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Don't Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense about the Economy
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Don't Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense about the Economy

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  11 reviews
After everything that’s happened, how is it possible that conservatives still win debates about the economy? Time and again the right wins over voters by claiming that their solutions are only common sense, even as their tired policies of budgetary sacrifice and corporate plunder both create and prolong economic disaster. Why does the electorate keep buying what they’re se ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by PublicAffairs (first published September 1st 2012)
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Awesome, super important book! I am a liberal (radical?), and Anat makes such a compelling point about how we talk about the economy. We seem to have ceded so much ground to the dominant narratives, which Shenker-Osario clearly and cleanly shows to be heavily conservative in nature and metaphor. We need to revise our language! This is important! So grateful for this book.

Alongside my adoration of this book, I have two related observations: 1) the book does not touch too explicitly on race, and 2
Shonna Froebel
I found this book fascinating. It deals with two subjects I find interesting, economics and language. The author talks about the use of language around the economy in the United States and how that use feeds the political arguments around the economy. She is progressive politically and shows how the conservatives language is dominant right now and how progressives can work to change that.
Right now the dominant view of the US economy (and indeed economy in general) is as an entity unto itself. So
The book is focused on the spin and messaging of economic and political ideas according to which side is using them, with the conservative side being the target of this avowed progressive writer. The writer, a communication expert, is doing an excellent job at analyzing the political language and its conveyed meanings, but the share of the economics analysis itself is less than 20% of the book content, which unfortunately is leaving not much meat. She is attacking the irrational belief that word ...more
Jeff Hauser
Great insights written clearly, and yet while the book is short, it felt little padded. And yet there are very few books that actually directly guide my professional life and this is one, so hard to begrudging a bit of padding. Everyone should read it, even if they can skim a little after a while.
Works strongly with the George Lakoff "Metaphors We Live By" insofar as we reduce discussing the economy to slapping ill considered labels on it and fail to notice the entailed metaphorical presuppositions that come with said labels. The book is more at a 3.5; but, overall I did not find it as strong as Lakoff's own books nor as penetrating as "Bowling Alone". The author glances at the need for sustained dialog; yet just misses showing how to accomplish real, reflective dialogs amongst disparate ...more
Shenker-Osorio provides concrete guidance for how we notoriously verbose liberals should clean up our language when it comes to talking about the economy. We can still be smarty pants, but she builds the case for her guidance by showing how we've made a bit of a metaphorical muddle in our descriptions and explanations about what we want the economy to do and mean in 21st Century America.

Also, she's very funny and readable, so you can edify yourself and have a few laughs.
Anat is a badass. I love her dry humor throughout the book. For anyone interested how to talk about the economy simply and effectively, this is a MUST read. I never thought I'd laugh out loud when reading a book about the economy. Loved it.
Jan 04, 2013 Denise rated it 5 of 5 stars
Mind and speech altering read on how humans communicate. Breaks cognitive learning/understanding down and provides frameworks to examine our language through. One of those books I will read again and again.
So-So. Preaching to the choir about how the language of economics and related political pressure is very much related to language use and manipulation of people through the use of emotionally charged words
Jun 06, 2014 Holly added it
Anat is a damn engaging public speaker with sharp analysis and practical ideas. Book didn't really do it for me though, v focused on US economic justice narratives.
The Frank Luntz of the left that no one's heard of yet. Shenker-Osorio breaks down why the way we've been talking about the economy is precisely why we've been losing the argument.
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