A passionate, articulate argument detailing how the United States political system has failed to adapt to the economic challenges of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The American economy is in peril. It has fallen hostage to a casino of financial speculation, creating instability as well as inequality. Tens of millions of workers are vulnerable to layoffs and outsourcing, health care and retirement burdens are increasingly being shifted from employers to individuals. Here Kuttner debunks alarmist claims about supposed economic hazards and exposes the genuine dangers: hedge funds and private equity run amok, sub-prime lenders, Wall Street middlemen, and America's dependence on foreign central banks. He then outlines a persuasive, bold alternative, a new model of managed capitalism that can deliver security and opportunity, and rekindle democracy as we know it.
As Keynesianism has been surpassed by a resurgent free market ideology, many of the policies, institutions and regulations of the New Deal have been abandoned in favor of a more business-friendly orientation. Kuttner argues that these changes have further enriched the already wealthy at the expense of America's lower and middle classes, exacerbating inequality and systematically weakening the economy. The controversial American Prospect editor favors a form of soft capitalism, in which the vicissitudes of the market and the risk to which it exposes ordinary Americans are tempered by government intervention or, as he colorfully puts it, public regulation of the market's self-cannibalizing tendencies. Bringing a wealth of historical knowledge to bear on the problems of financial regulation, Kuttner compares the causes of the Great Depression and other economic crises to behavior patterns evident in our market system today, with unfavorable conclusions. However, much of the argumentation may be too technical to hold the interest of a nonspecialist for very long. While some of Kuttner's statistics are dubious and some of his policy recommendations have been thoroughly and universally discredited (e.g., reregulation of the airline industry, bringing the Federal Reserve under presidential control), his book is a useful corrective to more extreme libertarian works.
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A must read for everyone wanting to understand why congress is held in such low esteam
Before you can fix anything, you have to understand what the problem is. After reading this book you will understand that our problem is our elected representative must answer to those that provide their campaign funds.
Fixing the problem will require a political solution: PUBLIC FUNDING OF ELECTIONS.