99 to 1

How Wealth Inequality Is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It

By Chuck Collins

Publication date: 03/01/2012

99 to 1

Brings together facts and figures showing what "the 99% and the 1%" divide means in the real world and the damage it causes.

Identifies the social and historical forces that created and perpetuate this divide

  • Offers concrete proposals for closing the inequality gap

  • Click here for the press release
  • For over thirty years, we've lived through a radical redistribution of wealth-upward, to a tiny fraction of the population. It's as though we're undertaking a bizarre social experiment to see how much inequality a democratic society can tolderate.

    As a result "We are the 99%," the rallying cry of the Occupy movement, has spread far beyond its ranks. But who are the 99 percent? Who are the 1 percent? How extensive and systematic is inequality throughout society? What are its true causes and consequences? How is inequality changing our world? And what can be done about it?

    For many years, Chuck Collins has been a leading voice and activist on these questions. In this book he marshals wide-ranging data from a variery of sources to paint a graphic picture of how disparities in wealth and power play out in America and the world. For the first time, this book reveals the concrete meaning of "the 99% and the 1%," looking not just at individual households but at the business world, the media, and the earth as a whole.

    Collins identifies the shifts in social values, political power, and economic policy that have led to our current era of extreme inequality -- particularly the way Wall Street has managed to rig the rules of the game in favor of the 1 percent-and surveys the havoc inequality has wreaked on virtually every aspect of society. But there is hope. Not only does he offer common-sense proposals for closing the inequality gap, but Collins provides a guide to many of the groups-including some made up of millionaires-that are working to bring about a society that works for everybody: for the 100 percent. This is a struggle that can be won. After all, the odd are 99 to 1 in our favor.

    Read more and meet author below


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    Overview

    Brings together facts and figures showing what "the 99% and the 1%" divide means in the real world and the damage it causes.

    Identifies the social and historical forces that created and perpetuate this divide

  • Offers concrete proposals for closing the inequality gap

  • Click here for the press release
  • For over thirty years, we've lived through a radical redistribution of wealth-upward, to a tiny fraction of the population. It's as though we're undertaking a bizarre social experiment to see how much inequality a democratic society can tolderate.

    As a result "We are the 99%," the rallying cry of the Occupy movement, has spread far beyond its ranks. But who are the 99 percent? Who are the 1 percent? How extensive and systematic is inequality throughout society? What are its true causes and consequences? How is inequality changing our world? And what can be done about it?

    For many years, Chuck Collins has been a leading voice and activist on these questions. In this book he marshals wide-ranging data from a variery of sources to paint a graphic picture of how disparities in wealth and power play out in America and the world. For the first time, this book reveals the concrete meaning of "the 99% and the 1%," looking not just at individual households but at the business world, the media, and the earth as a whole.

    Collins identifies the shifts in social values, political power, and economic policy that have led to our current era of extreme inequality -- particularly the way Wall Street has managed to rig the rules of the game in favor of the 1 percent-and surveys the havoc inequality has wreaked on virtually every aspect of society. But there is hope. Not only does he offer common-sense proposals for closing the inequality gap, but Collins provides a guide to many of the groups-including some made up of millionaires-that are working to bring about a society that works for everybody: for the 100 percent. This is a struggle that can be won. After all, the odd are 99 to 1 in our favor.

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    Meet the Author


    Visit Author Page - Chuck Collins

    Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and directs IPS's Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is an expert on U.S. inequality and author of several books, including Economic Apartheid in America

    , co-authored with Felice Yeskel. He co-authored with Bill Gates Sr. Wealth and Our Commonwealth

    , a case for taxing inherited fortunes. He is co-author with Mary Wright of The Moral Measure of Our Economy

    , a book about Christian ethics and economic life.

    He is co-founder of Wealth For The Common Good, a network of business leaders, high-income households and partners working together to promote shared prosperity and fair taxation.

    In 1995, he co-founded United for a Fair Economy (UFE) to raise the profile of the inequality issue and support popular education and organizing efforts to address inequality. He was Executive Director of UFE from 1995-2001 and Program Director until 2005.

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    Table of Contents

    Forword by Barbara Ehrenreich

    Preface

    Introduction: We are the 99 Percent

    Chapter 1: Coming Apart at the Middle

    Chapter 2: Who Is the 1 Percent?

    Chapter 3: How the 1 Percent Rigs the Rules of the Economy

    Chapter 4: Life in the 99 Percent

    Chapter 5: The Wall Street Inequality Machine

    Chapter 6: How Inequality Wrecks Everything We Care About

    Chapter 7: How Wealth Inequality Crashed the Economy

    Chapter 8: The Sleeping 99 Percent Giant Wakes Up

    Chapter 9: Reversing the Inequality Death Spiral

    Chapter 10: Bold Rule Changes to Break Up Concentrated Wealth

    Conclusion: Prospects for Greater Equality

    Notes

    Resources

    Acknowledgments

    Index

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    Endorsements

    “The primer for the 99 percent movement to rebuild an economy that works for the 100 percent.”
    —Van Jones, President, Rebuild the Dream, and author of The Green Collar Economy

    “The best popular economics book of 2012. Occupy your mind with Collins's barn burner… It may rouse you to action on the solutions that Collins spells out with perfect precision.”
    —Charles Derber, author of Corporation Nation and Greed to Green

    “America's foremost opponent of inequality brilliantly shows how the 1 percent rigged the rules, looted the country, and got the 99 percent to pay for it.
    The essential guide for people who want to take back our country. Read and share widely.”
    —Juliet Schor, author of True Wealth

    “Wealth inequality is driving people out of their homes...and in to the streets. From Citizens United to Occupy Wall Street, Chuck Collins offers a clear and incisive understanding of how we got here and the power shift necessary to pull us back together and up to our feet.”
    —Samantha Corbin, Occupy Wall Street activist and The Other 98% organizer

    99 to 1 gives a fresh take on an old truth: ‘Money is like manure—it doesn't do any good unless you spread it around.' Tip: Pay special attention to Chuck's ‘What can we do' ideas. Read, absorb, and help spread the wealth!”
    —Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current

    “Most businesses want a level playing field, which means terminating subsidies to the largest corporations, eliminating their use of tax havens, getting their money out of politics, and implementing other initiatives that will help create a vibrant and sustainable economy. Collins's proposals would boost enterprises that are rooted in our communities, create jobs, and protect the environment. That's good business.”
    —David Levine, Executive Director, American Sustainable Business Council

    “There is a wide and growing disparity in the access to wealth in this country and across the world. Chuck Collins makes a compelling case for how we can work together—all 100 percent of us—to increase economic opportunity for all Americans.”
    —Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP

    “Chuck Collins has delivered a powerful book on how the richest 1 percent have benefited from the sacrifices of working families—and why it's time to give back.”
    —Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO

    “Chuck Collins succinctly sums up the history of how we got to the 99-versus-1 divide and provides sound solutions to restore the American Dream. Not only can these solutions bridge the wealth gap, but they can also heal some of our nation's deepest wounds. It's the primer for the 99 percent movement to rebuild an economy that works for the 100 percent.”
    —Van Jones, President, Rebuild the Dream, and author of The Green Collar Economy

    “So if you're rich, you're important; if you're not, you're worthless? That's no basis for a democratic society. Inequality messes with your mind and with the planet. Read this book and help put it right.”
    —Richard Wilkinson, coauthor of The Spirit Level

    “In this compelling and important book, Chuck Collins deftly exposes how the massive heist of national wealth by the richest 1 percent is wreaking havoc with our lives and devastating our world. Collins has been an intrepid advocate for greater equality for years, and he grasps the potential of the Occupy Wall Street movement to reverse the ‘inequality death spiral.' This is a passionate and powerful call to arms to save the planet from the clutches of the greedy few.”
    —Linda McQuaig, coauthor of Billionaires' Ball

    “Chuck Collins not only gives us the hard cold facts about inequality in America but also shares with us his gift for optimism. While he warns us that the hour is late to halt the downward spiral of inequality and environmental destruction, the power to make positive change still lies within us, waiting for the spark of renewal. With this remarkable book, Chuck is doing all that he can to rekindle that spark so that together we can fight for real change.”
    —Les Leopold, author of The Looting of America

    “Chuck Collins concisely summarizes the data on income and wealth inequality and in a calm, clear voice reveals why inequality is increasing and what we must do to reverse it. If you are to read one thing this year about inequality and its impact on America, you must read this book. It's all here and very well done at that.”
    —Barry Bluestone, Dean, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University

    “This is the best popular economics book of 2012. Occupy your mind with Collins's barn burner. You'll understand why inequality has become America's biggest crisis and why the Occupy Movement has captured the imagination of millions around the world. This riveting tale of America as two cities will stay with you for years to come and—watch out! It may rouse you to action on the solutions that Collins spells out with perfect precision.”
     
    —Charles Derber, author of Corporation Nation and Greed to Green

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