The United States is the wealthiest country on the planet and this wealth that we all know is not a coincidence. The accumulation of capital and wealth is the evolution of the history of a whole country that commenced as a mere British colony in North America to become the most powerful and wealthiest nation in post-World War II. In order to understand why and how the United States became so wealthy, it is therefore necessary to comprehend how the distribution of wealth has taken place throughout its history. The undeniable fact is that American society is a socioeconomically unequal society, and the foundation of this socioeconomic inequality is capitalism.
This book subsequently argues that although the wealth has been unequally distributed because of the nature of the capitalist system, this same system has enabled the ordinary American citizen to significantly improve his living standard compared to that of other advanced economies, and it has enhanced its economic development by creating economic opportunities for immigrants to improve their lives. In other words, despite the shortcomings of the unequal distribution of wealth that we all know, this system has not always brought negative aspects to American society. It has also enabled the United States, as a free society, to promote the concept of private initiative, which is the cornerstone of individual freedom and the land of economic opportunity. This book, therefore, embarks on the history of the distribution of wealth in America by explaining the metamorphoses of the accumulation of capital throughout its economic, political, and social development.
A History of Wealth Distribution in the United States
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