"The Stakeholder Society" by Bruce A. Ackerman

The Stakeholder Society Bruce A. Ackerman, Anne Alstott

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
01 Jun 2000
ISBN:
9780300082609
Dimensions:
312 pages: 234 x 156 x 17mm
Illustrations:
black & white illustrations

Must we resign ourselves to a growing chasm between rich and poor? Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott propose an innovative alternative in this thought-provoking book: an eighty thousand dollar grant for every qualifying young adult. The authors analyze this plan from many perspectives and argue that such a citizen's stake would open the way to a society that is more democratic, productive, and free. "A serious, smart book, which also functions as a cogent critique of the inequality of opportunity that has become a given in modern America."-New Yorker "A Big New Idea so bold in its simplicity, so pure in its claims to justice, ...that the only shock is that it is certain to get a hearing as the fight to fix Social Security heats up this year."-Matthew Miller, New York Times Magazine "The new century needs political and social innovation even more than it needs business innovation. The authors have done well what intellectuals are supposed, but are seldom bold enough, to do-innovate ideas about important social issues."-Jack Beatty, Atlantic Monthly "A big idea like this is significant because it can reframe the public debate. It can change the prevailing assumptions. Eventually, it can change the course of the nation."-Robert Reich, Former Secretary of Labor, Washington Post

Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale Law School. Anne Alstott is professor of law at Yale Law School.

Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 1999 by Choice Magazine

"Our world will never become a better place unless bright thinkers find the time and courage to formulate unconventional ideas, work them out in detail and refute the strongest possible objections they can imagine. The Stakeholder Society is an outstanding, paradigmatic example of what is needed."ÑPhilippe Van Parijs, Professor of Economics and Social Ethics, UniversitŽ catholique de Louvain

"A major book that will serve as a vital provocation to a nation in desperate need of civil civic debate."ÑBenjamin R. Barber, director, The Walt Whitman Center for the Culture and Politics of Democracy

"The Ackerman-Alstott plan is a clever remedy for inequalities of wealth, but its really stunning contribution to policy is the way it underwrites peopleÕs success. This is welfare reform as it should be."ÑDeborah A. Stone, Brandeis University

ÒI cannot think of a recent book on social and economic policy that so inspired and challenged me. I cannot imagine writing or teaching about tax policy and economic justice ever again without referring to it.ÓÑStephen B. Cohen, Georgetown University Law Center

"This is one of the most thoughtful and well-argued proposals for major policy changes published in recent years. Highly recommended for the political science and public policy collections of all academic libraries."ÑLibrary Journal

"Ackerman and AlstottÕs immodest proposal . . . raises fundamental issues of principle and policy."ÑCass R. Sunstein, New Republic

"Books like The Stakeholder Society, viewed as contributions to an emerging dialogue rather than as immediately realizable proposals, help us to rise to this large and very difficult challenge. If there is a genuine 'Third Way,Õ it begins right here."ÑGar Alperovitz, Lingua Franca

"There is a rare commodity here: a well-thought out, genuinely original idea. . . . The authors work out their proposal in some detail, and address likely objections with reasonable responses. They recognize that policies with even a hint of redistributive potential will face strong opposition, but there is a powerful bottom line to their argument: if you genuinely believe in equal opportunity and individual responsibility, what better way could there be to make them social realities? Ackerman and Alstott raise fundamental questions about citizenship, distributive justice, and above all, what it would mean to be serious about the political ideals routinely used to legitimate American political and economic institutions. Whether or not you like their ideas, they cannot be honestly dismissed without some serious thought and discussion. An important contribution that should enliven public discourse even if it does not gain wide popular acceptance."ÑKirkus Reviews

"The new century needs political and social innovation even more than it needs business innovation. The authors have done well what intellectuals are supposed, but are seldom bold enough, to doÑinnovate ideas about important social issues. . . . If their $80,000 stake is not the path to greater equality of opportunity, the burden is on their critics to say what is."ÑJack Beatty, Atlantic Monthly

"A serious, smart book, which also functions as a cogent critique of the inequality of opportunity that has become a given in modern America."ÑNew Yorker

"A big idea like this is significant because it can reframe the public debate. It can change the prevailing assumptions. Eventually, it can change the course of the nation."ÑRobert Reich, Former Secretary of Labor, writing for the Washington Post 

ÒA Big New Idea so bold in its simplicity, so pure in its claims to justice, . . . that the only shock is that it is certain to get a hearing as the fight to fix Social Security heats up this year.ÓÑMatthew Miller, New York Times MagazineÒTalk about putting a stake in every pot proves that signs of intelligent public life are out there.ÓÑMatthew Miller, New York Times Magazine

ÒDo Americans truly believe in equal opportunity? This provocative book outlines an ambitious proposal to put our collective money where our rhetoric is: give every American a one-time grant of $80,000 when he or she reaches early adulthood. The money would be funded by an annual 2% tax on the nationÕs wealth, to be paid for by the wealthiest 41% of the country. Ackerman and AlstottÕs proposal is an interesting alternative to the similarly dramatic and simple plans for a flat tax currently being put forward.ÓÑPublishers Weekly (starred review)

"The Stakeholder Society is an important book. The problem of inequality, in which the returns increasingly go to the best educated and most privileged is real and growing."ÑEconomist

Ò[This book is] valuable for reframing an essential public conversation.ÓÑMary Carroll, Booklist

ÒBold, provocative, radical. . . . Ackerman and Alstott argue their highly philosophical and statistics-laden case in a readable, straightforward manner. . . . The global economy threatens to leave behind legions of technologically unskilled Americans. Ackerman and Alstott have placed on the public agenda a coherent brave-new-world proposal that includes all. Let the debate begin.ÓÑAnn G. Sjoerdsma, Philadelphia Inquirer

ÒWhat Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott see is that once we ask whether we might equalize resources, the genie will not easily be put back in the bottle.ÓÑAlan Ryan, New York Review of Books

ÒA provocative framework for analyzing the integration of philosophy, public policy, and legal doctrine in a seminar context. Elegantly presented, brilliantly argued. A watershed in the tax policy field.ÓÑPatrick Crawford, Brooklyn Law School

"Readers wanting 'big and boldÕ ideas for reshaping America in the 21st century need to look no further than Ackerman and AlstottÕs highly innovative and thought provoking The Stakeholder Society. Both authors are distinguished legal scholars who bring a fresh perspective to the challenge of creating more opportunity in our society. All of us have a 'stakeÕ in that goal and Ackerman and Alstott help explain why."ÑRobert E. Litan, Director, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution