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What is included with this book?
A brilliant new reading of the economic crisis—and a plan for dealing with the challenge of its aftermath—by one of our most trenchant and informed experts.
When the nation’s economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Robert B. Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown, and for a perilous road ahead. He argues that the real problem is structural: it lies in the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and in a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living.
Persuasively and straightforwardly, Reich reveals how precarious our situation still is. The last time in American history when wealth was so highly concentrated at the top—indeed, when the top 1 percent of the population was paid 23 percent of the nation’s income—was in 1928, just before the Great Depression. Such a disparity leads to ever greater booms followed by ever deeper busts.
Reich’s thoughtful and detailed account of where we are headed over the next decades reveals the essential truth about our economy that is driving our politics and shaping our future. With keen insight, he shows us how the middle class lacks enough purchasing power to buy what the economy can produce and has adopted coping mechanisms that have a negative impact on their quality of life; how the rich use their increasing wealth to speculate; and how an angrier politics emerges as more Americans conclude that the game is rigged for the benefit of a few. Unless this trend is reversed, the Great Recession will only be repeated.
|Introduction: The Pendulum||p. 3|
|The Broken Bargain|
|Eccles's Insight||p. 11|
|The Basic Bargain||p. 28|
|How Concentrated Income at the Top Hurts the Economy||p. 32|
|Why Policymakers Obsess About the Financial Economy Instead of About the Real One||p. 38|
|The Great Prosperity: 1947-1975||p. 42|
|How We Got Ourselves into the Same Mess Again||p. 50|
|How Americans Kept Buying Anyway: The Three Coping Mechanism||p. 60|
|The Future Without Coping Mechanisms||p. 64|
|Why China Won't Save Us||p. 69|
|No Return to Normal||p. 75|
|The 2020 Election||p. 79|
|The Politics of Economics, 2010-2020||p. 82|
|Why Can't We Be Content with Less?||p. 85|
|The Pain of Economic Loss||p. 89|
|Adding Insult to Injury||p. 92|
|Outrage at a Rigged Game||p. 101|
|The Politics of Anger||p. 114|
|The Bargain Restored|
|What Should Be Done: A New Deal for the Middle Class||p. 127|
|How It Could Get Done||p. 141|
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