Peter Barnes’ new book, With Liberty and Dividends For All, completely changes the discussion about inequality. Barnes argues that capitalism itself is the root cause of inequality — and that the solution lies in making common wealth dividends a property right of every legal U.S. resident. Under Barnes’ proposal, money for these dividends would come not from taxes but from wealth we own together, such as our atmosphere and our financial system. It’s an enlarged version of the approach used by Alaska since 1980 and first proposed by Thomas Paine in 1797. If implemented at scale, it could pay dividends to all Americans (including children) of up to $5,000 a year.
In Private Equity at Work, a groundbreaking analysis of a hotly contested business model, Economist Eileen Appelbaum and Professor Rosemary Batt show that Private Equity firms’ financial strategies are designed to extract maximum value from the companies they buy and sell, often to the detriment of those companies and their employees and suppliers. These actions often lead to financial distress and a disproportionate focus on cost-cutting, outsourcing, and wage and benefit losses for workers, especially if they are unionized.