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A brilliant new reading of the economic crisis--and a plan for dealing with the challenge of its aftermath--by one of our most trenchant and informed experts.When the nation's economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Robert B. Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown, and for a perilous road ahead. He argues that the real problem is structural: it lies in the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and in a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living.Persuasively and straightforwardly, Reich reveals how precarious our situation still is. The last time in American history when wealth was so highly concentrated at the top--indeed, when the top 1 percent of the population was paid 23 percent of the nation's income--was in 1928, just before the Great Depression. Such a disparity leads to ever greater booms followed by ever deeper busts. Reich's thoughtful and detailed account of where we are headed over the next decades reveals the essential truth about our economy that is driving our politics and shaping our future. With keen insight, he shows us how the middle class lacks enough purchasing power to buy what the economy can produce and has adopted coping mechanisms that have a negative impact on their quality of life; how the rich use their increasing wealth to speculate; and how an angrier politics emerges as more Americans conclude that the game is rigged for the benefit of a few. Unless this trend is reversed, the Great Recession will only be repeated. Reich's assessment of what must be done to reverse course and ensure that prosperity is widely shared represents the path to a necessary and long-overdue transformation. Aftershock is a practical, humane, and much-needed blueprint for both restoring America's economy and rebuilding our society.From the Hardcover edition.
In this eBook exclusive, Robert B. Reich urges Americans to get beyond mere outrage about the nation's increasingly concentrated wealth and corrupt politics in order to mobilize and to take back our economy and democracy. Americans can't rely only on getting good people elected, Reich argues, because nothing positive happens in Washington unless good people outside Washington are organized to help make those things happen after the election. But in order to be effectively mobilized, we need to see the big picture. Reich connects the dots for us, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, while undermining our democracy; has caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and has turned many Americans against one another. He also explains why the proposals of the "regressive right" are dead wrong and provides a clear road map for what must be done instead. Here is a blueprint for action for everyone who cares about the future of America.
In this timely book, Robert B. Reich urges Americans to transcend our outrage, find common cause in fixing our poor economy and awful politics, and mobilize to get the United States back on track.The American political system is in crisis--paralyzed by gridlock, beset with cynicism, and sabotaged by competing interests that have perversely made even common-sense policy virtually impossible. In this urgent book, Robert Reich argues nothing important can happen in Washington unless citizens are energized and organized to make sure politicians honor their promises. But in order to be effectively mobilized, we need to see the big picture. Beyond Outrage connects the dots for us, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, undermining our democracy; caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and turned many Americans against one another. He also explains why the proposals of the "regressive right" are dead wrong and provides a clear roadmap of what must be done instead. Here's a blueprint for action for everyone who cares about the future of America.
From Robert B. Reich--political economist, distinguished public servant, and author of The Work of Nations, Locked in the Cabinet, and other acclaimed and best-selling books--a brilliant analysis of the new economy and how it is affecting our lives, for better and for worse. The dizzying exuberance of the Internet-driven marketplace offers unprecedented opportunities and an ever-expanding choice of deals, products, investments, and jobs.
The get-rich-quick exuberance of the late 1990s may have temporarily blinded people to how dependent they are on each other, muses Reich (economics, Brandeis U.). He points out the bonds on which rest the strength of the economy and the security of society. He wrote while running for governor of Massachusetts. The treatise has no index or bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR. (booknews.com)
Locked in the Cabinet is a close-up view of the way things work, and often don't work, at the highest levels of government--and a uniquely personal account by the man whose ideas inspired and animated much of the Clinton campaign of 1992 and who became the cabinet officer in charge of helping ordinary Americans get better jobs. Robert B. Reich, writer, teacher, social critic--and a friend of the Clintons since they were all in their twenties--came to be known as the "conscience of the Clinton administration and one of the most successful Labor Secretaries in history. Here is his sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant chronicle of trying to put ideas and ideals into practice. With wit, passion, and dead-aim honesty, Reich writes of those in Washington who possess hard heads and soft hearts, and those with exactly the opposite attributes. He introduces us to the career bureaucrats who make Washington run and the politicians who, on occasion, make it stop; to business tycoons and labor leaders who clash by day and party together by night; to a president who wants to change America and his opponents (on both the left and the right) who want to keep it as it is or return it to where it used to be. Reich guides us to the pinnacles of power and pretension, as bills are passed or stalled, reputations built or destroyed, secrets leaked, numbers fudged, egos bruised, news stories spun, hypocrisies exposed, and good intentions occasionally derailed. And to the places across America where those who are the objects of this drama are simply trying to get by--assembly lines, sweatshops, union halls, the main streets of small towns and the tough streets of central cities. Locked in the Cabinetis an intimate odyssey involving a memorable cast--a friend who is elected President of the United States, only to discover the limits of power; Alan Greenspan, who is the most powerful man in America; and Newt Gingrich, who tries to be. Plus a host of others: White House staffers and cabinet members who can't find "the loop ; political consultant Dick Morris, who becomes "the loop ; baseball players and owners who can't agree on how to divide up $2 billion a year; a union leader who accuses Reich of not knowing what a screwdriver looks like; a heretofore invisible civil servant deep in the Labor Department whose brainchild becomes the law of the land; and a wondrous collection of senators, foreign ministers, cabinet officers, and television celebrities. And it is also an odyssey for Reich's wife and two young sons, who learn to tolerate their own cabinet member but not to abide Washington. Here is Reich--determined to work for a more just society, laboring in a capital obsessed with exorcising the deficit and keeping Wall Street happy--learning that Washington is not only altogether different from the world of ordinary citizens but ultimately, and more importantly, exactly like it: a world in which Murphy's Law reigns alongside the powerful and the privileged, but where hope amazingly persists. There are triumphs here to fill a lifetime, and frustrations to fill two more. Never has this world been revealed with such richness of evidence, humor, and warmhearted candor.
From Robert B. Reich, passionate believer in American democracy, and public servant in both Democratic and Republican administrations--an urgent call to liberals to reclaim their political clout. Reason is a guide to confronting and derailing what he sees as the mounting threat to American liberty, prosperity, and security posed by the radical conservatives--Radcons, as he calls them--whose agenda has dominated public discourse and radically affected government action since the election, by a minority vote, of George W. Bush. It is an agenda that turns American tradition upside down-embracing "preemptive" war, disrupting essential alliances, reacting to terrorism by weakening our civil liberties, distorting our economy by endowing the rich with tax breaks while cutting social services, attempting to hunt down immorality in bedrooms rather than in boardrooms, where corporate malfeasance is still not legally prevented from chomping away at ordinary American earnings. Reich offers a bold plan for defeating this politics of fear and favor-whose defining gesture is to equate dissent with treason-and for reinstating the traditional American politics of reason. He calls on liberals to close ranks and maintain a permanent platform that can grow in power. He provides clear answers to the barrage of accusations (of communism, of elitism, of anti-Americanism) with which Radcons have been pummeling liberals for at least two decades. He analyzes the propaganda savvy, the commitment, and the organization of the Radcons, and what liberals can learn from each. He suggests how liberals can wrest the sole ownership of patriotism from the Radcons-there's more to it than flag waving. He calls on liberals to recognize their strengths. He wants them to remember their unfaltering protection of the central American invention: a society (ours was the first in history) that allows no aristocracy and hence belongs to all its citizens. And he wants liberals to recall how, twice in the last century, liberalism's dedicated reforms rescued American free enterprise from its own excesses: first from the robber barons in the early 1900s, then in the depression-devastated 1930s. He demonstrates, with quotations from the most respected opinion polls, how far the radical conservative agenda is from representing the national will. And he tells why he believes that once again-assuming the readiness to take action-American liberals are on the verge of winning the battle for America.
This eye-opening UK bestseller shows how one single factor--the gap between its richest and poorest members--can determine the health and well-being of a society. "This is a book with a big idea, big enough to change political thinking."--Sunday Times.
From the greatly admired author of The Work of Nations and The Future of Success, one of America's greatest economic and political thinkers as well as a distinguished public servant in three national administrations, a breakthrough book on the clash between capitalism and democracy. Mid-twentieth-century capitalism has turned into global capitalism, and global capitalism--turbocharged, Web-based, and able to find and make almost anything just about anywhere--has turned into supercapitalism. But as Robert B. Reich makes clear in this eye-opening book, while supercapitalism is working wonderfully well to enlarge the economic pie, democracy--charged with caring for all citizens--is becoming less and less effective under its influence. Reich explains how widening inequalities of income and wealth, heightened job insecurity, and the spreading effects of global warming are the logical outcomes of supercapitalism. He shows us why companies, fighting harder than ever to maintain their competitive positions, have become even more deeply involved in politics; and how average citizens, seeking great deals and invested in the stock market to an unprecedented degree, are increasingly loath to stand by their values if it means biting the hands that feed them. He makes clear how the tools traditionally used to temper America's societal problems--fair taxation, well-funded public education, trade unions--have withered as supercapitalism has burgeoned. Reich sets out a clear course to a vibrant capitalism and a concurrent, equally vibrant democracy. He argues forcefully that the spheres of business and politics must be kept distinct. He calls for an end to the legal fiction that corporations are citizens, as well as the illusion that corporations can be "socially responsible" until laws define social needs. Reich explains why we must stop treating companies as if they were people--and must therefore abolish the corporate income tax and levy it on shareholders instead, hold individuals rather than corporations guilty of criminal conduct, and not expect companies to be "patriotic." For, as Reich says, only people can be citizens, and only citizens should be allowed to participate in democratic decision making.
The Harvard political economist argues that Americans must rethink some important cultural myths and self-definitions if the U. S. is to retain its dominant role within the emerging global economy.
There is no longer such a thing as an American economy, say Robert Reich at the beginning of this brilliant book. What does it mean to be a nation when money, goods, and services know no borders? What skills will be the most valuable in the coming century? And how can our country best ensure that all its citizen have a share in the new global economy? Robert B. Reich, the widely respected and bestselling author of The Next American Frontier and The Resurgent Liberal, defines the real challenge facing the United States in the 21st century in this trail-blazing book. Original, readable, and vastly informed, The Work of Nations is certain to set a standard for the next generation of policy-makers.From the Trade Paperback edition.
What skills will be the most valuable in the coming century? How can our country ensure that all its citizens have a share in the new global economy? The author addresses these questions in a trail-blazing new book that is certain to guide a generation of policy makers.