Who Rigged It, How We Fix It
From the bestselling author of Saving Capitalism and The Common Good, comes an urgent analysis of how the "rigged" systems of American politics and power operate, how this status quo came to be, and how average citizens can enact change.
There is a mounting sense that our political-economic system is no longer working, but what is the core problem and how do we remedy it? With the characteristic clarity and passion that have made him a central civil voice, bestselling author of Saving Capitalism and The Common Good Robert B. Reich shows how wealth and power have combined to install an oligarchy and undermine democracy. Reich exposes the myths of meritocracy, national competitiveness, corporate social responsibility, the “free market,” and the political “center,” all of which are used by those at the top to divert attention from their takeover of the system and to justify their accumulation of even more wealth and power. In demystifying the current system, Reich reveals where power actually lies and how it is wielded, and invites us to reclaim power and remake the system for all.
In this incisive critique, former U.S. secretary of labor Reich (The Common Good) argues that America's political and economic system has "become tilted ever more in the direction of moneyed interests that have exerted disproportionate influence over it, while average workers have steadily lost bargaining leverage." He identifies three major developments over the past four decades: a shift from "stakeholder capitalism" to "shareholder capitalism," in which business decisions are gauged only by the profits they generate; the transfer of bargaining power from unions to corporations; and financial deregulation that have allowed some to reap huge profits, while the weight of financial risk is borne by average people. These changes have empowered a small economic elite to translate massive wealth into political clout, securing policies that enable them to accumulate more money and power. Reich forcefully critiques J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon's endorsement of "corporate social responsibility" as a vastly insufficient answer to the perils of crony capitalism, which he credits for widespread populist anger that has found its outlet in xenophobia and authoritarianism. The cure, Reich believes, is a multiethnic, multiracial coalition recommitted to the work of citizenship and a more equitable reallocation of power. Though Reich gives undue credit to the social virtues of mid-century corporate leaders, his critique of the current system is evidence-based and authoritative. This call-to-action will resonate with progressive readers.
A terrifying look at what America has become
A true and honest look at how America has become the hostile and unequal place we live in. I only wish more people understood the problems this book enlightens.
Point of view
Always a solid point of view from Mr.Reich.
Should be made mandatory reading
Of all of the books I’ve read in the last year about inequality, this book is the most succinct and precise in detailing the interplay between wealth and political forces at play.
If I were able to mandate that all of my friends read only one book this year, I’d choose this one. This is an astonishing work of compassion, erudition, and clear thinking.