The Trouble With Billionaires

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In Linda McQuaig’s and Neil Brooks’ scathing critique of the world’s ultra-elite rightfully called The Trouble With Billionaires, the authors present a detailed case against the growing economic inequality present in the United States, and to a lesser extent Canada. I found The Trouble With Billionaires is a fascinating and informative narrative on the striking inequality in the United States and Canada. Inaccurately, these wealthy nations have accrued images as lands of equal opportunity with the chance for social migration. Instead, the US and Canada have become a place where the economically elite have been given free-reigns to act in their own interests with the help of tax breaks, while the lower class have been ignored time and time again…show more content…
In this paper, I will discuss how the book, The Trouble With Billionaires highlights the sociological concepts of social class, work and social mobility. These major concepts are all tied together by the hijacking of the world’s economic system at the hands of the super-rich which has resulted in worsening social programs due to tax cuts that help the lucky few and subject the rest of the population to economic stagnation. Of all the issues brought up in The Trouble With Billionaires, the most persistent throughout the book is the issue of class, and more specifically social stratification. The class textbook defines social stratification as, “an institutionalized system of social inequality. It refers to a situation in which the divisions and relationships of social inequality have solidified into a system that determines who gets what, when, and why” (Little et al, 2014, Chapter 9). Throughout The Trouble With Billionaires, a dialogue of the US and Canadian governments helping to pad the wallets of the top 1 percent at a cost to everyone else is given. Many examples of governments (mostly in the US) institutionalizing the…show more content…
Following the great depression, because of an irate population, the government shifted away from backing the top 1%. Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” looked to build the lower and middle class from the ground up and “end the days when government automatically sided with the corporate elite” (McQuaig & Brooks, 2010, p.53). From 1935-1945, Roosevelt strengthened workers’ collective bargaining rights and raised wages in the industrial sector. Across this same time frame, unionization rates nearly tripled, from 12% to 35% (McQuaig & Brooks, 2010, p.53). The Roosevelt administration changes issued in an era of prosperity unseen in America for the middle and lower classes. The rise of the working man saw the share of national income going to the top 1% decrease from 24% to around 10% as they failed to recover fully from the great depression and became swamped by an increasing number of government taxes (McQuaig & Brooks, 2010, p.54). Consequently, the rise of wages and workers’ rights, coinciding with heavier taxation to the rich, led to greater equity in income
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