on 21 July 1998
In "Money: Who has how much and why", Andrew Hackermakes a decent attempt to illustrate the changes in the American economic profile. He uncovers some interesting and surprising facts from time to time and he provides the reader with more than enough statistics for one book.
The main focus of "Money" is the economic trends of the past twenty to thirty years. Hacker points out some of the important changes that have taken place and he is careful to emphasize that while these trends are a step in the right direction, there is still much room for improvement. Examples would include the overall increase in pay for women, the movement of women into non-traditional, higher paying jobs, and the upward mobility of blacks into higher social classes.
There are several other areas where the economic trends have not been necessarily favorable. The most obvious is the growing income inequality between rich and poor. While this is usually viewed in a negative light by most people, Hacker does not say much about the possible consequences relating to the income inequality gap or what can be done to stop this trend. He merely states that these financial inequalities are a fact of life, a direct result of the capitalistic system.
With subjects as diverse as economic trends, causes, predictions, etc., this book could have easily been double, perhaps triple, in length. Hacker provides a quick overview with lots of economic statistics in a relatively short amount of space.
on 29 August 1999
Rather dry. Not very much that you couldn't figure out by yourself; not much original insight. The author uses statistics throughout to the point that it almost becomes meaningless. Anyone with the most limited experience with statistics knows that you can make them say just about anything you want.
What I had hoped for was some insight into why there is so much economic disparity in this country and what we can, or should, do about it. Instead the author gave more of a status quo, "we are here," appoach.
The last chapter was maybe the most insteresting. It focused on the economic changes in the US since WW2. It is anybody's guess what the future will bring, but it seems like it will continue as it is now until there is some big crash or other disaster.
on 11 February 1999
As a former student of Professor Hacker, I've developed much respect for the man. While that certainly biases my opinion of his books (as I do view him as the God of Political Science), I know that I will always be getting a fresh perspective as I've never known anyone who could "cut the crap" better than Professor Hacker.
One of the most important lessons I learned from him is to always read between the lines; so that we may learn to think beyond the 68% norm. While Dr. Hacker could certainly fill hundreds of more pages with his insightful comments and statistical analyses, he knows that in between the lines, there is a whole other book yet to be created by the reader. I regret not having learned that until after he had already given me my final grade.
on 10 July 1999
Andrew Hacker's Money is a great look at who has the money in America and how they got it. He talks in great detail about how the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. I was astounded to read that in 1997 there were 137 individuals who claimed over $1 billion in income. Almost 70,000 tax returns claimed an income of at least $1 million. There are far more rich people out there than I thought and it leads me to believe that if they can do it, so can I.