From bestselling author, CNN+ host of No Mercy, No Malice, and NYU business school professor Scott Galloway comes an urgent examination of the future of our nation – and how we got here.
We are only just beginning to reckon with our post-pandemic future. As political extremism intensifies, the great resignation affects businesses everywhere, and supply chain issues crush bottom lines, we’re faced with daunting questions – is our democracy under threat? How will Big Tech change our lives? What does job security look like for me? America is on the brink of massive change – change that will disrupt the workings of our economy and drastically impact the financial backbone of our nation: the middle class.
In Adrift, Galloway looks to the past – from 1945 to present day – to explain just how America arrived at this precipice. Telling the story of our nation through 100 charts, Galloway demonstrates how crises such as Jim Crow, World War II, and the Stock Market Crash of 2008, as well as the escalating power of technology, an entrenched white patriarchy, and the socio-economic effects of the pandemic, created today’s perfect storm. Adrift attempts to make sense of it all, and offers Galloway’s unique take on where we’re headed and who we’ll become, touching on topics as wide-ranging as online dating to minimum wage to the American dream.
Just as in 1945 and 1980, America is once again a nation at a crossroads. This time, what will it take for our nation to keep up with the fast and violent changes to our new world?
In this data-driven analysis, NYU business professor Galloway (Post Corona) charts rises in economic inequality, political partisanship, and social alienation since the 1980s. Contending that Ronald Reagan's tax and budget cuts boosted the economy but suppressed social mobility, Galloway uses graphs, pie charts, and other visuals to illustrate the stark divide in wage growth between the top 1% of American workers and the rest, the declines in infrastructure spending that have left 45% of Americans without access to public transportation, and the sharp increase—from 5% to more than half—of corporate profits registered in foreign tax havens. On the flip side, he presents data documenting how U.S.-led globalization efforts over the past 40 years have decreased global poverty and infant mortality rates. The picture that emerges is one of accelerating domestic decline, as Reagan's ethos of "rugged individualism" has morphed into "idolatry of innovators" while fostering intolerance and distrust in government. There's a distinct randomness to the information presented—"teeth grinding & clenching" were up 71% in 2021, while Gen Zers unlocked their smartphones 79 times per day in 2018—and some of the graphs feel more obligatory than edifying, but Galloway diagnoses a wide range of social ills. Readers will find much food for thought.
A good easy read
Galloway does an excellent job summarizing the negative changes in the American economy. He also does a great job offering solutions that need to be talked about. (The graphics are excellent). I, like Galloway, believe that if we talk, propose solutions, and act on them, change for the better will happen.