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Why are some countries rich and others poor? Why does a farmer in Sweden have a higher standard of living than a farmer in South Africa? Why does a schoolteacher in Switzerland earn more than one in Chicago? According to leading economic theorist John Kay, economic markets are key to the wealth or poverty of the world's nations. In Culture and Prosperity, Kay explores why market economies outperform socialist or centrally directed markets -- and why the imposition of market institutions often fails. His search for the truth about markets takes him from the shores of Lake Zurich to the streets of Mumbai, through theories of evolutionary psychology and moral philosophy to the flower market at San Remo and Christie's salesroom in New York.
Witty, engaging, and grounded in cutting-edge economic theory, Culture and Prosperity is essential for understanding the state of the world today.
In this new collection of his most acute and durable political writing, readers will recognize the spirit of indignation and hope Goodman first roused in the 1960s with "Growing Up Absurd." "Stoehr tells his Goodman's] story well.This is the genuine kind of decentralism."--"The Nation"
"Powerful as well as highly engaging-a brilliant book." -Amartya Sen A Times Higher Education Book of the Week It may sound crazy to pay people whether or not they're working or even looking for work. But the idea of providing an unconditional basic income to everyone, rich or poor, active or inactive, has long been advocated by such major thinkers as Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill, and John Kenneth Galbraith. Now, with the traditional welfare state creaking under pressure, it has become one of the most widely debated social policy proposals in the world. Basic Income presents the most acute and fullest defense of this radical idea, and makes the case that it is our most realistic hope for addressing economic insecurity and social exclusion. "They have set forth, clearly and comprehensively, what is probably the best case to be made today for this form of economic and social policy." -Benjamin M. Friedman, New York Review of Books "A rigorous analysis of the many arguments for and against a universal basic income, offering a road map for future researchers." -Wall Street Journal "What Van Parijs and Vanderborght bring to this topic is a deep understanding, an enduring passion and a disarming optimism." -Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post
Chosen by Pankaj Mishra as one of the Best Books of the Summer Neoliberals hate the state. Or do they? In the first intellectual history of neoliberal globalism, Quinn Slobodian follows a group of thinkers from the ashes of the Habsburg Empire to the creation of the World Trade Organization to show that neoliberalism emerged less to shrink government and abolish regulations than to redeploy them at a global level. Slobodian begins in Austria in the 1920s. Empires were dissolving and nationalism, socialism, and democratic self-determination threatened the stability of the global capitalist system. In response, Austrian intellectuals called for a new way of organizing the world. But they and their successors in academia and government, from such famous economists as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises to influential but lesser-known figures such as Wilhelm Roepke and Michael Heilperin, did not propose a regime of laissez-faire. Rather they used states and global institutions-the League of Nations, the European Court of Justice, the World Trade Organization, and international investment law-to insulate the markets against sovereign states, political change, and turbulent democratic demands for greater equality and social justice. Far from discarding the regulatory state, neoliberals wanted to harness it to their grand project of protecting capitalism on a global scale. It was a project, Slobodian shows, that changed the world, but that was also undermined time and again by the inequality, relentless change, and social injustice that accompanied it.
Finding opportunities for innovation on the path between farmer and table. Even if we think we know a lot about good and healthy food-even if we buy organic, believe in slow food, and read Eater-we probably don't know much about how food gets to the table. What happens between the farm and the kitchen? Why are all avocados from Mexico? Why does a restaurant in Maine order lamb from New Zealand? In Food Routes, Robyn Metcalfe explores an often-overlooked aspect of the global food system: how food moves from producer to consumer. She finds that the food supply chain is adapting to our increasingly complex demands for both personalization and convenience-but, she says, it won't be an easy ride. Networked, digital tools will improve the food system but will also challenge our relationship to food in anxiety-provoking ways. It might not be easy to transfer our affections from verdant fields of organic tomatoes to high-rise greenhouses tended by robots. And yet, argues Metcalfe-a cautious technology optimist-technological advances offer opportunities for innovations that can get better food to more people in an increasingly urbanized world. Metcalfe follows a slice of New York pizza and a club sandwich through the food supply chain; considers local foods, global foods, and food deserts; investigates the processing, packaging, and storage of food; explores the transportation networks that connect farm to plate; and explains how food can be tracked using sensors and the Internet of Things. Future food may be engineered, networked, and nearly independent of crops grown in fields. New technologies can make the food system more efficient-but at what cost to our traditionally close relationship with food?
What is the connection between the sleaziness of Harvey Weinstein's 'business meetings' and the passionless doctrine of neoclassical economics? In this witty and incisive examination of the new economy, Peter Fleming argues that they are closer than you might think. The quest to rid society of bureaucracy, shrink government and burn red tape has certainly made capitalism 'more human', but not in the family-friendly way envisaged by free-market gurus. Increasing informality has led to a capitalism fuelled by limitless exploitation and increasingly seedy methods of management, from semi-feudal workplace hazing rituals and predatory middle-managers with an axe to grind to arbitrary zero-hours contracts, Uber and, perhaps worst of all, the compulsory gym session with your boss. Fleming dubs this 'Sugar Daddy Capitalism' after the controversial dating-app wealthy businessmen use to meet young girls, most of whom are struggling with university fees. What seems like a creepy outlier is actually a prescient metaphor for our whole economy: an anonymous and impersonal cash system that is also intent on getting under your skin, extra close and capable of ruining everything if you say ... 'no'.
Adair Turner became chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority just as the global financial crisis struck in 2008, and he played a leading role in redesigning global financial regulation. In this eye-opening book, he sets the record straight about what really caused the crisis. It didn't happen because banks are too big to fail--our addiction to private debt is to blame. Between Debt and the Devil challenges the belief that we need credit growth to fuel economic growth, and that rising debt is okay as long as inflation remains low. In fact, most credit is not needed for economic growth--but it drives real estate booms and busts and leads to financial crisis and depression. Turner explains why public policy needs to manage the growth and allocation of credit creation, and why debt needs to be taxed as a form of economic pollution. Banks need far more capital, real estate lending must be restricted, and we need to tackle inequality and mitigate the relentless rise of real estate prices. Turner also debunks the big myth about fiat money--the erroneous notion that printing money will lead to harmful inflation. To escape the mess created by past policy errors, we sometimes need to monetize government debt and finance fiscal deficits with central-bank money. Between Debt and the Devil shows why we need to reject the assumptions that private credit is essential to growth and fiat money is inevitably dangerous. Each has its advantages, and each creates risks that public policy must consciously balance.
A more ethical economic system is now possible, one that rectifies the crisis spots of our current downturn while balancing the injustices of extreme poverty and wealth. Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen, a scholar and an entrepreneur, outline the shape such an economy might take, identifying its origins in innovations already existent in our production, valuation, and distribution systems. Much like nineteenth-century entrepreneurs, philosophers, bankers, artisans, and social organizers who planned a course for modern capitalism that was more economically efficient and ethically desirable, we now have a chance to construct new instruments, institutions, and infrastructure to reverse the trajectory of a quickly deteriorating economic environment. Considering a multitude of emerging phenomena, Arvidsson and Peitersen show wealth creation can be the result of a new kind of social production, and the motivation of continuous capital accumulation can exist in tandem with a new desire to maximize our social impact. Arvidsson and Peitersen argue that financial markets could become a central arena in which diverse ethical concerns are integrated into tangible economic valuations. They suggest that such a common standard has already emerged and that this process is linked to the spread of social media, making it possible to capture the sentiment of value to most people. They ultimately recommend how to build upon these developments to initiate a radical democratization of economic systems and the value decisions they generate.
Simplify: How The Best Businesses In The World Succeed - Richard Loch, Greg Lockwood
The Reputation Economy: How To Optimise Your Digital Footprint - Michael Fertik
The Silo Effect: Why Every Organisation Needs To Disrupt Itself To Survive - Gillian Tett
Only our limited idea of money is keeping us poor. David Boyle introduces us to alternative cash and people who can conjure money - that is, spending power - out of nothing. Until recently, the growth of alternative cash had been the province of big business: phone cards, stamps, air miles and Tesco's clubcard points all have purchasing power, yet are not cash as we know it. Now, locally created money systems like `time dollars', `Womanshare' and `Ithaca hours' are being invented by communities for communities. With clarity and great humour, Boyle tells the story of this extraordinary revolution: he travels to the USA to visit the people behind local money systems; relates their vision of the future; and describes how to set up your own currency. This is no dry theoretical tome: Boyle writes about his subject in a way that is concrete, illuminating, often very funny and always highly readable. This paperback edition includes a new epilogue with an update on the latest alternative currency ideas: `You just have to cast doubt on the real existence of the money markets and they could just shrivel away. Anything could happen.' A revolution is underway now: this book tells the story of its leaders and the ideas that inspired them.
In this important new book, Nancy Fraser and Rahel Jaeggi take a fresh look at the big questions surrounding the peculiar social form known as "capitalism," upending many of our commonly held assumptions about what capitalism is and how to subject it to critique. They show how, throughout its history, various regimes of capitalism have relied on a series of institutional separations between economy and polity, production and social reproduction, and human and non-human nature, periodically readjusting the boundaries between these domains in response to crises and upheavals. They consider how these "boundary struggles" offer a key to understanding capitalism's contradictions and the multiple forms of conflict to which it gives rise. What emerges is a renewed crisis critique of capitalism which puts our present conjuncture into broader perspective, along with sharp diagnoses of the recent resurgence of right-wing populism and what would be required of a viable Left alternative. This major new book by two leading critical theorists will be of great interest to anyone concerned with the nature and future of capitalism and with the key questions of progressive politics today.
How did Britain transform itself from a nation of workhouses to one that became a model for the modern welfare state? The Winding Road to the Welfare State investigates the evolution of living standards and welfare policies in Britain from the 1830s to 1950 and provides insights into how British working-class households coped with economic insecurity. George Boyer examines the retrenchment in Victorian poor relief, the Liberal Welfare Reforms, and the beginnings of the postwar welfare state, and he describes how workers altered spending and saving methods based on changing government policies. From the cutting back of the Poor Law after 1834 to Parliament's abrupt about-face in 1906 with the adoption of the Liberal Welfare Reforms, Boyer offers new explanations for oscillations in Britain's social policies and how these shaped worker well-being. The Poor Law's increasing stinginess led skilled manual workers to adopt self-help strategies, but this was not a feasible option for low-skilled workers, many of whom continued to rely on the Poor Law into old age. In contrast, the Liberal Welfare Reforms were a major watershed, marking the end of seven decades of declining support for the needy. Concluding with the Beveridge Report and Labour's social policies in the late 1940s, Boyer shows how the Liberal Welfare Reforms laid the foundations for a national social safety net. A sweeping look at economic pressures after the Industrial Revolution, The Winding Road to the Welfare State illustrates how British welfare policy waxed and waned over the course of a century.
Lectures in Macroeconomics: A Capitalist Economy Without Unemployment provides a systematic account of the principle of aggregate demand based on the work of Polish economist Michal Kalecki, best known as one of the originators of the Keynesian Revolution in macroeconomics.The lectures demonstrate the importance of aggregate demand in determining total output and employment in the capitalist economy. They show how the investment decisions of firms affect economic growth, arguing that due to the unstable nature of investment it is important that the government has a central role in stabilizing the economy. This English translation of Kazimierz Laski's final work brings up to date fundamental concepts to give a picture of the twenty-first capitalist economy, and the obstacles that must be overcome in bringing it to full employment. It introduces the role of money and finance in the contemporary capitalist economy, as well as the central role of the labour market and wages. The analysis is illustrated with statistics and discussion around the evolution of capitalist economies and the rise of economic inequality since the Second World War, culminating in the 2008 crisis and the economic deflation affecting Europe since that crisis. Lectures in Macroeconomics remarks critically upon the neo-classical approach to economics that has brought about slow economic growth, unemployment, and inequality.
The wide-ranging implications of the shift to a sharing economy, a new model of organizing economic activity that may supplant traditional corporations. Sharing isn't new. Giving someone a ride, having a guest in your spare room, running errands for someone, participating in a supper club-these are not revolutionary concepts. What is new, in the "sharing economy," is that you are not helping a friend for free; you are providing these services to a stranger for money. In this book, Arun Sundararajan, an expert on the sharing economy, explains the transition to what he describes as "crowd-based capitalism"-a new way of organizing economic activity that may supplant the traditional corporate-centered model. As peer-to-peer commercial exchange blurs the lines between the personal and the professional, how will the economy, government regulation, what it means to have a job, and our social fabric be affected? Drawing on extensive research and numerous real-world examples-including Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, Etsy, TaskRabbit, France's BlaBlaCar, China's Didi Kuaidi, and India's Ola, Sundararajan explains the basics of crowd-based capitalism. He describes the intriguing mix of "gift" and "market" in its transactions, demystifies emerging blockchain technologies, and clarifies the dizzying array of emerging on-demand platforms. He considers how this new paradigm changes economic growth and the future of work. Will we live in a world of empowered entrepreneurs who enjoy professional flexibility and independence? Or will we become disenfranchised digital laborers scurrying between platforms in search of the next wedge of piecework? Sundararajan highlights the important policy choices and suggests possible new directions for self-regulatory organizations, labor law, and funding our social safety net.
In The Corrosion of Character, Richard Sennett, "among the country's most distinguished thinkers . . . has concentrated into 176 pages a profoundly affecting argument" (Business Week) that draws on interviews with dismissed IBM executives, bakers, a bartender turned advertising executive, and many others to call into question the terms of our new economy. In his 1972 classic, The Hidden Injuries of Class (written with Jonathan Cobb), Sennett interviewed a man he called Enrico, a hardworking janitor whose life was structured by a union pay schedule and given meaning by his sacrifices for the future. In this new book-a #1 bestseller in Germany-Sennett explores the contemporary scene characterized by Enrico's son, Rico, whose life is more materially successful, yet whose work lacks long-term commitments or loyalties. Distinguished by Sennett's "combination of broad historical and literary learning and a reporter's willingness to walk into a store or factory [and] strike up a conversation" (New York Times Book Review), this book "challenges the reader to decide whether the flexibility of modern capitalism . . . is merely a fresh form of oppression" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Praise for The Corrosion of Character: "A benchmark for our time."-Daniel Bell "[A]n incredibly insightful book."-William Julius Wilson "[A] remarkable synthesis of acute empirical observation and serious moral reflection."-Richard Rorty "[Sennett] offers abundant fresh insights . . . illuminated by his concern with people's struggle to give meaning to their lives."-[Memphis] Commercial Appeal
This is a condensed edition of 'The Road to Serfdom' republished in this edition with 'The Intellectuals and Socialism' (originally published in 1949). In 'The Road to Serfdom' F. A. Hayek set out the danger posed to freedom by attempts to apply the principles of wartime economic and social planning to the problems of peacetime. Hayek argued that the rise of Nazism was not due to any character failure on the part of the German people, but was a consequence of the socialist ideas that had gained common currency in Germany in the decades preceding the outbreak of war. Such ideas, Hayek argued, were now becoming similarly accepted in Britain and the USA. On its publication in 1944, 'The Road to Serfdom' caused a sensation. Its publishers could not keep up with demand, owing to wartime paper rationing. Then, in April 1945, Reader's Digest published a condensed version of the book and Hayek's work found a mass audience. This condensed edition was republished for the first time by the IEA in 1999. Since then it has been frequently reprinted. There is an enduring demand for Hayek's relevant and accessible message. The 'Road to Serfdom' is republished in this impression with 'The Intellectuals and Socialism' originally published in 1949, in which Hayek explained the appeal of socialist ideas to intellectuals - the 'second-hand dealers in ideas'. Intellectuals, Hayek argued, are attracted to socialism because it involves the rational application of the intellect to the organisation of society, while its utopianism captures their imagination and satisfies their desire to make the world submit to their own design.
It is a rare professor who greatly alters the thinking of his professional colleagues. It's an even rarer one who helps transform the world. Friedman has done both." - Stephen Chapman, Chicago Tribune How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In his classic book, Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman presents his view of the proper role of competitive capitalism - the organization of the bulk of economic activity through private enterprise operating in a free market - as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom. He also outlines the role that government should play in a society dedicated to freedom and relying primarily on the market to organize economic activity. Friedman begins with a discussion of the principles of a truly liberal society. He then applies those principles to a range of pressing problems, including monetary policy, discrimination, education, income distribution, welfare, and poverty. The result is a book that has sold well over half a million copies in English, has been translated into eighteen languages, and has become increasingly influential in recent years as more and more governments have moved from highly planned economies to embrace free market economics.
From Paul Mason, the award-winning Channel 4 presenter, Postcapitalism is a guide to our era of seismic economic change, and how we can build a more equal society. Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone continual change - economic cycles that lurch from boom to bust - and has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, Paul Mason wonders whether today we are on the brink of a change so big, so profound, that this time capitalism itself, the immensely complex system by which entire societies function, has reached its limits and is changing into something wholly new. At the heart of this change is information technology: a revolution that, as Mason shows, has the potential to reshape utterly our familiar notions of work, production and value; and to destroy an economy based on markets and private ownership - in fact, he contends, it is already doing so. Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, whole swathes of economic life are changing. Goods and services that no longer respond to the dictates of neoliberalism are appearing, from parallel currencies and time banks, to cooperatives and self-managed online spaces. Vast numbers of people are changing their behaviour, discovering new forms of ownership, lending and doing business that are distinct from, and contrary to, the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism. In this groundbreaking book Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy. Moving beyond capitalism, he shows, is no longer a utopian dream. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape, rather than simply react to, seismic change.
We love to hate the 800-pound gorilla. Walmart and Amazon destroy communities and small businesses. Facebook turns us into addicts while putting our personal data at risk. From skeptical politicians like Bernie Sanders who, at a 2016 presidential campaign rally said, 'If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist,' to millennials, only 42 percent of whom support capitalism, belief in big business is at an all-time low. But are big companies inherently evil? If business is so bad, why does it remain so integral to the basic functioning of America? Economist and bestselling author Tyler Cowen says our biggest problem is that we don't love business enough. In Big Business, Cowen puts forth an impassioned defense of corporations and their essential role in a balanced, productive, and progressive society. He dismantles common misconceptions and untangles conflicting intuitions. According to a 2016 Gallup survey, only 12 percent of Americans trust big business 'quite a lot,' and only 6 percent trust it 'a great deal.' Yet Americans as a group are remarkably willing to trust businesses, whether in the form of buying a new phone on the day of its release or simply showing up to work in the expectation they will be paid. Cowen illuminates the crucial role businesses play in spurring innovation, rewarding talent and hard work, and creating the bounty on which we've all come to depend.
A comprehensive analysis of European craft guilds through eight centuries of economic history Guilds ruled many crafts and trades from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution, and have always attracted debate and controversy. They were sometimes viewed as efficient institutions that guaranteed quality and skills. But they also excluded competitors, manipulated markets, and blocked innovations. Did the benefits of guilds outweigh their costs? Analyzing thousands of guilds that dominated European economies from 1000 to 1880, The European Guilds uses vivid examples and clear economic reasoning to answer that question. Sheilagh Ogilvie (TM)s book features the voices of honourable guild masters, underpaid journeymen, exploited apprentices, shady officials, and outraged customers, and follows the stories of the oevile encroachers "women, migrants, Jews, gypsies, bastards, and many others "desperate to work but hunted down by the guilds as illicit competitors. She investigates the benefits of guilds but also shines a light on their dark side. Guilds sometimes provided important services, but they also manipulated markets to profit their members. They regulated quality but prevented poor consumers from buying goods cheaply. They fostered work skills but denied apprenticeships to outsiders. They transmitted useful techniques but blocked innovations that posed a threat. Guilds existed widely not because they corrected market failures or served the common good but because they benefited two powerful groups "guild members and political elites. Exploring guilds (TM) inner workings across eight centuries, The European Guilds shows how privileged institutions and exclusive networks shape the wider economy "for good or ill.
Europe has not been so weak and divided for a long time. Buffeted by a succession of crises, it has shown a strong collective survival instinct but a poor capacity to deliver. In times when the tectonic plates are shifting and tension between global markets and national democracies is rising, can Europe hold together, under what termsand indeed for what purpose? The euro crisis has left big scars and is not over yet. Economic divergence has grown between and within countries, leading in turn to political fragmentation and the rise of populism. And growth remains slow, fragile, and uneven. Europe is in a bind: it is difficult to go forwards and scary to go backwards. In between, it is an unhappy and unstable state of affairs. Looking further afield, a more assertive Russia and an imploding neighbourhood may not even allow Europe the luxury to decline in grace. A convinced European and familiar with the world of Brussels, Loukas Tsoukalis is critical of the way Europe has handled its multiple crises in recent years. He addresses the key issues and difficult choices facing Europe today. Can Europe collectively manage globalization, combine growth with inclusive societies, and reconcile its apparent yearning for soft power with the often hard reality of the world outside? Individual countries cannot handle these challenges on their own. While knowing full well the difficulties in reaching a common European stance, Tsoukalis is also acutely aware of the consequences of failure.
Gaian Economics is the second volume in the Four Keys to Sustainable Communities series and sets out to explore how we can develop healthy and abundant societies in harmony with our finite planetary resources.
Using contributions from a wealth of authors (including Small Is Beautiful's E. F. Schumacher, eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, and Rob Hopkins of the Transition movement), the editors address ways of reducing our consumption to levels that enable natural systems to self-regenerate and to do so in ways that permit a high quality of life--that we live within our means and that we live well.
Since the advent of the Scientific Revolution in the sixteenth century, humans have stood apart from the rest of nature, seeking to manipulate it for their benefit. Thus, we have learned to refer to the natural world as "the environment" and to see it, in economic terms, as little more than a bank of resources to be transformed into products for human use and pleasure. This has brought us to the brink of collapse, with natural systems straining under the weight of the population and the levels at which we are consuming.
We are, however, on the threshold of a shift into a new way of seeing and understanding the world and our place within it--called, by some, the "Ecological Age." It will be characterized by a new understanding of our place as a thread in the web of life, of our interconnectedness with all other living things. Gaian Economics offers ways forward toward this Ecological Age, giving suggestions for how it may take shape, and how it would work.
The Four Keys represent the four dimensions of sustainable design--the Worldview, the Social, the Ecological, and the Economic. This series is endorsed by UNESCO and is an official contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. The other books of the series are Beyond You and Me, Designing Ecological Habitats, and The Song of the Earth. The Four Keys to Sustainable Communities series was completed in 2012 and is now available in the U.S. for the first time.
In this authoritative and accessible book, one of the world's most renowned historians provides a concise and comprehensive history of capitalism within a global perspective from its medieval origins to the 2008 financial crisis and beyond. From early commercial capitalism in the Arab world, China, and Europe, to nineteenth- and twentieth-century industrialization, to today's globalized financial capitalism, Jurgen Kocka offers an unmatched account of capitalism, one that weighs its great achievements against its great costs, crises, and failures. Based on intensive research, the book puts the rise of capitalist economies in social, political, and cultural context, and shows how their current problems and foreseeable future are connected to a long history. Sweeping in scope, the book describes how capitalist expansion was connected to colonialism; how industrialism brought unprecedented innovation, growth, and prosperity but also increasing inequality; and how managerialism, financialization, and globalization later changed the face of capitalism. The book also addresses the idea of capitalism in the work of thinkers such as Marx, Weber, and Schumpeter, and chronicles how criticism of capitalism is as old as capitalism itself, fed by its persistent contradictions and recurrent emergencies. Authoritative and accessible, Capitalism is an enlightening account of a force that has shaped the modern world like few others.
In Third Wave Capitalism, John Ehrenreich documents the emergence of a new stage in the history of American capitalism. Just as the industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century gave way to corporate capitalism in the twentieth, recent decades have witnessed corporate capitalism evolving into a new phase, which Ehrenreich calls "Third Wave Capitalism."Third Wave Capitalism is marked by apparent contradictions: Rapid growth in productivity and lagging wages; fabulous wealth for the 1 percent and the persistence of high levels of poverty; increases in the standard of living and increases in mental illness, personal misery, and political rage; the apotheosis of the individual and the deterioration of democracy; increases in life expectancy and out-of-control medical costs; an African American president and the incarceration of a large percentage of the black population.Ehrenreich asserts that these phenomena are evidence that a virulent, individualist, winner-take-all ideology and a virtual fusion of government and business have subverted the American dream. Greed and economic inequality reinforce the sense that each of us is "on our own." The result is widespread lack of faith in collective responses to our common problems. The collapse of any organized opposition to business demands makes political solutions ever more difficult to imagine. Ehrenreich traces the impact of these changes on American health care, school reform, income distribution, racial inequities, and personal emotional distress. Not simply a lament, Ehrenreich's book seeks clues for breaking out of our current stalemate and proposes a strategy to create a new narrative in which change becomes possible.
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