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Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future (Vintage)by Robert B Reich
Synopses & Reviews
A brilliant new reading of the economic crisisand a plan for dealing with the challenge of its aftermathby one of our most trenchant and informed experts.
When the nations economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Robert B. Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown, and for a perilous road ahead. He argues that the real problem is structural: it lies in the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and in a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living.
Persuasively and straightforwardly, Reich reveals how precarious our situation still is. The last time in American history when wealth was so highly concentrated at the topindeed, when the top 1 percent of the population was paid 23 percent of the nations incomewas in 1928, just before the Great Depression. Such a disparity leads to ever greater booms followed by ever deeper busts.
Reichs thoughtful and detailed account of where we are headed over the next decades reveals the essential truth about our economy that is driving our politics and shaping our future. With keen insight, he shows us how the middle class lacks enough purchasing power to buy what the economy can produce and has adopted coping mechanisms that have a negative impact on their quality of life; how the rich use their increasing wealth to speculate; and how an angrier politics emerges as more Americans conclude that the game is rigged for the benefit of a few. Unless this trend is reversed, the Great Recession will only be repeated.
Reichs assessment of what must be done to reverse course and ensure that prosperity is widely shared represents the path to a necessary and long-overdue transformation. Aftershock is a practical, humane, and much-needed blueprint for both restoring Americas economy and rebuilding our society.
From the Hardcover edition.
Updated for paperback publication, Aftershock is a brilliant reading of the causes of our current economic crisis, with a plan for dealing with its challenging aftermath.
When the nation’s economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street bankers. But Robert B. Reich, one of our most experienced and trusted voices on public policy, suggests another reason for the meltdown. Our real problem, he argues, lies in the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the richest Americans, while stagnant wages and rising costs have forced the middle class to go deep into debt. Reich’s thoughtful and detailed account of where we are headed over the next decades—and how we can fix our economic system—is a practical, humane, and much-needed blueprint for restoring America’s economy and rebuilding our society.
About the Author
Robert B. Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written twelve books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into twenty-two languages, and the best seller Supercapitalism. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He is also cofounding editor of The American Prospect magazine and provides weekly commentaries on public radio’s Marketplace. He lives in Berkeley and blogs at www.robertreich.org.
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