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Neoconomy: George Bush's Revolutionary Gamble with America's Futureby Daniel Altman
Synopses & Reviews
The neoconomy: a place without taxes, without a social safety net, where rich and poor live in different financial worlds — and it's coming to America.
The first glimpses of the neoconomy appeared during the Reagan administration, but were soon clouded by a legacy of sky-high budget deficits. George H. W. Bush couldn't afford the neoconomy. In the Clinton years,its prospects all but disappeared in a flurry of economic fine-tuning that delivered record-setting budget surpluses and rock-bottom unemployment rates. But just when you might have counted it out, the neoconomy found a savior. George W.Bush was a businessman who understood the neoconomy almost instinctively, and had the will and boldness to make it a reality.
In Neoconomy Daniel Altman explains the intellectual roots of the Bush administration's economic policy; and why Bush has been so intent on implementing it despite the dashed expectations, terror and financial scandals that have buffeted the economy. He shows why the neoconomists remain committed to their vision even though it has contributed to the biggest budget deficit in history, at the end of the nation's fastest-ever swing into the red. The neconomists are seeking to transform the American economy; but inadvertently or not, they are also transforming American society. The revolution is finally coming,and it's coming from above.
"The tag line on Altman's press bio says that, in addition to being a Harvard-trained academic and columnist for the Economist and the New York Times, Altman 'uncovered $4 billion in loans hidden on Enron's balance sheets' in 2002. The man who broke open that case here examines the driving forces of the 'neoconomy' with clarity, force and a sense of mission. According to Altman, Bush's tax cuts, which were billed as a quick fix to overcome recession, serve goals driven by so-called neoconservatives: eliminating taxes on inherited wealth, investments and corporations. Altman offers a critical blow-by-blow of the hows and seeming whys of these 'revolutionary' cuts as they unfolded in 2001 and 2002. Anyone with or without a job knows that the cuts ushered in an economic world full of 'uncertainty.' The main value of this book is its analysis of the rhetorical mechanics by which the cuts happened, the players in the process and the parts of government (and industry) they represent. While he tries not to take sides, Altman warns that, aside from any short term economic improvement, there are certain to be 'Casualties of the Revolution.' With careful and clear number crunching, a modulated and inviting tone and a judicious presentation of historical precedent, Altman gives the lay of the post-revolutionary land." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Just as neoconservatives in the Bush administration have been seen as bringing about a revolution in American foreign policy with their "unilateral preemption," so too have a team of White House "neoconomists" been bringing about a revolution in U.S. economic policy. New York Times and Business 2.0 columnist Altman provides a brief history of that revolution for the general reader, not unsympathetically explaining how they pushed through tax cuts, what the economic rationale (or at least rationalization) is behind the plan, what parts of their agenda has yet to be enacted (such as the privatization of social security), and the possible consequences.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
For the first time ever, an incisive explanation of what George W. Bush is doing to the economy, by a young Harvard-educated economist and New York Times columnist.
Altman coins the phrase "neoconomy" in this examination of the goals, successes, and failures of George W. Bush's economic policy.
A compelling and controversial new take on Bushonomics, by a former Harvard economics teacher and "New York Times columnist.
About the Author
Daniel Altman is an economics columnist for the International Herald-Tribune, The New York Times, and Business 2.0 magazine. He received his doctorate at Harvard, where he taught undergraduates for three years. He now lives in New York.
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