About the Book


America’s richest 1 percent now holds more wealth — over $2 trillion more — than America’s entire bottom 90 percent. Might America need a ‘maximum wage’?

FDR once thought so, and so does Sam Pizzigati, the veteran labor journalist whose new Greed and Good makes vividly clear why inequality remains our nation’s most crushing burden.

New York, N.Y.: A century ago, Americans feared —and fought — the towering concentrations of wealth they saw rising all around them. Today, by contrast, our nation’s top elected leaders see absolutely no reason to challenge, or hardly even discomfort, America’s grand and growing concentrations of wealth.

That reluctance, Sam Pizzigati argues in Greed and Good, his provocative new book that has received the American Library Association’s highest review rating (Choice magazine, March 2005), endangers us all.

Over recent years, academics and activists the world over have generated a broad and often brilliant body of work that exposes just how concentrated wealth is poisoning everything we hold dear, from our health to our happiness, from our arts to our Earth.

In Greed and Good, author Sam Pizzigati brings together this critically important body of work, for the first time ever inside a single book, and builds upon it. His riveting pages make undeniably plain the horrific price we pay for accepting, as an inevitable given, wealth’s dominion.

“A generation ago, Michael Harrington’s The Other America inspired an entire nation to face up to poverty,” notes Ward Morehouse, the veteran social justice activist who directs The Apex Press. “I believe Sam Pizzigati’s new Greed and Good can make an equally stunning impact — on how America contemplates concentrated wealth.”

Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming the Inequality That Limits Our Lives takes readers on an eye-opening tour of nearly every aspect of modern American life.

In the workplaces where we labor and the communities where we live, author Pizzigati helps us understand, we feel the impact on inequality each and every day. Our nation’s ever-widening gaps between the wealthy and everyone else, he shows, are squeezing pride out of our professions, pleasure out of our pastimes, even years out of our lives.

This widening inequality, in return, offers us nothing significant of value. Greed and Good dissects and demolishes the old saws that apologists for inequality regularly trot out to justify the gaps that divide us. These gaps, Sam Pizzigati counsels, not only should be narrowed, they can be narrowed.

And just how? Greed and Good explores the most promising options for creating a less unequal America, then offers a practical political guide for moving forward incrementally on the boldest option of all, a “maximum wage,” a national ceiling on annual individual income that would rise if and only if the minimum wage rose first.

Sam Pizzigati, says Jeff Faux, the co-founder of the Economic Policy Institute, “has put together the definitive case against the excessive inequality of income, wealth and power in our society.” Author Bill Greider calls Greed and Good “a sweeping tour of life in these United States” that “ends in hope and vision.”

No book, adds Congressman George Miller, “suggests a more thought-provoking strategy for ending the gross inequalities that are rotting the American dream.”

“ If all men and women are indeed created equal,” as author Sam Pizzigati makes so clear in Greed and Good, “then any society that winks at the monstrously large fortunes that make some people decidedly more equal than others is asking for trouble.”

And trouble is what that society gets — from Greed and Good.



Published by Rowman & Littlefield/The Apex Press
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  Concerned about ever-growing concentrations of income and wealth? Interested in keeping up-to-date on inequality research — and the struggle for a more equal world? Take a look at Too Much, the Institute for Policy Studies online weekly edited by Greed and Good author Sam Pizzigati. Learn more, browse back issues, and subscribe here.