Rich Man, Poor Man: Drucker Apps Looks at Income Inequality

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The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University today added a new topic to Drucker Apps, an ongoing conversation about bettering society through effective management and responsible leadership.

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“The less productive an economy, the greater the inequality of incomes. The more productive, the less the inequality.”

The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University today added a new topic to Drucker Apps, an ongoing conversation about bettering society through effective management and responsible leadership. This latest addition to Drucker Apps was inspired by a study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing that the income gap between the richest 1% of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007. Taking part in the running dialogue on income inequality will be former White House and congressional advisor Ron Haskins, who co-directs the Brookings Center on Children and Families; Sam Pizzigati, editor of Too Much, a “commentary on excess and inequality” from the Institute for Policy Studies; and Reihan Salam, policy advisor at e21 and a fellow at the New America Foundation. As with every installment of Drucker Apps, this online dialogue is informed by the words of Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management. In this way, Drucker Apps ties the timeless wisdom of one of the great thinkers and writers of the 20th century to the hottest issues of today, all delivered by the latest in 21st-century technology. When the gulf between rich and poor gets too wide, Drucker cautioned, “it destroys mutual trust between groups that have to live together and work together.”

Drucker was particularly worried about the fortunes of service workers—the poor cousins of today’s knowledge workers. But he also suggested that gains in productivity by service workers could eventually lift their incomes. “It takes some time—the best part of a generation, judging by historical experience—before the productivity of service workers can be raised sufficiently to provide them with a ‘middle-class’ standard of living,” he wrote. We invite you to join our Drucker Apps conversation about income inequality. We open things up with this question: Will a rise in service-sector productivity ultimately shrink the income gap? Or will tackling this problem require other steps—and, if so, what? To participate, please visit: http://apps.druckerinstitute.com. About the Drucker Institute The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University is a think tank and action tank whose purpose is to better society by stimulating effective management and responsible leadership. It does this, in large part, by advancing the ideas and ideals of Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management. The Institute acts as a hub for a worldwide network of Drucker Societies: volunteer-driven organizations that are using Drucker’s teachings to bring about positive change in their local communities. In addition, the Institute maintains a digital archive of Drucker’s papers; undertakes research that builds on Drucker’s writings; offers an annual $100,000 prize for nonprofit innovation; produces curricular material that distills Drucker’s decades of leading-edge thinking, including a management training system called Drucker Unpacked; applies Drucker’s work to current events (through a regular online column in Bloomberg Businessweek by Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman and through a social media tool called Drucker Apps); and hosts visiting fellows with Drucker-like insights and values. The Institute is a close affiliate of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, which is training the next generation of leaders and managers to do good while they do well. For more on the Drucker Institute, please visit: http://www.druckerinstitute.com.

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