The wheres, whys, and hows of economic inequality in the United States.
This exemplary piece of introductory economics deserves a place in every middle and high school library across the land. Frazer has a bell-clear writing style, and the design is intriguing but not frenetic, with clear graphics and intuitive sidebar placement. After a brief but complete look at the roots of economic inequality—from the early American Colonial period through the Gilded Age and then unionization (one bright spot) to outsourcing and automation—Frazer proceeds to demonstrate the changes in wages and accumulation over the last half-century. Two chapters that cover the costs of inequality and limits to opportunities give Frazer a chance to explore the gender and racial aspects of wealth accumulation, especially how money makes money. Frazer keeps an even attitude but can’t help but point a finger here and there. On trickle down, she writes, “The wealthy tend to invest a relatively small percentage of their money in projects that hire American workers.” The importance of schooling and the burden of college debt lead to a sharp but balanced look at money and power—specifically government. The book concludes with points taken on redistribution, regulation, tax relief, reunionization, citizen action, and voting with your dollars.
A fine example of taking the dismal science and making it everyday-usable and giving it a little vroom. (Nonfiction. 12-16)