Four books to understand our societal challenges.

 

Four books that will give you insights into why we are so divided, what has happened economically and what needs to change for a stronger society. Read them now to decipher fact from rhetoric in the next election cycle.

 

Four books that explain the underlying issues

 

1/ Dark Money

 

Dark Money is a well researched book about the billionaires who are influencing every level of government for their personal benefit. Get insights into who they are, what they believe and how they are executing on a well developed plan to reshape the political landscape. 

 

The book also does a good job of explaining the intended purpose of income tax, how the tax code has evolved and who is paying more now. Income tax is a polarizing topic even though wealth and tax is relative to the class.

 

2/ The Value of Everything

 

The Value of Everything makes a case for changing the way innovation is funded with public money. The early stage of innovation is largely funded with public money in terms of grants, loans and tax incentives. However, the reward is not commensurate with the risk.

 

The public reward is not materializing as expected because companies that utilize or acquire the innovations are prioritizing short term returns that primarily benefit investors and executives. Changes to public funding are being proposed to better align incentives and returns.

 

3/ When McKinsey Comes to Town

 

When McKinsey Comes to Town provides a rare look into one of the largest consulting firms in the world advising both governments and business. The firm is influencing government regulation needed to protect the environment, labor and consumers while at the same time, advising the management of regulated companies. 

 

The book highlights several engagements that rewarded the client but that have had a lasting negative impact on other stakeholders and society at large. The firm’s internal practices for preventing conflicts of interest are questionable and hopefully, under review. 

 

4/ Winners Take All

 

Winners Take All is an insider perspective on wealth inequality and the difficulty of redistributing wealth. Money from foundations provides immediate relief but does little to fix the underlying issues. Homelessness, drug addiction, crime, misinformation, education and healthcare require policy changes. 

 

Researchers have recently concluded that trickle-down economics has contributed to the wealth gap. The needed policy changes will effect people with money and power now which makes the changes difficult for any Administration to implement.

 

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