Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future
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|Publisher:||Alfred A. Knopf|
What We're Saying
Here's a list we missed late last month. Though the post is rather cryptically titled Hellhound Bites Citigroup, Schwarzman Finds Gold Mine: Top Business Books, Bloomberg's James Pressley explains exactly why they put the list together: With so many business books being published each month, we’re often asked for recommendations. Here are 30 of our favorite hardbacks published this year. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
If you both read and travel regularly, you have most likely purchased a book from Hudson Booksellers. They have 65 bookstores and sell books in over 350 Hudson newsstands in airports and transportation terminals throughout North America. They have been releasing a "best of" list every year since 2007, and announced 2010's list yesterday. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
➻ Cory Doctorow has laid out an interesting chronology of intellectual property rights since the first part of the 20th century for The Guardian's Comment Is Free interview series. Arguing that Every pirate wants to be an admiral, he tells a story that begins with sheet music composers and ends with the Internet about how elements of every innovation are seen as piracy until they become the mainstream, at which time they begin accusing the next generation of innovators of piracy. Stating at the beginning of the video that "The way to increase the health of the cultural realm is to allow more people to participate in it in more ways," he ends with anxiety that, for the first time in history, lawmakers may end up on the wrong side of the debate between the so-called "pirates" and supposed "admirals. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
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.
Reich's assessment of what must be done to reverse course and ensure that prosperity is widely shared represents the path to a necessary and long-overdue transformation. "Aftershock" is a practical, humane, and much-needed blueprint for both restoring America's economy and rebuilding our society.