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Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,042 ratings  ·  231 reviews
In this eBook exclusive, Robert B. Reich urges Americans to get beyond mere outrage about the nation’s increasingly concentrated wealth and corrupt politics in order to mobilize and to take back our economy and democracy.

Americans can’t rely only on getting good people elected, Reich argues, because nothing positive happens in Washington unless good people outside Washingt
ebook, 72 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2012)
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Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it by Robert B. Reich

“Beyond Outrage” is a plea for action for those who care about the Future of America. Accomplished author of twelve books and current Professor of Public Policy, Robert Reich provides insight to what happened to our economy and how to fix it. In a lucid and persuasive manner, Reich provides compelling arguments in support of his main thesis: that our economy and democracy has been manipula
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Sandy by: Rachel Maddow Show
Shelves: 2012, ebooks
This was an excellent read. Reich was able to explain a lot about the financial mess the country is in today without being financially technical. Anyone who can balance a checkbook will understand this book. Easy to read, easy to understand. But explosive!

If 'we the people' continue to go from one day to the next only worrying about our own lives and not the bigger picture, the powers that be - the top 5% of income earners, will continue to erode our economy. What good does the medium to large b
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you follow Reich's blog, what he says here is pretty familiar. I liked it, because it was all in one place and presented as an overall policy position. I've read The Work of Nations as well, and I really liked that. This was a Kindle edition and included some online resources. The only part that seemed weak to me was a sort of cheerleading prescription about what to do to oppose the reactionary forces in politics and finance that are taking the country back into some sort of Gilded Age of no ...more
Huma Rashid
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
God this was so depressing and upsetting.
Billie Pritchett
Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I give Robert Reich's book Beyond Outrage three stars because there are maybe two portions of the book that I think are excellent whereas I think the rest of the book is just okay. One portion I enjoyed quite a bit is Reich's explanation of the condition we would have to return to in order to have the rich country we once had, and this would have to be America, post-World War II. In Reich's view, this would be possible to do, and it would involve creating a strong enough middle class that has bu ...more
Randy Lander
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
As always with Reich, this is well-written, passionate, makes a lot of sense and... all seems very common sense to me. The problem I have with it is not anything about the book, it's that I didn't really learn anything new here. The economic disparities Reich points out are obvious to anyone paying attention, unfortunately the people who need this wake-up call won't believe it because:

A) They don't want to think about it
B) They think Reich is a liberal propagandist and thus will think all he's d
Melissa Acuna
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If it were possible to give a book 10 stars, I would give this one the full 10. Robert Reich, former Clinton economic advisor, clearly, concisely and with irrefutable facts, lays out how tightly intertwined the political and financial systems have become. He begins the book with seven key points regarding the economy (some points dating back to the 1970's), then moves on to how the Right has moved farther right and now wants to move America back to a less open, tolerant, healthy nation, back to ...more
Britt Bowman
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
He makes some interesting points in regards to wage stagnation. He's absolutely right - the long term problem isn't how many jobs are being created, it's how little they pay, particularly in a consumption based economy. I don't agree with his idea that charity donations to cultural endeavors are by and for the rich alone. Any poor college student who has purchased symphony/ theatre tickets for practically nothing has donors to thank. Art museums are affordable because of contributions from donor ...more
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A VIB -- Very Important Book -- that advocates going beyond the self-defeated feeling that most of us have which tells us the world is so stacked against us that we can never win. We can. This book is the beginning of a manifesto on how to make it happen. Reading this book will raise your anger levels through the roof as Reich sets up the facts of what happened to this country and how a powerful few have come close to ruining everything for the rest of us, but get beyond that outrage and encoura ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A quick read and an important one. Robert Reich's treatise succinctly details the threat to America's democracy and economy from the Regressive Right and provides easily implementable solutions we can all take to set America on a progressive path. ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Robert Reich is an important leader of the Resistance. This book is a key to understanding how we got here.
A brief and well written left-wing jeremiad about what's wrong with the American economy and what should be done to fix it. I admit, I like Robert Reich and I always have. He is a smart, funny, passionate man who--so far as I can tell--is a happy Progressive warrior. It's hard to disagree with much of what he says is ailing us: too much money at the top, too much money in Washington, too much bitterness and cynicism and scorched earth politics in America. The good professor does a bang-up job de ...more
Chungsoo Lee
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I just finished hearing this book: Beyond Outrage, well read passionately by the author. A wonderful and convincing book laying out the arguments for lies of the Republican establishment and their ideologies promoted ever since President Herbert Hubert--the ideology of Social Darwinism in turn promoted by Prof. Summner in early 20 century. The truth about deficit, tax codes, role of the government, etc. must be told and spread over and against the lies. The super rich cannot continue to gather m ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the Occupy Wall Street Movement, those who want to get involved in politics.
I'm a follower of Dr. Robert Reich, so I expected to like and relate well to this book. I was not expecting many huge or overwhelmingly outrageous ideas because I know fairly well how he thinks (because I think along the same lines).

Setting aside ideals and common values - his writing is simple. A kind of a 'bonk me on the head, yeah, I get it' kind of style. A lot of the ideas are repeated throughout the book, just in different ways and from different angles.

This book is (I think) dedicated t
Sam Dye
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
We all should make a choice to get a little more involved in politics is the subject of the third section "Beyond Outrage: What you need to do."

The first section "The Rigged Game" deals with some facts such as from WWII to 1981 the top marginal tax rate never fell below 70%. President Eisenhower built the interstate highway system and the tax rate during his presidency was 91%!

Part two "The Rise of the Regressive Right" he reveals that Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in 2010 had participate
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be amazingly insightful. That sounds like hyperbole, but I was actually amazed at how my perspective on the subject matter changed with a bit of clarity on the situation. For me, the key message of this short book was: worsening income inequality (shrinking middle class) ==> increasing sensitivity to losing income to taxes by the masses ==> increasing vulnerability to political messaging related to: "govt is the problem" & "lower taxes will lead to smaller govt" ==> lower ta ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I admit to being a fan of Robert Reich, the outspoken U.C. Berkeley professor. He's knowledgeable, he's on my side (a progressive) and, maybe most important of all, I can understand him. I confess that to read his works is me listening to him singing to the choir.

Having said all that, I heartily recommend this "single" book, published only as an e-book. The material is brief and as easy an explanation of U.S. economic matters as is possible. It's also scary. Dr. Reich intends that to be so as h
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beyond Outrage is a book which deals with the growing gap between rich and poor. Reich explains the frustration which has led to the Occupy movement. Quoting Reich, "Yet when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with all this, they're told the First Amendment doesn't apply. Instead, they're clubbed, pepper sprayed, thrown out of public parks, and evicted from public spaces. Across America, public officials have said Occupiers have to go."

This is a timely book as we
Kevin Brantley
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I liked what Robert Reich has to say about the lopsided influence that very wealthy people enjoy and I liked his idea about a corporate pledge of allegiance. I think capitalism is the best system to motivate people, but there must be a hierarchy of allegiance where corporations put their countries above sheer profits. As it stands now, corporations only care about themselves and do not really care about any country they do business in. Americans feel it, but politicians would be called every pej ...more
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a polemic. So, if you're a conservative, you're probably not going to like this book. Reich believes, essentially, that you are destroying whatever is good about the United States and he's pretty clear on how you're doing it and how you have to be stopped.

Reich provides some evidence behind his claims, but, it's pretty inconsistent. So, the discussion about the increasing poverty of people in the US since Reagan, is compelling. But, there are other assertions that are really just asserti
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This was written in 2012 when the US economy was just slowly beginning to recover from the recession. The situation has changed a lot which dates this book, however many of the problems pointed out haven't gotten better. Capitalism requires risk, but for the mega-banks and ultra-wealthy, much of that risk has been assumed by those at the lower rungs of the economic ladder. For example, bankruptcy laws allow a "risk-taking" real estate mogul to balk on his bills and keep his millions, but remain ...more
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it
The title of this book is well chosen. Outrage - both authentic outrage and faux-outrage manufactured by paid marketing strategists in partisan think tanks - is something we're all too familiar with these days.

It's time to move beyond that, because real change is going to require more than pressing a button in the voting booth in November.

It is going to require active, adult citizens demanding a basic social contract that says that anyone who works hard ought to be able to create a better life
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a quick fun read. Only a few hours will get you through it. Many statements could provide conservatives with some heavy fodder. It's a Left book no doubt, but his main arguments would be difficult to challenge.
The main points made are well-put, and are convincing. He does an excellent job of painting the current political picture in a stinky way, which is probably pretty accurate.
Because of the quick flow, and the fun topic, I like this e-book, well worth the few-buck price tag.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it

It's pretty good. The summary of our larger macro economic problems seems spot on. But the bigger problem is it feels very similar to other works--such as Dean Baker's latest. That makes some sense as the underlying narrative is consistent, but does make the book feel a bit like less of a stand out.
Kelly Bragg
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Robert isn't just a smart guy who has worked for THREE administrations in the White House. The man is BRILLIANT, and we should listen to him! My favorite thing about the book is that there isn't just a description of the problem & its history, but Reich includes a section about HOW TO FIX THE ISSUES. An excellent read! ...more
Lori Scheffler
May 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Whiny and just plain silly. The main thesis is that some people have more money than others and it's not fair. One of the statistics he uses is that the average middle class income today is only $200 more than it was in 1980...adjusted for inflation! Oh horrors, people are making the same amount of money! ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a really interesting book and helped me define my outrage. The bad thing is that it is only available as an ebook and I only have an iphone which is not my favorite way to read a book. The great thing about this book is the last third where he has ideas of what we can do to make changes. The letter he wrote to the president is amazing.
Kristina Franken
America's Economy And Democracy are working for the benefit of ever-fewer privileged and powerful people. But rather than just complain about it or give up on the system we must join together and make it work for all of us.

I highly recomend this book to anyone.

FTC: I have recieved this book free of charge and am in no way bound to give a good review.
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
While I agreed with much (but not all) that was said, it was terribly one sided and the "how to fix it" chpater short on substance (unless you want to enter policitics full time!) Read it on the kindle as a discounted ebook. ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I don't disagree with Reich's general perspective, but he's a little hyperbolic on some of the issues. He's angry, for sure. Still, the book is a quick distillation of many of our current social problems from the liberal perspective, if you're looking for that sort of thing. ...more
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Robert Bernard Reich is an American politician, academic, and political commentator. He served as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Reich is a former Harvard University professor and the former Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is currently a professor at the Un ...more

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Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
36 likes · 13 comments
“Be patient. Changes that alter the structure of power and widen opportunity require years of hard work, as those who toiled for the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, or have been working for the rights of the disabled and gays, would tell you. It took thirty years of continuous fulmination for women to get the right to vote; fifty years of agitation before employers were required to bargain with unionized workers. Those who benefit from the prevailing allocation of power and wealth don’t give up their privileged positions without a fight, and they usually have more resources at their disposal than the insurgents. Take satisfaction from small victories, but don’t be discouraged or fall into cynicism. And don’t allow yourself to burn out. I” 6 likes
“Angry voters are more willing to support candidates who vilify their opponents and find easy scapegoats. Talking heads have become shouting heads. Many Americans have grown cynical about our collective ability to solve our problems. And that cynicism has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as nothing gets solved.” 6 likes
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