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Keeping Up with the Dow Joneses: Debt. Prison, and Workfare

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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

In this short but powerful book of interlinked essays, noted cultural critic Vijay Prashad examines the contradictions of the American economy.

Prashad assesses a range of related issues: the oft-vaunted US economy, propped up by the rising debt of poor and middle-class workers; welfare policies that punish those attempting to escape the grip of debt and poverty; and a prison industry that regulates and houses the unemployed, as well as a reserve army of laborers.

In Keeping Up with the Dow Joneses, Prashad argues that the advent of mass production and advertising has converted citizens into consumers whose desires are captured by the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses."

Yet, as Prashad so persuasively demonstrates, keeping up with the Joneses is a trap: Americans have gone into massive consumer debt, with the poorest forty percent of the public borrowing money to compensate for stagnant incomes, not to spend on luxuries. Only the richest twenty percent borrow money to invest in stocks. Not surprisingly, in the last few years, income and wealth differentials have risen to record highs. By making crystal-clear connections between the economy, welfare reform and the profit-driven prison industrial complex, Prashad offers a vision for a sustainable and vital anti-imperialist movement.

Vijay Prashad  is Associate Professor and Director of International Studies, Trinity College. He is the author of several books including Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity, Fat Cats and Running Dogs and The Karma of Brown Folk. Each was included in the Village Voices "25 Best Books of the Year" list.

Synopsis:

Here, Vijay Prashad examines the contradictions of the American economy. He argues that the advent of mass production and advertising has converted citizens into consumers whose desires are captured by the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses".

Synopsis:

An analysis of three major economic institutions and how they discipline surplus labor of America's poor.

Synopsis:

Studies, Trinity College. He is the author of several books including "Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity, Fat Cats and Running Dogs" and "The Karma of Brown Folk." Each was included in the Village Voice's "25 Best Books of the Year" list.

Synopsis:

In this short but powerful book of interlinked essays, noted cultural critic Vijay Prashad examines the contradictions of the American economy.

Prashad assesses a range of related issues: the oft-vaunted US economy, propped up by the rising debt of poor and middle-class workers; welfare policies that punish those attempting to escape the grip of debt and poverty; and a prison industry that regulates and houses the unemployed, as well as a reserve army of laborers.

In Keeping Up with the Dow Joneses, Prashad argues that the advent of mass production and advertising has converted citizens into consumers whose desires are captured by the phrase keeping up with the Joneses.

Yet, as Prashad so persuasively demonstrates, keeping up with the Joneses is a trap: Americans have gone into massive consumer debt, with the poorest forty percent of the public borrowing money to compensate for stagnant incomes, not to spend on luxuries. Only the richest twenty percent borrow money to invest in stocks. Not surprisingly, in the last few years, income and wealth differentials have risen to record highs.&

About the Author

Vijay Prashad is Associate Professor and Director of International Studies, Trinity College, Hartford, CT. He is the author of five books: Untouchable Freedom: A Social History of a Dalit Community (Oxford, 1999); Karma of Brown Folk (Minnesota, 2000); Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity (Beacon, 2001); War Against the Planet: The Fifth Afghan War, US Imperialism and Other Assorted Fundamentalisms (Leftword, 2002); Fat Cats and Running Dogs: The Enron Stage of Capitalism (Common Courage and Zed Books, 2002).

Product Details

ISBN:
9780896086890
Author:
Prashad, Vijay
Publisher:
South End Press
Author:
Molano, Alfredo
Subject:
General
Subject:
Public welfare
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Prisons
Subject:
Minority Studies - General
Subject:
General Current Events
Subject:
Public welfare -- United States.
Subject:
Prisons -- United States.
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
June 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 in 10 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » US Economy
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

Keeping Up with the Dow Joneses: Debt. Prison, and Workfare Used Trade Paper
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Product details 192 pages South End Press - English 9780896086890 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Here, Vijay Prashad examines the contradictions of the American economy. He argues that the advent of mass production and advertising has converted citizens into consumers whose desires are captured by the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses".
"Synopsis" by ,
An analysis of three major economic institutions and how they discipline surplus labor of America's poor.
"Synopsis" by , Studies, Trinity College. He is the author of several books including "Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity, Fat Cats and Running Dogs" and "The Karma of Brown Folk." Each was included in the Village Voice's "25 Best Books of the Year" list.
"Synopsis" by , In this short but powerful book of interlinked essays, noted cultural critic Vijay Prashad examines the contradictions of the American economy.

Prashad assesses a range of related issues: the oft-vaunted US economy, propped up by the rising debt of poor and middle-class workers; welfare policies that punish those attempting to escape the grip of debt and poverty; and a prison industry that regulates and houses the unemployed, as well as a reserve army of laborers.

In Keeping Up with the Dow Joneses, Prashad argues that the advent of mass production and advertising has converted citizens into consumers whose desires are captured by the phrase keeping up with the Joneses.

Yet, as Prashad so persuasively demonstrates, keeping up with the Joneses is a trap: Americans have gone into massive consumer debt, with the poorest forty percent of the public borrowing money to compensate for stagnant incomes, not to spend on luxuries. Only the richest twenty percent borrow money to invest in stocks. Not surprisingly, in the last few years, income and wealth differentials have risen to record highs.&

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