“Make room for The Rich Don’t Always Win on your bookshelf right next to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of The United States. In his lively, engrossing new book, Sam Pizzigati tells the story of class inequality in America, from the robber barons to today’s ‘1%.’ The title alone is a refreshing reminder that there have been times when the middle class pushed back against the growth of plutocracy—and won. We can do that again and, as Pizzigati makes clear, we have to.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
“Labor journalist Pizzigati makes the case that graduated tax rates and strong unions once led to an economic golden age for average Americans—and could do so again…[An] ambitious, readable look at economic reformism over the last century.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Only 50 years ago, America ‘soaked’ the rich with a 91 percent income tax. And guess what? America prospered! Not just the rich, but ordinary families. With colorful detail, Sam Pizzigati tells us why we should revisit that policy of prosperity for ALL, rather than for the plutocratic few.”—Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and New York Times best-selling author
“Bold, thorough, and above all inspiring—an energizing and spirited reminder of what it took, and what it will take, to once again make ours a nation of equals.”—Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism, and Lionel R. Bauman, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland
Washington DC — America’s rich have never been richer, or more politically dominant. Wealth inequality is at an all-time high for the last 100 years. America’s richest 1 percent now holds more wealth—over $2 trillion more—than America’s entire bottom 90 percent.
So what’s the good news? Over the first half of the twentieth century, the American people took on plutocracy. And won. The Rich Don’t Always Win (Seven Stories Press; November, 2012) tells the American story of money lords, fortune bankers, and tobacco kings…and the populist movement of unionists and muckrakers that blew it all apart.
Beginning in the early 1900s, a movement began to end the reign of plutocracy and strive toward a more equal society. These early activists shared revulsion for the concentrated wealth and power they saw amassing in the hands of a few and struggled for two generations to limit the power of this wealthy minority. From the street protests and legislative action this movement inspired came equalizing institutions, including the revolutionary system of steeply graduated progressive tax rates and trade unions that protected the rights of workers.
This lively popular history speaks directly to the political hopelessness so many Americans feel.
The Rich Don’t Always Win outfits citizens with a deeper understanding of what we need to do to get the United States back on track to the American dream. With a new century at their disposal, the American people can do it again…if they just remember the power that they have.
A veteran labor journalist, SAM PIZZIGATI has written widely on economic inequality for both popular and scholarly readers. His op-eds and articles on income and wealth have appeared in a host of major American dailies, from the New York Times to the Miami Herald, and a broad variety of magazines and journals. His last book, Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming the Inequality that Limits Our Lives, won a coveted “outstanding title” rating of the year Choice rating from the American Library Association. In 2008, Pizzigati played a lead role on the team that generated The Nation magazine’s special issue on extreme inequality. That issue went on to win the 2009 Sidney Hillman Prize for magazine journalism. Pizzigati ran the publishing operations of America’s largest union, the 3.2 million-member National Education Association, for twenty years and now serves as an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. His online weekly on excess and inequality, Too Much, goes to a national audience of journalists, researchers, and economic justice activists. Pizzigati has appeared as an expert commentator on inequality on 150+ radio and TV talk and news programs, from Pacifica to Fox Business News.
The Rich Don’t Always Win, Sam Pizzigati, $18.95 | 9781583228715 | 384 pp
Praise for Sam Pizzigati’s Greed and Good:
“This extraordinary book begins with a detailed demolition of the trickle-down case for inequality . . . No brief description can adequately describe the mass of valuable insight and information contained within this volume. . . . This book deserves the highest possible recommendation.”—Choice
“[A] highly engaging, encyclopedic survey ofarguments for and against equality”—In These Times
“In the tradition of ‘men of letters,’ Pizzigati ranges widely, using political economy, history, philosophy, and modern social science to demolish what New Dealer Thurman Arnold called the “folklore of capitalism” in the 1930s.”—Political Affairs
“No book suggests a more thought-provoking strategy for ending the gross inequalities that are rotting the American dream.”—Congressman George Miller (D-California)
“Think you know all this? Try him. At worst you get a powerfully argued refresher course. And, though it’s a big book, Pizzigati’s fluid prose makes for highly enjoyable reading.”—Labor Party Press
“Sam Pizzigati takes us on a sweeping tour of life in these United States that is both depressing and angering, even embarrassing to see how gravely our country and democracy have been overwhelmed by the greed and power of concentrated wealth. His story, however, ends in hope and vision — big ideas for rescuing American ideals from plutocracy and for restoring our bedrock values of equity and equality.”
—William Greider, author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy
“Sam Pizzigati has put together the definitive case against the excessive inequality of income, wealth and power in our society. He gives us hard numbers and common sense observations, as well as imaginative proposals for reversing our slide into plutocracy and social decay. If you care about your country, read this book.”—Jeff Faux, distinguished fellow, co-founder, Economic Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.