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Book Summary: 'A very good guide to the state we’re in' Paul Krugman, New York Review of Books 'A well-written, thought-provoking book by one of America’s leading economic thinkers and progressive champions.' Huffington Post Do you recall a time when the income of a single schoolteacher or baker or salesman or mechanic was enough to buy a home, have two cars, and raise a family? Robert Reich does – in the 1950s his father sold clothes to factory workers and the family earnt enough to live comfortably. Today, this middle class is rapidly shrinking: American income inequality and wealth disparity is the greatest it’s been in eighty years. As Reich, who served in three US administrations, shows, the threat to capitalism is no longer communism or fascism but a steady undermining of the trust modern societies need for growth and stability. With an exclusive chapter for Icon’s edition, Saving Capitalism is passionate yet practical, sweeping yet exactingly argued, a revelatory indictment of the economic status quo and an empowering call to action.
Book Summary: From the author of Aftershock and The Work of Nations, his most important book to date—a myth-shattering breakdown of how the economic system that helped make America so strong is now failing us, and what it will take to fix it. Perhaps no one is better acquainted with the intersection of economics and politics than Robert B. Reich, and now he reveals how power and influence have created a new American oligarchy, a shrinking middle class, and the greatest income inequality and wealth disparity in eighty years. He makes clear how centrally problematic our veneration of the “free market” is, and how it has masked the power of moneyed interests to tilt the market to their benefit. Reich exposes the falsehoods that have been bolstered by the corruption of our democracy by huge corporations and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street: that all workers are paid what they’re “worth,” that a higher minimum wage equals fewer jobs, and that corporations must serve shareholders before employees. He shows that the critical choices ahead are not about the size of government but about who government is for: that we must choose not between a free market and “big” government but between a market organized for broadly based prosperity and one designed to deliver the most gains to the top. Ever the pragmatist, ever the optimist, Reich sees hope for reversing our slide toward inequality and diminished opportunity when we shore up the countervailing power of everyone else. Passionate yet practical, sweeping yet exactingly argued, Saving Capitalism is a revelatory indictment of our economic status quo and an empowering call to civic action.
Book Summary: From the author of Aftershock and The Work of Nations, his most important book to date--a passionate yet practical, sweeping yet minutely argued, myth-shattering breakdown of what's wrong with our political-economic system, and what it will take to fix it. Perhaps no one is better acquainted with the intersection of finance and politics than Robert B. Reich, and now he reveals the cycles of power and influence that have perpetuated a new American oligarchy, a shrinking middle class, and the greatest income inequality and wealth disparity in eighty years. He makes clear how centrally problematic our veneration of the "free market" is, and how it has masked the power of the moneyed interests to tilt the market to their benefit. He exposes the falsehoods that have been bolstered by the corruption of our democracy by big corporations and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street-- that all workers are paid what they're "worth," a higher minimum wage equals fewer jobs, corporations must serve shareholders before employees. Ever the pragmatist, Reich sees hope for reversing our slide toward inequality and diminished opportunity by shoring up the countervailing power of everyone else. Here is a revelatory indictment of our economic status quo and an empowering call to civic action.
Book Summary: Capitalism’s biggest problem is the executive in pinstripes who extols the virtues of competitive markets with every breath while attempting to extinguish them with every action. Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists is a groundbreaking book that will radically change our understanding of the capitalist system, particularly the role of financial markets. They are the catalyst for inspiring human ingenuity and spreading prosperity. The perception of many, especially in the wake of never-ending corporate scandals, is that financial markets are parasitic institutions that feed off the blood, sweat, and tears of the rest of us. The reality is far different. •Vibrant financial markets threaten the sclerotic corporate establishment and increase corporate mobility and opportunity. They are the reason why entrepreneurship flourishes and companies like The Home Depot and Wal-Mart—mere fly specks a quarter of a century ago—have surged as they have. •They mean personal freedom and economic development for more people. Throughout history, and in most of the world today, the record is one of financial oppression. Elites restrict access to capital and severely limit not only general economic development but that of individuals as well. •Open borders help check the political and economic elites and preserve competitive markets. The greatest danger of the antiglobalization movement is that it will keep the rich rich and the poor poor. Globalization forces countries to do what is necessary to make their economies productive, not what is best for incumbent elites. Open borders limit the ability of domestic politics to close down competition and to retard financial and economic growth. •Markets are especially susceptible in economic downturns when the establishment can exploit public anger to restrict competition and access to capital. While markets must be free to practice “creative destruction,” Rajan and Zingales demonstrate the political and economic importance of a sustainable distribution of wealth and a baseline safety net. Capitalism needs a heart for its own good! There are no iron laws of economics that condemn countries like Bangladesh to perpetual poverty or the United States to perpetual prosperity. The early years of the twentieth century saw vibrant, open financial markets that were creating widespread prosperity. Then came the “Great Reversal” during the Great Depression. It can—and will—happen again, unless there is greater understanding of what markets do, who benefits, and who really wants to either limit them or shut them down. Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists breaks free of traditional ideological arguments of the right and left and points to a new way of understanding and spreading the extraordinary wealth-generating capabilities of capitalism.
Book Summary: For two generations historians have debated the significance of the New Deal, arguing about what it tried and tried not to do, whether it was radical or reactionary, and what its origins were. They have emphasized the National Recovery Administration, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, or the various social and labor legislation to illustrate an assortment of arguments about the "real" New Deal. Here James Olson contends that the little-studied Reconstruction Finance Corporation was the major New Deal agency, even though it was the product of the Hoover Administration. Pouring more than ten billion dollars into private businesses during the 1930s in a strenuous effort to "save capitalism," the RFC was the largest, most powerful, and most influential of all New Deal agencies, proving that the main thrust of the New Deal was state capitalism--the use of the federal government to shore up private property and the status quo. As national and international money markets collapsed in 1930, Hoover created an RFC with a structure similar to that of his War Finance Corporation. The agency was given two billion dollars to make low-interest loans to commercial banks, savings banks, other financial institutions, and railroads. With modifications, it survived the ultimate collapse of the economy in 1933 and went on to become the central part of the New Deal's effort to preserve fundamental American institutions. Originally published in 1988. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Book Summary: Robert B. Reich makes a powerful case for the expansion of America’s moral imagination. Rooting his argument in common sense and everyday reality, he demonstrates that a common good constitutes the very essence of any society or nation. Societies, he says, undergo virtuous cycles that reinforce the common good as well as vicious cycles that undermine it, one of which America has been experiencing for the past five decades. This process can and must be reversed. But first we need to weigh the moral obligations of citizenship and carefully consider how we relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership. Powerful, urgent, and utterly vital, this is a heartfelt missive from one of our foremost political thinkers.
Book Summary: Now a Netflix Original Documentary America was once celebrated for and defined by its large and prosperous middle class. Now, this middle class is shrinking, a new oligarchy is rising, and the country faces its greatest wealth disparity in eighty years. Why is the economic system that made America strong suddenly failing us, and how can it be fixed? Leading political economist and bestselling author Robert B. Reich presents a paradigm-shifting, clear-eyed examination of a political and economic status quo that no longer serves the people, exposing one of the most pernicious obstructions to progress today: the enduring myth of the “free market” when, behind the curtain, it is the powerful alliances between Washington and Wall Street that control the invisible hand. Laying to rest the specious dichotomy between a free market and “big government,” Reich shows that the truly critical choice ahead is between a market organized for broad-based prosperity and one designed to deliver ever more gains to the top. Visionary and acute, Saving Capitalism illuminates the path toward restoring America’s fundamental promise of opportunity and advancement.
Book Summary: 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 Cabinet is 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.