I gained interest in this book, and with Dr. Warren's work in general, when I watched a lecture taped at UC Berkeley back in 2007 (see here). Her concI gained interest in this book, and with Dr. Warren's work in general, when I watched a lecture taped at UC Berkeley back in 2007 (see here). Her conclusion was that the common notion of explaining family bankruptcies and indebtedness on frivolous over-consumption was simply a myth. Needless expenditures, Warren contends, weren't a significant contributor to family indebtedness, but, instead, the cost of staples (like transportation, housing, health care, etc.) had increased to unsustainable levels without a corresponding wage increase. Warren's data demonstrates that families, now with two persons working on average instead of one, are becoming poorer through no fault of their own.
This is an interesting conclusion, and one which goes against virtually all of my pre-conceived notions. Warren does a great job in dispelling the myth of over-consumption; such a great job, in fact, that in my eyes the myth seems to have little basis at all.
So, you might ask, why have I given this book such a poor rating? I love Warren's work, but I am no fan of popular non-fiction. I find the conclusions, on average, to be overly-simplistic, and that works of pop non-fiction could easily be condensed into a few pages. Their main points are easy to understand, while the books, nonetheless, ramble on in redundant chapters; basically repeating the initial statement a hundred times over. This work was no different. If it weren't for the fact that this was the only book I had on me during a long lay-over at JFK, I don't think I would have finished it.
Luckily for you, however, if you haven't read this book yet, you can find a short paper that Warren wrote before the book was published which gave all of the same information in a condensed form. You can find the paper here. The aforementioned video, too, is a great resource for understanding Warren's project....more
Fantastically written, though, it is heavy in references to India's government (not that that's a bad thing). Some background information, or some resFantastically written, though, it is heavy in references to India's government (not that that's a bad thing). Some background information, or some research while reading, will be necessary....more