The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity
The biggest problem here is the disconnect between parts I and II. Part I is spent explaining why and how the system (systems?) is broken, and part II is Sachs's advice on fixing it. But the solutions often seem to gloss over politic...more
At present, however, it appears things are going the other way. Surveying the American civic landscape, Sachs finds the commitment to public values fast eroding, with predictable results: a widening income gap, huge inequities of opportunity, an increasingly divided nation, a "corporatocracy" conce...more
Jeffrey Sachs, Random House, 2011
Sachs says, “Much of this book is about the social responsibility of the rich” and about society’s shared values and the need to plan ahead to achieve common goals. The book is also a diagnosis of the failure of the American economy to achieve society’s common goals since the 1970’s and makes recommendations for future economic reforms. Sachs argues that there is a consensus on some key beliefs about...more
At the end of the day, it all boils down to greed and doing things today without any thought as to the consequences tomorrow. I am really wary of anyone who relies on some cultural awakening by young people to right the ship, didn't we go through this with the Baby Boomers and aren't they the ones causing a lot of the mess? The thing is, the author...more
Much of this book is about the shared social responsibility of the wealthy, and of corporations. Sachs is strongly against the huge political influence of large corporations. He is definitely a liberal--but that does not mean h...more
Mr. Sachs writes passionately and persuasively. "A society of markets, laws, and elections is not enough if the rich and powerful fail to behave with respect, honesty, and compassion to...more
In Part I, he diagnoses America’s current economic crisis, detailing how prosperity has been lost, the free-market fallacy, and Washington’s retreat from a sense of publ...more
Jeffery Sachs, an economist at Columbia University, is worried about the state of America. He sees a nation in which incomes for many have been stagnant since the 1970s in real (inflation-adjusted) terms, increasing income inequality, a chronic budget deficit and resulting increase in government debt, increased poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and an unwillingness to deal with climate change.
The Price of Civilization is a well documented book with end notes and a list of sources consulted, as...more
Sach's proposals are too idealistic for practical adoption. The by-gone era's he nostalgically recalls, the New Deal years and the Kennedy years, were the result of a generation devastated by two W...more
The first half of the book diagnoses the causes of America's economic state, chief among them the influence of corporations on government. The second half of the book are proposed solutions, based on goals that can be measured.
What makes this book so appealing is the way Sachs keeps economics connected to the pursuit of happiness. After all, if the ta...more
A bit dated now...the key recommendations of ending the Bush tax cuts, ending the wars in the middle East and passing a rational budget have happened, but so many more ideas that should be implemented, if we can get the political logjam undo...more
It's a quick read; I'm dubbing it a real head-nodder. It was so phenomenal that I struggled to find a quote that captured its essence without reproducing most pages; my quest was fulfilled in the Further Readings. (Not only does this book have Notes and Works Cited but the author also included thoughtful recommen...more