There has been an enormous upward redistribution of income in the United States in the last four decades. In his most recent book, Baker shows that this upward redistribution was not the result of globalization and the natural workings of the market. Rather, it was the result of conscious policies that were designed to put downward pressure on the wages of ordinary workers while protecting and enhancing the incomes of those at the top. Baker explains how rules on trade, patents, copyrights, corporate governance, and macroeconomic policy were rigged to make income flow upward.
Progressives need a fundamentally new approach to politics. They have been losing not just because conservatives have so much more money and power, but also because they have accepted the conservatives' framing of political debates. They have accepted a framing where conservatives want market outcomes whereas liberals want the government to intervene to bring about outcomes that they consider fair. This puts liberals in the position of seeming to want to tax the winners to help the losers. This "loser liberalism" is bad policy and horrible politics. Progressives would be better off fighting battles over the structure of markets so that they don't redistribute income upward. This book describes some of the key areas where progressives can focus their efforts in restructuring the market so that more income flows to the bulk of the working population rather than just a small elite.
Economists make confident assertions in op-ed columns and on cable news—so why are their explanations at odds with equally confident assertions from other economists? And why are all economic predictions so rarely borne out? Harnessing his frustration with this contradiction, Schlefer set out to investigate how economists arrive at their opinions.
Modern-day markets do not arise spontaneously or evolve naturally. Rather they are crafted by individuals, firms, and most of all, by governments. Thus "marketcraft" represents a core function of government comparable to statecraft and requires considerable artistry to govern markets effectively. Just as real-world statecraft can be masterful or muddled, so it is with marketcraft. In Marketcraft, Steven Vogel builds his argument upon the recognition that all markets are crafted then systematically explores the implications for analysis and policy. In modern societies, there is no such thing as a free market. Markets are institutions, and contemporary markets are all heavily regulated. The "free market revolution" that began in the 1980s did not see a deregulation of markets, but rather a re-regulation. Vogel looks at a wide range of policy issues to support this concept, focusing in particular on the US and Japan. He examines how the US, the "freest" market economy, is actually among the most heavily regulated advanced economies, while Japan's effort to liberalize its economy counterintuitively expanded the government's role in practice. Marketcraft demonstrates that market institutions need government to function, and in increasingly complex economies, governance itself must feature equally complex policy tools if it is to meet the task. In our era-and despite what anti-government ideologues contend-governmental officials, regardless of party affiliation, should be trained in marketcraft just as much as in statecraft.
The myth of the free market -- Malpractice: on health care, economists ignore their own rules -- Title TK -- An economy for everyone
Here is a bracing deconstruction of the framework for understanding the world that is learned as gospel in Economics 101, regardless of its imaginary assumptions and misleading half-truths. Economism: an ideology that distorts the valid principles and tools of introductory college economics, propagated by self-styled experts, zealous lobbyists, clueless politicians, and ignorant pundits. In order to illuminate the fallacies of economism, James Kwak first offers a primer on supply and demand, market equilibrium, and social welfare: the underpinnings of most popular economic arguments. Then he provides a historical account of how economism became a prevalent mode of thought in the United States—focusing on the people who packaged Econ 101 into sound bites that were then repeated until they took on the aura of truth. He shows us how issues of moment in contemporary American society—labor markets, taxes, finance, health care, and international trade, among others—are shaped by economism, demonstrating in each case with clarity and élan how, because of its failure to reflect the complexities of our world, economism has had a deleterious influence on policies that affect hundreds of millions of Americans.
This book, first published in 2007, describes the sharp right turn the United States has taken following the election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980. The treatment details how the policies pursued by the Reagan administration were a break from both the policies pursued by prior administrations and those pursued in other wealthy countries. The Reagan administration policies had the effect of redistributing both before- and after-tax income upward, creating a situation in which the bulk of the economic gains over the last quarter century were directed to a small segment of the population. The analysis explains how both political parties have come largely to accept the main tenets of Reaganism, putting the United States on a path that is at odds with most of the rest of the world and is not sustainable.
The relentless increase of inequality in twenty-first century America has confounded analysts from both ends of the political spectrum. While many can point to particular contributing causes, so far none of the policies that have been enacted-not just in the United States but in other advancedcountries-have been able to lessen the wealth and income gaps between the top decile and the rest. Critics on the left are more forceful critics of rising inequality, and they tend to blame capitalism and the private sector. Predictably, they see solutions in government action. Many on the right worry about the issue, too, but they come from a position that is more sanguine about corporations andmore suspicious of government. But as the libertarian Brink Lindsey and the liberal Steve Teles argue in The Captured Economy, perhaps all of us-left, right, and center-are looking in the wrong places for culprits and solutions. They hone in on the government-corporate sector nexus, apportioningblame not only to both forces but also to the distorted form of governance that this partnership has created. Through armies of lobbyists, corporations and the wealthy have become remarkably adept at shaping policy - even ostensibly progressive policies - so that the field is tilted in their favor.Corporations have become classic "rentiers," using their monopoly power of influence over highly complicated legislative and regulatory processes to shift resources in their direction. FCC policy, health care regulation, banking regulation, labor policy, defense spending, and much more: in all ofthese arenas, well-resourced corporate rentiers have combined to ensure that the government favors them over everyone else. The perverse result is a state that shifts more and more wealth to the already-rich - even if that was never the initial intent of Congress, the President, or the electorate itself. Transforming this misshapen alliance will be difficult, and Lindsey and Teles are realistic about the chances forreform. To that end, they close with a set of reasonable policy proposals that can help to reduce corporate rentiers' scope and power to extract excessive rents via government policy. A powerful, original, and genuinely counterintuitive interpretation of the forces driving the increase ininequality, The Captured Economy will be necessary reading for anyone concerned about the rising social and economic divisions in contemporary America.
Inequality is a choice. The United States bills itself as the land of opportunity, a place where anyone can achieve success and a better life through hard work and determination. But the facts tell a different story--the U.S. today lags behind most other developed nations in measures of inequality and economic mobility. For decades, wages have stagnated for the majority of workers while economic gains have disproportionately gone to the top one percent. Education, housing, and health care--essential ingredients for individual success--are growing ever more expensive. Deeply rooted structural discrimination continues to hold down women and people of color, and more than one-fifth of all American children now live in poverty. These trends are on track to become even worse in the future. Some economists claim that today's bleak conditions are inevitable consequences of market outcomes, globalization, and technological progress. If we want greater equality, they argue, we have to sacrifice growth. This is simply not true. American inequality is the result of misguided structural rules that actually constrict economic growth. We have stripped away worker protections and family support systems, created a tax system that rewards short-term gains over long-term investment, offered a de facto public safety net to too-big-to-fail financial institutions, and chosen monetary and fiscal policies that promote wealth over full employment.
An award-winning professor of economics at MIT and a Harvard University political scientist and economist evaluate the reasons that some nations are poor while others succeed, outlining provocative perspectives that support theories about the importance of institutions. Reprint.
In Does Capitalism Have a Future?, the prominent theorist Georgi Derleugian has gathered together a quintet of eminent macrosociologists to assess whether the capitalist system can survive.
A companion and follow-up to KILLING THE HOST: HOW FINANCIAL PARASITES AND DEBT DESTROY THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. J IS FOR JUNK ECONOMICS pulls back the curtain on the vocabulary and terms of today's tunnel-visioned, overly-mathematized economic lexicon.
Leading political and environmental commentator on where we have gone wrong, and what to do about it “Without countervailing voices, naming and challenging power, political freedom withers and dies. Without countervailing voices, a better world can never materialise. Without countervailing voices, wells will still be dug and bridges will still be built, but only for the few. Food will still be grown, but it will not reach the mouths of the poor. New medicines will be developed, but they will be inaccessible to many of those in need.” George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. How Did We Get into this Mess?, based on his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do. While his diagnosis of the problems in front of us is clear-sighted and reasonable, he also develops solutions to challenge the politics of fear. How do we stand up to the powerful when they seem to have all the weapons? What can we do to prepare our children for an uncertain future? Controversial, clear but always rigorously argued, How Did We Get into this Mess? makes a persuasive case for change in our everyday lives, our politics and economics, the ways we treat each other and the natural world.
In his new book, economist Dean Baker debunks the myth that conservatives favor the market over government intervention. In fact, conservatives rely on a range of "nanny state" policies that ensure the rich get richer while leaving most Americans worse off. It's time for the rules to change. Sound economic policy should harness the market in ways that produce desirable social outcomes - decent wages, good jobs and affordable health care. Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
While there are many uniquely positive attributes about the US economy, something is fundamentally wrong and here's what it is: economic growth can no longer be counted on to deliver broadly shared prosperity. Remarkably, pundits, politicians, and candidates from both sides of the aisle are constantly citing the disconnect between overall growth and the economic prospects of most households. We hear lots of well-placed angst about the middle-class squeeze, wage stagnation, "sticky" poverty rates that are unresponsive to growth, and the immobility of those on the wrong side of the inequality divide. And yet . . . no one has articulated a thorough, robust agenda designed explicitly to reunite growth and prosperity. Until now. While many books on these issues spend most of their time on diagnosis and little on prescription, Jared Bernstein, former Chief Economist to Vice President Joe Biden and member of President Obama's economics team, intentionally flips that ratio in The Reconnection Agenda: each chapter presents concrete policy solutions to the fundamental disconnect, including those that can get us to full employment, make monetary and fiscal policy work together more effectively, rebalance international trade, promote mobility, and break the "economic shampoo cycle" (bubble, bust, repeat) that has characterized our economy for decades. Bernstein's last chapter explains why, even while powerful economic elites block commonsense solutions, the demand for a reconnection agenda is growing. What's critical is that citizens recognize the difference between a policy set that will actually help and a phony one that will exacerbate the forces that for decades now have been preventing growth from reaching most Americans. If you've ever read an article or heard a radio report about the lack of enough good jobs, the rise of inequality, and/or the economic stressors facing the middle class and the poor-not to mention the endless squabbles of policy makers unable to do anything truly useful about these problems-and wished for a reader-friendly, even occasionally fun (really!) book that takes you through what's gone wrong and how to fix it . . . Then The Reconnection Agenda is for you! Oh . . . and by the way . . . it's also downloadable for free. How's that for a whack at the forces of economic darkness?
World-renowned economist, Richard Wolf, explores the roots of the Great Recession and its immense impact on working people.
One hundred years ago the idea of 'the economy' didn't exist. Now, improving the economy has come to be seen as perhaps the most important task facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are conducted in the language of economics and economic logic shapes how political issues are thought about and addressed. The result is that the majority of citizens, who cannot speak this language, are locked out of politics while political decisions are increasingly devolved to experts. The econocracy explains how economics came to be seen this way - and the damaging consequences. It opens up the discipline and demonstrates its inner workings to the wider public so that the task of reclaiming democracy can begin.
There is a lie at the heart of global capitalism. Politicians, financiers and global bureaucrats claim to believe in free competitive markets, but have constructed the most unfree market system ever. It is corrupt because income is channelled to the owners of property - financial, physical and intellectual - at the expense of society. This book reveals how global capitalism is rigged in favour of rentiers to the detriment of all of us, especially the precariat. A plutocracy and elite enriches itself, not through production of goods and services, but through ownership of assets, including intellectual property, aided by subsidies, tax breaks, debt mechanisms, revolving doors between politics and business, and the privatisation of public services. Rentier capitalism is entrenched by the corruption of democracy, manipulated by the plutocracy and an elite-dominated media. Meanwhile, wages stagnate as labour markets are transformed by outsourcing, automation and the on-demand economy, generating more rental income while expanding the precariat. The Corruption of Capitalism argues that rentier capitalism is fostering revolt, and concludes by outlining a new income distribution system that would achieve the extinction of the rentier while promoting sustainable growth.
Shows how massive consumer debt will trigger the next depression, starting about the year 2007. Most of the logic used to support this premise is based on the government's own published data.
* Explains how the 2008 financial meltdown came about and how to revitalize global and domestic economies * Shows how capitalist economies developed and why the state matters in their functioning Free market purists claim that the state is an inefficient institution that does little for society beyond providing stability and protection. The activities related to distributing resources and economic growth, they say, are better left to the invisible hand of the marketplace. These notions now seem tragically misguided in the wake of the 2008 market collapse and bailout. Mark Martinez describes how the flawed myth of the "invisible hand" distorted our understanding of how modern capitalist markets developed and actually work. Martinez draws from history to illustrate that political processes and the state are not only instrumental in making capitalist markets work but that there would be no capitalist markets or wealth creation without state intervention. He brings his story up to the present day to show how the seeds of an unprecedented government intervention in the financial markets were sown in past actions. The Myth of the Free Market is a fascinating and accessible introduction to comparative economic systems as well as an incisive refutation of the standard mantras of neoclassical free market economic theory.