What Can Be Done?

Book - 2015
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Harvard University Press
Inequality and poverty have returned with a vengeance in recent decades. To reduce them, we need fresh ideas that move beyond taxes on the wealthy. Anthony B. Atkinson offers ambitious new policies in technology, employment, social security, sharing of capital, and taxation, and he defends them against the common arguments and excuses for inaction.

Inequality is one of our most urgent social problems. Curbed in the decades after World War II, it has recently returned with a vengeance. We all know the scale of the problem—talk about the 99% and the 1% is entrenched in public debate—but there has been little discussion of what we can do but despair. According to the distinguished economist Anthony Atkinson, however, we can do much more than skeptics imagine.

Atkinson has long been at the forefront of research on inequality, and brings his theoretical and practical experience to bear on its diverse problems. He presents a comprehensive set of policies that could bring about a genuine shift in the distribution of income in developed countries. The problem, Atkinson shows, is not simply that the rich are getting richer. We are also failing to tackle poverty, and the economy is rapidly changing to leave the majority of people behind. To reduce inequality, we have to go beyond placing new taxes on the wealthy to fund existing programs. We need fresh ideas. Atkinson thus recommends ambitious new policies in five areas: technology, employment, social security, the sharing of capital, and taxation. ? He defends these against the common arguments and excuses for inaction: that intervention will shrink the economy, that globalization makes action impossible, and that new policies cannot be afforded.

More than just a program for change, Atkinson’s book is a voice of hope and informed optimism about the possibilities for political action.

Baker & Taylor
Offers ambitious new policies in technology, employment, social security, sharing of capital and taxation, defending them against the common arguments and excuses for inaction. Includes 15 graphs and 15 tables.

Book News
Atkinson presents students, academics, researchers, policy makers, and general interest readers with an economist’s perspective on the history and current state of inequality in the West and globally, focusing his critical examination of Western society on both a program for change and the myriad reasons to hope for a better, more equitable future. The author has organized the eleven chapters that make up the main body of his text in three parts devoted to diagnosis of the problem, proposals for action, and the way forward. Anthony B. Atkinson is a Fellow of Nuffield College and a faculty member of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Offers new policies in technology, employment, social security, capital sharing, and taxation that intend to narrow the income gap, defending them against the common arguments and excuses for inaction.

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, c2015
ISBN: 9780674504769
Branch Call Number: 339.22 ATK
Characteristics: xi, 384 p. :,ill., charts ;,25 cm.


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