Superfluous Matter
Books - The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, by Peter Temin

I can't remember what pointed me to this book, but the concept intrigued me so I bought the e-version. Peter Temin is an economist at MIT and argues that America has regressed to a dual economy situation closely resembling that of many nations in the developing world. In such a situation a minority of the population has access to advanced education, health care, housing, and employment while the majority suffers with substantially worse versions of these necessities of life.

Temin further argues that not only does a minority of America's citizens have access to the "good life" but that that same minority (especially the upper 1%) actively work to prevent the advancement of the underclass majority through control of the political system.

Each section and chapter rigorously cites other studies and focuses on pointing out facts rather than drawing concrete conclusions. However the presentation leaves little doubt to the reader what such conclusions would be. Not only is America severely broken, but the breakage was intentional and motivated by a combination of racism and blind greed. It's hard to disagree with the mountain of statistics, studies, and anecdotes. The discussion of education vs. incarceration was particularly horrifying.

It's been a while since a book left me so cold and horrified.

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