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First class! The problem of widening inequality (Wealth & Poverty class 1)
Get ready for the ride.
Welcome to the first day of my class, Wealth and Poverty. Just click on the video below, and you’re in.
Even though this isn’t a real classroom and I’m not with you in person, I hope you find this both enjoyable and challenging. Don’t expect to learn by just watching and listening, though. I want you to be an active learner — which means answering questions I pose and putting various puzzle pieces together. I’m not going to tell you what to think. I’m going to try to provoke you into thinking harder and more deeply.
I’ve also selected some readings for you, which are listed right after the class video. Just click on the link. My goal is to expose you to a variety of perspectives. Don’t worry if you can’t get to all of them. There’s no exam! But as I tell my students, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
Finally, here are the questions we’ll focus on today (you may want to watch the class with someone else, and discuss them): Is some inequality both inevitable and necessary? At what point, if ever, does inequality become a problem? How do income and wealth inequalities overlap with race and gender? Why did these inequalities begin to widen so dramatically starting in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and why have they continued widening since then? Finally, where do our about what constitutes a fair economic and political system come from?
Ready? Here goes!
Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Chuck Collins, and Omar Ocampo, “White Supremacy is the Pre-existing Condition: Eight Solutions to Ensure Economic Recovery Reduces the Racial Wealth Divide,” Institute for Policy Studies, 2019
This course is free but if you’re able to help with expenses, please consider a paid subscription.
A huge thanks to the Wealth and Poverty team — to Michael Lahanas-Calderón, Kyle Parker, Dan Davis, and Jordan Alport for preparing these course videos to be shared with all of you. And to Heather Kinlaw Lofthouse for making all this happen on this page.