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 Dream

Author: Jason DeParle
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781440649172
Release Date: 2005-08-30
Genre: Political Science

In this definitive work, two-time Pulitzer finalist Jason DeParle cuts between the mean streets of Milwaukee and the corridors of Washington to produce a masterpiece of literary journalism. At the heart of the story are three cousins whose different lives follow similar trajectories. Leaving welfare, Angie puts her heart in her work. Jewell bets on an imprisoned man. Opal guards a tragic secret that threatens her kids and her life. DeParle traces their family history back six generations to slavery and weaves poor people, politicians, reformers, and rogues into a spellbinding epic. With a vivid sense of humanity, DeParle demonstrates that although we live in a country where anyone can make it, generation after generation some families don’t. To read American Dream is to understand why.

Dream Hoarders

Author: Richard V. Reeves
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815729136
Release Date: 2017-05-23
Genre: Social Science

America is becoming a class-based society. It is now conventional wisdom to focus on the wealth of the top 1 percent—especially the top 0.01 percent—and how the ultra-rich are concentrating income and prosperity while incomes for most other Americans are stagnant. But the most important, consequential, and widening gap in American society is between the upper middle class and everyone else. Reeves defines the upper middle class as those whose incomes are in the top 20 percent of American society. Income is not the only way to measure a society, but in a market economy it is crucial because access to money generally determines who gets the best quality education, housing, health care, and other necessary goods and services. As Reeves shows, the growing separation between the upper middle class and everyone else can be seen in family structure, neighborhoods, attitudes, and lifestyle. Those at the top of the income ladder are becoming more effective at passing on their status to their children, reducing overall social mobility. The result is not just an economic divide but a fracturing of American society along class lines. Upper-middle-class children become upper-middle-class adults. These trends matter because the separation and perpetuation of the upper middle class corrode prospects for more progressive approaches to policy. Various forms of “opportunity hoarding” among the upper middle class make it harder for others to rise up to the top rung. Examples include zoning laws and schooling, occupational licensing, college application procedures, and the allocation of internships. Upper-middle-class opportunity hoarding, Reeves argues, results in a less competitive economy as well as a less open society. Inequality is inevitable and can even be good, within limits. But Reeves argues that society can take effective action to reduce opportunity hoarding and thus promote broader opportunity. This fascinating book shows how American society has become the very class-defined society that earlier Americans rebelled against—and what can be done to restore a more equitable society.

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

End of the Line

Author: Richard Feldman
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252061489
Release Date: 1988
Genre: Business & Economics

Presents interviews with workers at Ford's Michigan Truck Plant outside Detroit, giving insight into the day-to-day experiences of American automobile workers

The Complacent Class

Author: Tyler Cowen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781250108708
Release Date: 2017-02-28
Genre: Business & Economics

*Now a Wall Street Journal and Washington Post Bestseller* "Tyler Cowen's blog, Marginal Revolution, is the first thing I read every morning. And his brilliant new book, The Complacent Class, has been on my nightstand after I devoured it in one sitting. I am at round-the-clock Cowen saturation right now."--Malcolm Gladwell Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs. The problem, according to legendary blogger, economist and best selling author Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition—we’re working harder than ever to avoid change. We're moving residences less, marrying people more like ourselves and choosing our music and our mates based on algorithms that wall us off from anything that might be too new or too different. Match.com matches us in love. Spotify and Pandora match us in music. Facebook matches us to just about everything else. Of course, this “matching culture” brings tremendous positives: music we like, partners who make us happy, neighbors who want the same things. We’re more comfortable. But, according to Cowen, there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create. The Complacent Class argues that this cannot go on forever. We are postponing change, due to our near-sightedness and extreme desire for comfort, but ultimately this will make change, when it comes, harder. The forces unleashed by the Great Stagnation will eventually lead to a major fiscal and budgetary crisis: impossibly expensive rentals for our most attractive cities, worsening of residential segregation, and a decline in our work ethic. The only way to avoid this difficult future is for Americans to force themselves out of their comfortable slumber—to embrace their restless tradition again.

Theft of the American Dream

Author: J. F. Swartz
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 1475949138
Release Date: 2012-10-30
Genre: Business & Economics

According to author J. F. Swartz, we are all victims of a crime. Bankers and politicians have already stolen our standard of living, even though we may not realize it yet. They are destroying the purchasing power of our dollars by the unprecedented creation of money by the Federal Reserve. Central banks the world over are printing more money than ever before, making the situation even worse. Theft of the American Dream leads us through the maze of deception in an easy-to-read, irreverent, yet insightful style, while explaining the structural flaws in the US financial system and how these flaws could soon destroy unwitting middle class Americans. Swartz provides practical steps to take to defend ourselves against the monetary and fiscal actions taken by our leaders. He also exposes the truth about who really benefits from the outrageous money printing and other experiments enacted by the Federal Reserve, as well as what the profligate money creation can do to the prices of the things citizens need most. As distressing and depressing as the truth is regarding the ongoing, systemic failure of the US dollar—and with it the US financial system—there is certainly a way out for those who prepare correctly. Theft of the American Dream presents financial defenses and investment strategies that offer the best hope for protecting our purchasing power in the period directly ahead.

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.

Community Programs to Promote Youth Development

Author: Committee on Community-Level Programs for Youth
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309072755
Release Date: 2002-02-12
Genre: Social Science

After-school programs, scout groups, community service activities, religious youth groups, and other community-based activities have long been thought to play a key role in the lives of adolescents. But what do we know about the role of such programs for today's adolescents? How can we ensure that programs are designed to successfully meet young people's developmental needs and help them become healthy, happy, and productive adults? Community Programs to Promote Youth Development explores these questions, focusing on essential elements of adolescent well-being and healthy development. It offers recommendations for policy, practice, and research to ensure that programs are well designed to meet young people's developmental needs. The book also discusses the features of programs that can contribute to a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. It examines what we know about the current landscape of youth development programs for America's youth, as well as how these programs are meeting their diverse needs. Recognizing the importance of adolescence as a period of transition to adulthood, Community Programs to Promote Youth Development offers authoritative guidance to policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and other key stakeholders on the role of youth development programs to promote the healthy development and well-being of the nation's youth.

Inflated

Author: R. Christopher Whalen
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470933712
Release Date: 2010-11-04
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 Spirit Level

Author: Kate Pickett
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141921150
Release Date: 2010-11-04
Genre: Social Science

Why do we mistrust people more in the UK than in Japan? Why do Americans have higher rates of teenage pregnancy than the French? What makes the Swedish thinner than the Greeks? The answer: inequality. This groundbreaking book, based on years of research, provides hard evidence to show: - How almost everything - from life expectancy to depression levels, violence to illiteracy - is affected not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is - That societies with a bigger gap between rich and poor are bad for everyone in them - including the well-off - How we can find positive solutions and move towards a happier, fairer future Urgent, provocative and genuinely uplifting, The Spirit Level has been heralded as providing a new way of thinking about ourselves and our communities, and could change the way you see the world.