Wealth, Poverty, and Politics

  • by Thomas Sowell
  • Narrated by David Cochran Heath
  • 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Wealth, Poverty, and Politics, Thomas Sowell, one of the foremost conservative public intellectuals in the country, argues that political and ideological struggles have led to dangerous confusion about income inequality in America. Pundits and politically motivated economists trumpet ambiguous statistics and sensational theories while ignoring the true determinant of income inequality: the production of wealth. We cannot properly understand inequality if we focus exclusively on the distribution of wealth and ignore wealth-production factors such as geography, demography, and culture. Sowell contends that liberals have a particular interest in misreading the data and chastises them for using income inequality as an argument for the welfare state.
Refuting Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, and others, Sowell draws on empirical data to show that the inequality is not nearly as extreme or sensational as we have been led to believe. Transcending partisanship through a careful examination of data, Wealth, Poverty, and Politics reveals the truth about the most explosive political issue of our time.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Simply amazing factual analysis!

I've reviewed two other Thomas Sowell books here so it should be no surprise that I view him as a national treasure. He is also one of the wisest people in the world. Wealth, Power and Politics covers a lot of human economic history as well as surveying economic conditions in the around much of the world today. Sowell makes the case that social justice warriors hate concerning income distribution: The five quintiles of income distribution are not static because people move from poverty to comfort and even wealth sometimes to drop back to lesser earnings during their lives. Personal and family income is not static during out lives. Many people leave poverty while others descent into poverty. He also notes that income is not wealth although our tax laws treat it as such. Sowell also makes the often missed point that government income statistics are based on family income and that those with higher income also have larger and intact families.

As a southerner who grew up in a rural white redneck culture and , indeed, in such a family, I appreciate that Sowell writes that what one often sees in urban black neighborhoods is a very similar culture. He makes that case more strongly in his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals.

Sowell also discusses slavery as a situation that was not a situation unique US or one that has only impacted blacks. Slavery has been practiced in many societies for many centuries. The west ended slavery. My personal view is that slavery and Jim Crow that followed its end in the south are major blots on US history.

It is a pity that the people who most need to read or listen to this book are the progressives who will not read it.
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- Wayne "I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!"

Important Contribution

The author brings clarity and common sense to questions of importance. If you are interested in the many reasons for social progress, prosperity, inequality and the success or failure of government programs, read this book.
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- Doug

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-08-2015
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.