(The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty–First Century) PDF READ ↠ By Walter Scheidel
Walter Scheidel author of The Great Leveler provides
a scientifically rigorous excruciatingly detailed and politically agnostic scientifically rigorous excruciatingly detailed and politically agnostic of wealth ineuality from pre history to the present The focus is on factors that reduce or level that ineuality and the core message is dishearteningGiven the far reaching scope in both time and geography finding reliable and comparable data related to wealth reuires making some assumptions actually a LOT of assumptions But he s very straightforward about that explaining each at length including for example how burial practices might indicate wealth how measures of wheat could be stand in for wages and at least in the modern world how reported income may not accurately reflect hidden assetsHe relies heavily on one metric especially the Gini coefficient which attempts to capture wealth ineuality in a closed system say a country in which zero represents full wealth and resource euality for all members everyone has as much as everyone else and 1 eualing maximum ineuality in which one person possesses all the wealthIt s a thorough and far reaching study leading to a disheartening and inescapable conclusion wealth and resource ineuality which is maximized by the compounding advantages of wealth access to political influence and the narrowing effects of inheritance has always been part of the human experienceIn his view only four things have ever leveled ineuality in any significant way mass mobilization warfare WWI and WWII for example pandemics the Plague transformative revolutions as in the communist variety and state collapseHe walks readers through many many explorations of each of the four studying before and after wealth
resource distribution from countries around globe and throughout recorded history and a bit beforeThe research brings to life a troubling trend a gulf of wealth ineuality that continually increases putting the capital and resources into the hands of a small and shrinking wealthy elite while extracting them from basically everyone else especially the working and lower classes Then one of the four levelers unwinds and the rich who have the most to lose slip down the social scale and working poor who suddenly have a resource that s in demand their labor are able to charge and live cheaply and so move up the scaleThen it all starts over againHis research skills are incredible so perhaps it s no surprise the writing is solid but never lofty or in the slightest bit lyrical but still is a punch in the gutFor exam. Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic ineuality To judge by thousands of ears of history the answer is es Tracing the global history of ineuality from the Stone Age to today Walter Scheidel shows that ineuality never dies peacefully Ineuality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return The Great Leveler is the first book to chart Ple in eleven of the twenty one countries with published top incomes shares the portion of all income obtained by the 1 percent rose between 50 percent and than 100 percent between 1980 and 2010 In 2012 ineuality in the United States even set several records in that ear top 1 percent income shares both with and without capital gains and the share of private wealth owned by the richest 001 percent of households for the first time exceeded theAND RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION FROM COUNTRIES AROUND
high water mark of 1929 In other words congratulation America the chasm of ineuality is now greater than during the erawater mark of 1929 In other words congratulation America the chasm of ineuality is now greater than during the era the robber baronsThe uestion the book raises and one he frames specifically is given that ineuality in the US is at near historic levels or beyond are there any leveling events that could close the gap even briefly and are there in ways we could use policy to reduce ineuality The answers it seems are no short of a far reaching nuclear conflagration which he deems unlikely and also no given the lack of political will needed to redistribute wealth away from the controlling elite even though there are scads of ways dozens of which he lists to at least nibble around the edges without
actually levelingIt s an important work that is at times mind numbingly boring and at timeslevelingIt s an important work that is at times mind numbingly boring and at times wettingly frightening and almost always disheartening I found myself almost rooting for a return of the plague if only to knock the elites temporarily out of their golden towers and close the wealth gap just a tiny bit to the good old days of 1935 I idea that informs this book is delightfully stark A well researched book very stimulating conclusions
indeed Be careful with the audiobookThe book itself is uite good for what it s trying to do It sBe careful with the audiobookThe book itself is uite good for what it s trying to do It s comprehensive summary of all the instances where ineuality has changed throughout history trying to establish the causes of these changesBecause the author wanted to be data driven precise and comprehensive there is a lot of data and not much narrativeThis is very well suited for a written book where ou can look at all the data on the pages at once going back and forth from one data point to anotherUnfortunately it doesn t work for an audiobook I had to rewind once every minute or two totalling hundreds or thousands of times I had to rewind It s also really hard to keep the focus on when ou re walking and hearing the share of the national income to the top decile went from 176% to 152% between 1921 and 1933 in Australia but 197% to 143% in France it s pretty easy to zoom outThat would be ok if the audi. He crucial role of violent shocks in reducing ineuality over the full sweep of human history around the world Ever since humans began to farm herd livestock and pass on their assets to future generations economic ineuality has been a defining feature of civilization Over thousands of ears only violent events have significantly lessened ineuality The Four Horsemen of leveling mass mobilization warfare transformative revolutio.