, churches, and political parties seems to be virtually universal, a troubling discovery as these forms of social capital are especially important for empowering less educated, less affluent portions of the population. Indeed, in general, the researchers found more social grouping among the affluent than among the working classes and they find evidence of a younger generation that is singularly uninterested in politics, distrustful both of politicians and of others, cynical about public affairs, and less inclined to participate in enduring social organizations. Yet social capital appears as strong as ever in Sweden, where 40% of the adult population participate in "study circles"--small groups who meet weekly for educational discussions. Social capital--good will, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse--is vitally important both for the health of our communities and for our own physical and psychological well being. Offering a panoramic look at social capital around the world, this book makes an important contribution to our understanding of these phenomena and why they are important in today's world.

Inflated

Author: Christopher Whalen
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780470875148
Release Date: 2010-12-08
Genre: Business & Economics

Americans as a whole view themselves as reasonably prudent and sober people when it comes to matters of money, reflecting the puritan roots of the earliest European settlers. Yet as a community, we also seem to believe that we are entitled to a lifestyle that is well-beyond our current income, a tendency that goes back to the earliest days of the United States and particularly to get rich quick experiences ranging from the Gold Rush of the 1840s to the real estate bubble of the early 21st Century. Inflated examines this apparent conflict and makes the argument that such a world view is so ingrained in us that to expect the United States to live in a “deflated” world is simply unrealistic. It skillfully seeks to tell the story of, money inflation and public debt as enduring (and perhaps endearing) features of American life, rather than something we can one day overcome as our policy makers constantly promise. • Features interviews with today’s top financial industry leaders and insiders. • Offer a glimpse into the future of the Federal Reserve and the role it will play in the coming years • Examines what the future may hold for the value of the U.S. dollar and the real incomes of future generations of Americans The gradual result of the situation we find ourselves in will inevitably lead to inflation, loss of economic opportunity, and a decline in the value of the dollar. This book will show you why, and reveal how we might be able to deal with it.

The Life Space of the Urban Child

Author: Gunter Mey
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781351480093
Release Date: 2017-09-08
Genre: Psychology

The heart of this book is the translation of The Life Space of the Urban Child, written in 1935 by Martha and Hans Heinrich Muchow. Life Space provides a fresh look at children as actors and how they absorb their city environments. It uses an empirical base connected with theories about the worlds in which children live. The first section provides historical background on Muchow's study and the author. The second section presents the translation of the Life Space study, as well as comments from an environmental psychologist's perspective. The third section reviews the study's theoretical foundations, including the concept of "critical personalism," the perspectives of phenomenology, and the notion of Umwelt (environment). The last section addresses various lines of research developed from the Life Space study, including Muchow's work in describing children in urban environments, methodological approaches, and the significance of space in social science and educational contexts. The manner in which Martha Muchow conducted her studies is itself of note. She obtained access to the children in their environments and combined observation with cartographies and essays produced by the children. This approach was new at the time and continues to inspire researchers today. This volume is the latest work in Transaction's History and Theory of Psychology series.

Up in Smoke

Author: Richard L. Deprospo
Publisher: BookBaby
ISBN: 9781483555379
Release Date: 2015-06-10
Genre: Business & Economics

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are currently forty million Americans aged sixty-five and over. With the first of the Baby Boom generation reaching the traditional retirement age of sixty-five in 2011, the number of retirement age individuals is expected to grow by 10,000 each day for the next fifteen years. By 2030, when the last of the Baby Boomers will have turned sixty-five, an estimated 18% of the US population, or sixty-five million Americans, will have reached retirement age. Half of these people will live out their final years in poverty, the result of under-planning, under-saving and the victims of a reckless and misguided experiment in defined contribution retirement plans. The shift in the private sector from employer-sponsored defined benefit plans to employee-based defined contribution plans, or 401(k)s, a process that took hold rather abruptly in the early 1980s, has left fewer than one in five private sector workers covered by a traditional retirement plan. As a consequence, only fourteen percent of Americans indicate they are confident they will be prepared for the expenses of retirement. Authorized by Congress under the Revenue Act of 1978, IRAs and 401(k)s as we have now come to learn, were not particularly well thought out. The economic model that established limits on annual contributions and relied upon individual diligence, expert investment management and a healthy measure of luck, had very little chance of success. Amidst this backdrop of limited retirement savings, public sector employee pension plans are deeply troubled. The unfunded portion of U.S. state and local government pension obligations currently exceeds $4 trillion. This ever-growing pension liability threatens the solvency of local governments from coast to coast, as well as the pension benefits promised to public sector employees. Up In Smoke provides a startling examination of our nation’s retirement funding: social security, corporate defined benefit programs, local government employee pension plans and 401(k), IRA and other defined contribution plans. Each of these programs is tragically underfunded, at a time when demographics are forcing a tidal wave of Americans into retirement. These individuals, as well as generations to follow will increasingly be seeking an understanding of how we arrived at this desperate place and just what hope might lie ahead. Up In Smoke provides those insights.

Transpacific Rebalancing

Author: Barry P. Bosworth
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815722618
Release Date: 2015-01-20
Genre: Business & Economics

Persistently large external imbalances in the world economy contributed to the outbreak of the recent financial crisis. The current account imbalances were particularly severe among the economies that border on the Pacific—the United States ran large deficits, with offsetting surpluses in East Asia. The depth and breadth of the global recession also demonstrated the need for a coordination of national policies to achieve a sustained recovery. While the magnitude of global-trade disruption led to some reduction in the size of the imbalances, closer examination suggests that the progress may prove temporary. On the other hand, significant changes in the underlying patterns of saving and investment suggest that some of the recent rebalancing may prove to be more permanent. Are such imbalances really a problem? If so, why and for whom? What should be done about them—if anything—and what does the future likely hold for transpacific trade relations? In this timely book, Asian and American economists explore those important questions. Copublished with the Asian Development Bank Institute, Transpacific Rebalancing is coedited by Barry Bosworth—long one of the Brookings Institution's leading economic analysts—and Masahiro Kawai, dean of the ADBI. They brought together leading economists from either side of the Pacific to analyze such issues as: • The impact of exchange rates • The policy choices facing the "Asian tigers" • The specifics and effects of trade imbalances in specific countries including the United States, South Korea, Thailand, India, and China Contributors include Hwee Kwan Chow, Susan M. Collins, Barry Eichengreen, Joonkyung Ha, Yping Huang, Ginalyn Komoto, Jong-Wha Lee, Rajiv Kumar, Deunden Nikomborirak, Gisela Rua, Lea Sumulong, Chalongphob Sussankam, Kunyu Tao, Willem Thorbecke, and Pankaj Vashisht.

The Betrayal of the American Dream

Author: Donald L. Barlett
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781586489700
Release Date: 2012-07-31
Genre: Social Science

A New York Times bestseller America’s unique prosperity is based on its creation of a middle class. In the twentieth century, that middle class provided the workforce, the educated skills, and the demand that gave life to the world’s greatest consumer economy. It was innovative and dynamic; it eclipsed old imperial systems and colonial archetypes. It gave rise to a dream: that if you worked hard and followed the rules you would prosper in America, and your children would enjoy a better life than yours. The American dream was the lure to gifted immigrants and the birthright opportunity for every American citizen. It is as important a part of the history of the country as the passing of the Bill of Rights, the outcome of the battle of Gettysburg, or the space program. Incredibly, however, for more than thirty years, government and big business in America have conspired to roll back the American dream. What was once accessible to a wide swath of the population is increasingly open only to a privileged few. The story of how the American middle class has been systematically impoverished and its prospects thwarted in favor of a new ruling elite is at the heart of this extraordinarily timely and revealing book, whose devastating findings from two of the finest investigative reporters in the country will leave you astonished and angry.