This work examines how the wealthy classes have contributed to growing inequality in society and explains how the quest to increase wealth has hindered the country's economic growth as well as its efforts to solve its most pressing economic problems. In it the author, a Nobel Prize-winning economist puts forth a forceful argument against America's vicious circle of growing inequality. America currently has the most inequality, and the least equality of opportunity, among the advanced countries. While market forces play a role in this stark picture, politics has shaped those market forces. Here the author exposes the efforts of well-heeled interests to compound their wealth in ways that have stifled true, dynamic capitalism. Along the way he examines the effect of inequality on our economy, our democracy, and our system of justice. He explains how inequality affects and is affected by every aspect of national policy, and offers a vision for a more just and prosperous future, supported by a concrete program to achieve that vision.