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People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  180 ratings  ·  37 reviews
We all have the sense that the American economy—and its government—tilts toward big business, but as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains in his new book, People, Power, and Profits, the situation is dire. A few corporations have come to dominate entire sectors of the economy, contributing to skyrocketing inequality and slow growth. This is how the financial industry has managed to ...more
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by W. W. Norton Company
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  180 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Ryan Boissonneault
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
First, let’s start with some statistics: Over the last 30 to 40 years, every major statistical measure of income inequality in the United States has increased significantly, now approaching the same extreme levels as prevailed before the Great Depression. If you visit, the charts speak for themselves.

Over the last third of a century, the income share for the top 1 percent has doubled while the poverty rate has remained the same. The richest Americans have experienced the fastest
Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and

OK, a few days ago, he's just admitted that his "progressive Capitalism" is equivalent to Bernie Sanders "democratic Socialism".
One more vote(r) for Bernie Sanders. Or for Elisabeth Warren?




But if:
then C=S

True, there are situations when Socialism and Capitalism don't differ.
Why bother then?

So what's the difference? Between Warren's socialism and Bernie's?

Bernie just said it: "ovaries".

May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
1. American people are angry. Republican Presidents such as Reagan and Trump like to cut taxes and regulations. Trickledown economics doesn’t work and inequality is high. The poor’s income have stagnated and their children are stuck in the low income trap. This leads to despair and increasing mortality from drug use and suicide.
2. Real wealth comes from Productivity, Creativity and Vitality of the people; technology; advanced organisations; rule of law, competitive, well-regulated markets; and
Peter Mcloughlin
I am wedded more to ideas of human rights and democracy than I am to either capitalism or socialism. That said Capitalism does deliver some things (at least for the rich countries) that socialist experiments of the 20th century were godawful at. A higher standard of living and respecting human rights or at least not actively getting too much in the way of such things. I pay attention to economics because it matters in day to day quality of life and provides leisure and freedom to keep democracy ...more
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author will call Trump a ‘misogynist, racist, nativist, populist, liar’ who tries to pull the country apart by creating hate against imaginary villains through race, gender, immigration and ethnic differences. The author will say and show how Trump wants to undermine ‘science, knowledge, and our social institutions’, and will show how Trump is ignorant and dangerous on tax policy, trade war with China, health insurance, trade in general and creates fear, uncertainty, and doubt to shout and s ...more
Dana Pavlychko
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ailith Twinning
Jun 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
Opph, Stiglitz, yer just embarrassing yerself at this point. For the love of God man, sit down and have a chat with a freaking Socialist historian, yer talking nonsense all the damn time because you've never sat yerself down and learned history.

Here's the secret -- The people in power? They're doing this shit on purpose (not like, well-planned or anything, just whatever it takes to get more power, the consequences are, well, inconsequential) . They're not 'bad actors', they're just bastards, it
Mark Walker
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here is government policy ready-made for implementation. Through solid argument and historical example, Joseph E. Stiglitz demonstrates that the solution is Keynesian—government unapologetically has an indispensable role in the well-being of everyone, including the rich in a fair relationship.

Stiglitz shreds the tired old demagogy of free market ideology (both intellectual and popular), with articulate and well researched refutation of its failed trickle-down theory and conservative folklore ab
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: strategy
This is my assessment of the book People, Power and Profits by Joseph Stiglitz according to my 6 criteria:
1. Related to practice - 4 stars
2. It prevails important - 3 stars
3. I agree with the read - 4 stars
4. not difficult to read (as for non English native) - 3 stars
5. too long and boring or every sentence is interesting - 2 stars
6. Learning opportunity - 4 stars

Total 3.33 stars.
Keith Wheeles
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HIGHEST RATING. Well-supported, tightly-reasoned, and deliciously well-written powerhouse of a book from Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. This book expresses my own thoughts (surprisingly so) with clarity, depth and scope befitting the importance of the subject. READ THIS BOOK!!
Nancy Leblanc
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this book, with the fantastic cover (who are we kidding, it's great), Joseph Stiglitz is telling an American story of their economic moment that is steeped in dimensions of inequality unseen since the Gilded Age. This book is his progressive manifesto of solutions to the many economic challenges America is facing - inequality, slow growth, the mismanagement of globalization's impacts, the monopoly strength of the tech giants, undue deference to the free market, a banking system in need of ref ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is so bad I couldn't read it. It is nothing but a tirade of an aging liberal economist bemoaning the Rise of Trump. (I did not support Trump for president, nor am I happy with the state of American politics.) He is sloppy and does not seem to care to persuade. He writes that a "majority of Americans" voted for Gore over Bush and Clinton over Trump, but that's plain false: a majority of those who bothered to vote is entirely different from a majority of Americans. He keeps talking about ...more
Jesse Field
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: learn
This slim volume from one of the great left-leaning economics scholars is a good primer for thinking through the issues of the upcoming 2020 election. Stiglitz is all about how globalization left too many people behind, and these "discontents" have to take collective action to force government and corporations to foster the middle class, or else we are doomed to a spiral of inequality and rapid decline versus other countries, like China.

Stiglitz' favorite phrase is "moral turpitude." This descr
Mark Robertson
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a powerful indictment of the US's top politicians and policy makers over the past 40 years, during which the benefits of globalization have accrued to a small minority in this country. Much of the problem with today's low-growth environment with increasing inequality Stiglitz attributes to the economic ideas first implemented in the Reagan era. But the blame is hardly Reagan's alone. (While Reagan is mentioned, Stiglitz is most vitriolic in discussing our current president, who he t ...more
Qasim Ahmad Ilyas
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stiglitz has been a vociferous critique of the present American capitalism and its rent-seeking behavior. Though there are many who have concerned their voices in battle against the melancholy of inequality, the nature of neoliberalism, and US government's tilt towards aliberal capitalism, the People, Power, and Profits by J.E. Stiglitz offers an insight into the nature of present crony capitalism, rent-seeking behavior of large corporates, dysfunctional nature of governmental policies that are ...more
Andrew Pratley
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent read if you are like me & think western capitalism, especially in the USA, is in need of some serious reform. The system, if you want to term as that, has over the last 40 years been favoring the 1 percent over the rest. There has been a gradual accretion of power & influence by a self-serving elite. The election of Donald Trump was a manifestation of the unease among the many that this process has produced . His job was to blow up the system & drain the swamp. All he has d ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened-2019
Stiglitz offers a well-balanced analysis of how the United States has failed to enact economic policies that ensure a level playing field for all Americans. He shows that both parties, Democrats and Republicans, have failed to identify the appropriate remedies for the impacts of free trade and economic liberalization. However, he is particularly critical of the Republicans, who consistently enact economic policies that make richer Americans better off while failing to live up to promises of thos ...more
Arya Harsono
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for Americans, especially those frustrated with the current political climate and the overwhelming media on the state of the country. Stiglitz maps out a hopeful future for what was once the world's leading superpower and identifies with detail the various economic and social elements that are necessary for reform. A bit heavy on the criticism of the Trump administration for my taste, but nonetheless an important discussion. As a non-citizen to the US, the lessons from this book will ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: economics
A book debunking supply side economics, benefits of TCJA etc. A book on progressive agenda without any data - just ideas. Like do UBI, expand Medicare etc etc but without going through numbers. I agree with the intent but given the powers (of the moneyed class) at play to prevent any reform, the onus is on progressives to prove how America has come to a point where there is little downside left to not doing infrastructure or not reducing the student loan burden (if not jubilee but the interest r ...more
Heitor Faro de Castro
It is a very sincere, honest and grounded testimony about the correct relationship with democracy in a modern society. At times the reading projects us towards partisan confrontation and with and its ruling leader. This is an inevitable consequence of fundamental divergences that underlie the current partisan positions of American politics. I felt, in this context, a desire to read assessments of democracy and inequality involving a planetary dimension, not just the universe of the most powerful ...more
Jul 09, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Only skimmed, so will not rate. Had hoped to assign this book to my students, but the content is far to American to use here in Canada. Stiglitz is dealing with the specifics of health care, representation, media, courts, and money politics in a US context. Although readers outside the USA will see some parallels, this book is truly for an American audience. As a well-read progressive, the book feels pretty obvious (get money out of politics, tax large estates, etc.), so I don't think I'll bothe ...more
Jesse Morrow
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
As I told my cousin, I think Stiglitz is the John Girsham of Nobel Prize Winning economists. Every book is the same.

Neoliberalism and globalization has failed the working class of the US and the world. Economically the solutions are easy: higher taxes on the wealthy that lead to more spending on retraining and education of the working class for the next economy.

The problem isn't the economics, it is the politics. And, he doesn't try to offer definitive solutions to that.

Yeah, he's been writing t
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is very accessible and is a good overview of our economical and societal situation today. It warns of dangers, some of which may not be very apparent. Stiglitz also points to a better, or less dire future while pointing out that the difficulty is not mathematics / economics, but political: Do we have the political will to overcome the great disparities in power our societies face today?

Though focused on the US it is really just as valuable to me, a Scandinavian.
Tim Holcombe
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book! If you want to read about why a progressive economic platform is an imperative in this era of Trump’s moral turpitude and general incompetence in governance then this is for you. It essentially embraces and supports through cogent arguments why a progressive, Scandinavian-like social democratic government is necessary to restore the prosperity and central themes of the American Dream.
Scott Schneider
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very cogent analysis of Trump's economic disaster and how to get out of it. He promotes the "public option" for many areas from health care to mortgages and retirement accounts, allowing government to compete against the private sector and avoiding the profits and excess costs. Worth reading. He is hopeful at the end, but says we really need a people's movement to make the change.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I find it amusing how often Trump is likened to Hitler by otherwise sane people. I understand the author's frustration although not sure why he's upset by Trump doing what he expected him to do more than by Obama failing to deliver after taking all that trust (and a noble peace prize). Either way the book keeps promising a solution and then just ends abruptly with vague optimism.
Another clearly written book by Stiglitz with a few clear messages: markets, on their own, don't produce social goods just as voting does not assure democracy (especially when voting is limited). The "good" of basic research, education, social justice, are essential to democracy. The problem is not the economics alone; it's the politics.
Alistair Daynes
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Felt it was only applicable to America, this book was all about America, and referenced nothing but America. It was less than wholistic, and in the 21st century - we should look to successes of other countries, and their key research - to make better decisions.
Dan Murillo
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, business
Terrific book. Concise, clear and impactful overview of what the US needs to get back on track. Touches upon economic policy, education, health care, social security, the stock market, housing and nearly every other relevant political topic of the day.
Allison Sparrow
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
feels like a summary of some of his larger works, so he doesn't dive into a specific topic and cite his references. Liked Price of Inequality better.
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Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, ForMemRS, FBA, is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. He is known for his critical view of the management of globalization, free-market economists (whom h ...more
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” 0 likes
“misshapen economy creates misshapen individuals and a misshapen society” 0 likes
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