Robert Reich: Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few
In SAVING CAPITALISM, Reich reveals the cycles of power and influence that have created the new American oligarchy, shrunk the middle class, and driven the United States to the greatest income inequality and wealth disparity in eighty years. As the rules by which the "free" market operates have changed over the past decades, they've evolved to serve the needs of those with the most political influencemoneyed interest groups with lobbyists and big donations to make themselves heard. As a result, large corporations can declare bankruptcy and wipe the slate clean, but homeowners and student debtors can't. Wall Street bankers get bailed out when they gamble excessively, while millions of Americans lose their jobs, homes, and savings. Big companies monopolize industries and collude on prices, causing us to pay more. Trade treaties (like the much-debated TPP) protect corporate intellectual property and financial assets but not the jobs and wages of average Americans. And on it goes.
As Reich notes, these pre-distributions upward are far greater than any re-distributions downward, but they're hidden from view. And while the rules by which the market operates are increasingly skewed against everyday Americans, discussion of them is obscured by the notion that government should be smaller and the market should be "free." As Reich shows, this is a false debate, and the real issue facing us is making sure that our capitalism and our government works for all Americans, not just those who have power and means to influence the rules. SAVING CAPITALISM is an indictment of our economic status quo and a revelatory look at how our system really functions. Says Larry Summers, "Everyone concerned with our economic future will need to grapple with Reich's arguments in 2016 and beyond."
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