by Paul Sullivan ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
There’s good how-to stuff here, but Sullivan’s added value is his gentle insistence that wealth and money aren’t synonyms.
Want to get rich? Stay in school and save your money.
New York Times financial columnist Sullivan (Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Other Don't, 2010) has a deeper, more sophisticated take on money management than all that, but the point remains: Most wealthy people place a premium on education, have voted on that with their wallets, and have learned the fine art of deferring gratification with an eye to building a portfolio. Writing sometimes too breezily but always engagingly, Sullivan distinguishes between “rich,” meaning simply having a lot of money, and “wealthy,” meaning “having more money than you needed to do all the things you wanted to do.” That distinction—the thin green line of the title—is important, since it gauges financial well-being on one’s tastes and requirements. In that sense, a person without encumbrances who has $100,000 can be wealthier than one leveraged to the hilt and worth 10 times that on paper. So being rich does not translate to being financially secure. Nor does it necessarily mean having successfully captured huge swaths of the market; by Sullivan’s account, the top 1 percent of earners in this country had “just about the same percentage they had in 1936.” Of course, since that time, the 1 percent has become adept at rent-seeking. All the same, they distinguish themselves in other ways, including spending less money eating out and putting more into retirement accounts. “Over years,” Sullivan notes, “those differences become enormous.” Other subtle differences come into play, as well. There’s a reason employers are reluctant to hire workers with GEDs, for instance, and why being rich doesn’t always equate to having good taste. Still, as one of Sullivan’s chapter titles puts it by way of summary and slogan, “It’s better to be wealthy than rich, even if you’re poor.” Therein lies the secret to security.There’s good how-to stuff here, but Sullivan’s added value is his gentle insistence that wealth and money aren’t synonyms.
Pub Date: March 10, 2015
Page Count: 256
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015
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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.
“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.
It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.
Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019
Page Count: 432
Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019
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More About This Book
SEEN & HEARD
by Glennon Doyle ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2020
Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.
In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.
Pub Date: March 10, 2020
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Dial Books
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
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