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The Future of Success: Working and Living in the New Economyby Robert B. Reich
Synopses & Reviews
From Robert B. Reich-political economist, distinguished public servant, and author of The Work of Nations, Locked in the Cabinet, and other acclaimed and best-selling books-a brilliant analysis of the new economy and how it is affecting our lives, for better and for worse.
The dizzying exuberance of the Internet-driven marketplace offers unprecedented opportunities and an ever-expanding choice of deals, products, investments, and jobs-ranging from the merely attractive to the nearly irresistible-for the people with the right talents and skills. The technology that is the motor of this transformation relentlessly sharpens competition. When consumers can shift allegiance with the click of a mouse, sellers must make constant improvements by cutting costs, adding value, and creating new products. This is a boon to us as consumers, but it's wreaking havoc in the rest of our lives.
Reich demonstrates that the faster the economy changes-with new innovations and opportunities engendering faster switches by customers and inves-tors in response-the harder it is for people to be confident of what they will be earning next year or even next month, what they will be doing, where they will be doing it. In short, those fabulous new deals of the fabulous new economy carry a steep price: more frenzied lives, less security, more economic and social stratification, the loss of time and energy for family, friendship, community, and self.
With the clarity and insight that are his hallmarks, and using examples from everyday life, Reich delineates what success is coming to mean in our time-the pitfalls and downturns hidden in the apparent advantages and advances-and suggests how we might create a more balanced society and more satisfying lives. The trends he discusses are powerful indeed, but they are not irreversible, or at least not unalterable.
The Future of Success is a stunning, timely book, certain to galvanize the nation's attention and transform the way we look at our future.
If you think its getting harder to both make a living and make a life, economist and former secretary of labor Robert Reich agrees with you. Americans may be earning more than ever before, but were paying a steep price: were working longer, seeing our families less, and our communities are fragmenting.
With the clarity and insight that are his hallmarks, Reich delineates what success has come to mean in our time. He demonstrates that although we have more choices as consumers, and investors, the choices themselves are undermining the rest of our lives. It is getting harder for people to be confident of what they will be earning next year, or even next month. At the same time, our society is splitting into socially stratified enclaves--the wealthier walled off and gated, the poorer isolated and ignored. Although the trends he discusses are powerful, they are not irreversible, and Reich makes provocative suggestions for how we might create a more balanced society and more satisfying lives. Some of his ideas may surprise you; all should spark a healthy-and essential-national debate.
About the Author
Robert B. Reich is University Professor at Brandeis University and Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis's Heller Graduate School. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. He is cofounder and national editor of The American Prospect, and his writings have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. This is his eighth book. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, Clare Dalton. They have two sons.
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