Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future
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...more
ok, I'm back.
First, a little background. I've always considered myself comfortably conservative, socially, economically, politically. But in my old(er) age (32 and a half or so) when I'm being brutally honest with myself, I'm finding more and more merit in what would have horrified a younger me - a *gasp* more liberal worldview. I'm not really what anyone would call bleeding heart, but the con ...more
1. I understood
2. I really enjoyed
3. I couldn't wait to get to the end so I could see what his recommendations were.
This is a well written book that talks about the importance of restoring money to the middle class, describes the repercussions of not doing so and comes up with some other suggestions that might seem extreme but definitely are worth considering (like all public schools free tuition)...
Robert Reich should know something about government, public policy, money, and crises. He outlines the reasons why our current "recovery" will not be sufficient to bring back prosperity unless we reform aspects of our economic and political systems. His messages is compelling: increasing inequity causes recession, breaks down social cohesion, and threatens democracy. He points out the the greatest inequality in income through ...more
That's the whole book in a single paragraph. The first part is all about how the hell we got here, from before the Great Depression to the current day. The ...more
The inequality of wealth in the United States will result in a stagnant economy and political turmoil by the year 2020, argues public-policy scholar and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich in Aftershock. Millions of deeply indebted Americans will embrace isolationism, reject both big government and big business, and sever America’s ties with the rest of the world, he predicts.
To illustrate the size and scope of this disaster, R ...more
Pre 1980 America was marked by very high tax rates on the wealthiest Am ...more
1. Real wages of middle class Americans have generally remained stagnant for decades while the super rich are taking home more and more.
2. Americans have coped with #1 in three ways: a) women entered the workforce; b) men and women have worked longer hours; and c) families have take on huge amounts of debt.
3. Workers are consumers. With the coping mechanisms from #2 gone, the ...more
He said that the wealthy will not spend the money and the middle class does not have enough money to spend. This contracts the economy. The middle class will spend on credit and when they run out the economy fails. He said that is what happened during the ...more
“Aftershock…” is the interesting concise book that deals with how our economy came to be, how we can learn from history and some specific ideas on how we can address these problems. This insightful 194-page book is broken out into three major parts: Part I. The Broken Bargain, Part II. Backlash, and Part III. The Bargain Restored.
1. Engaging, well-written, well-researched book that is accessible to the masses.
2. Thoug ...more
On the other hand, like many others starting a decade or more ago, Reich correctly identifies the mal-distribution of income in the USA that has occurred over the last thirty years as the primary problem with the economy. Okay, give Reich credit. Like a lot of other people, he figured that one out.
After that Reich moves off into a fantasy world whe ...more
First, for all of us, there's the fundamental problem of trying to balance money received and money spent. That issue applies to everyone, from kids buying penny candy to businesses and governments. Simplistic thinkers, including a good many Tea Party-type "fiscal conservatives"-tend to think that's all there is to it.
Most middle class people, however, also need to deal with interest rates on savings and loans, bank and card usage fees, discounts and fines—not ...more
Slim book about where we are really at and why - not the usual whining about those greedy financial people, though of course they are mentioned. The long-term problem in the US is really due to the wealth gap and the demise of the working and middle class.
My dad, not an economist, explained to me that this was why the Depression lasted so long - because most people could not afford to buy stuff which kept money out of circulation ...more
Reich concludes his essay by proposing a tax on carbon's (business and industry), a ...more