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Beyond Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong with Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How to Fix Itby Robert B Reich
Synopses & Reviews
In this timely book, Robert B. Reich urges Americans to transcend our outrage, find common cause in fixing our poor economy and awful politics, and mobilize to get the United States back on track.
The American political system is in crisis—paralyzed by gridlock, beset with cynicism, and sabotaged by competing interests that have perversely made even common-sense policy virtually impossible. In this urgent book, Robert Reich argues nothing important can happen in Washington unless citizens are energized and organized to make sure politicians honor their promises. But in order to be effectively mobilized, we need to see the big picture. Beyond Outrage connects the dots for us, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, undermining our democracy; caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and turned many Americans against one another. He also explains why the proposals of the "regressive right" are dead wrong and provides a clear roadmap of what must be done instead. Here's a blueprint for action for everyone who cares about the future of America.
"Persuasively arguing that Americans haven't learned the economic lessons of the Great Depression and the stock crash of 2008, and stating that 'the U.S. economy won't really bounce back until America's surge to inequality is reversed,' former labor secretary Reich (Aftershock) examines how we got into this mess and offers solutions in this slim but informative study. In his view, 'An economy should exist for the people who inhabit it, not the other way around,' Reich writes, assailing the ramifications of Wall Street's unchecked power and the detrimental impact of the 'Regressive Right,' his term for conservative Republicans whose social Darwinist agenda, helped along by passivity on the part of Democrats, poses a very real threat to the nation. Reich charges Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas, and Newt Gingrich with shady political dealings, while he systematically debunks various right-wing tactics, such as the benefits of lowering taxes on corporations in order to stimulate job growth. As for solutions, Reich's advice ranges from the simple (become an active citizen) to the specific, such as restoring taxes on the rich to pre-1981 levels, expanding Medicare to cover all Americans and tightening restrictions on big banks. Regardless of where readers stand on many of the polarizing concepts he addresses, Reich offers food for thought. (Sept.) H From the Jaws of Victory: The Triumph and Tragedy of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement Matt Garcia Univ. of California, .95 (394p) ISBN 978-0-520-25930-0Ã¢Â€Â¨ This monumental chronicle complicates the heroic image of Cesar Chavez, the founder of the United Farm Workers, America's 'most successful farm worker movement,' showing the labor leader's role not only in the UFW's rise but also in its decline. Garcia, professor of transborder studies at Arizona State University (A World of Its Own: Race, Labor, and Citrus in the Making of Greater Los Angeles, 1900 — 1970) rivetingly analyzes turf-fighting, strategic failures and successes, giving women and others credit equal to Chavez's for the multicultural, international movement's formation of unprecedented coalitions. In a detailed rendering of Chavez's painful decline, Garcia finds that preoccupations with Synanon's psychological experiments and with communal living hamstrung UFW decision-making. Chavez's isolation intensified after Proposition 14, an effort to reform farm labor law, failed in 1976. Ultimately, his 'famous obstinacy and a willingness to risk everything to achieve his goals' contributed to the UFW's unraveling as it struggled with management and legal oversight instead of its original, successful strategy strikes, consumer boycotts, and marches. Garcia's personal portrait of Chavez is not pretty: foul-mouthed, homophobic, power-hungry, and a philanderer. This rich and bracing account is a must-read for today's community organizers. 18 b&w photos, 1 map. (Sept). Ã¢Â€Â¨" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
America’s economy and democracy are working for the benefit of an 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.
In this timely book, Robert B. Reich argues that nothing good happens in Washington unless citizens are energized and organized to make sure Washington acts in the public good. The first step is to see the big picture. Beyond Outrage connects the dots, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, undermining our democracy; caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and turned many Americans against one another. He also explains why the proposals of the “regressive right” are dead wrong and provides a clear roadmap of what must be done instead.
Here’s a plan for action for everyone who cares about the future of America.
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, and he served as an adviser to President-elect Barack Obama. He has written twelve books, including The Work of Nations (which has been translated into twenty-two languages), Supercapitalism, and the best sellers The Next American Frontier, The Future of Success, Locked in the Cabinet, and, most recently, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His bi-weekly commentaries on public radio’s Marketplace are heard by nearly five million people. In 2003, Reich was awarded the prestigious Václav Havel Foundation Prize for pioneering work in economic and social thought. In 2008, Time magazine named him one of the ten most successful cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century, and The Wall Street Journal named him one of the nation’s ten most influential business thought-leaders.
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