Saving online sale Capitalism: For the Many, Not the popular Few outlet online sale

Saving online sale Capitalism: For the Many, Not the popular Few outlet online sale

Saving online sale Capitalism: For the Many, Not the popular Few outlet online sale

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America was once celebrated for and defined by its large and prosperous middle class. Now, this middle class is shrinking, a new oligarchy is rising, and the country faces its greatest wealth disparity in eighty years. Why is the economic system that made America strong suddenly failing us, and how can it be fixed?

Leading political economist and bestselling author Robert B. Reich presents a paradigm-shifting, clear-eyed examination of a political and economic status quo that no longer serves the people, exposing one of the most pernicious obstructions to progress today: the enduring myth of the “free market” when, behind the curtain, it is the powerful alliances between Washington and Wall Street that control the invisible hand. Laying to rest the specious dichotomy between a free market and “big government,” Reich shows that the truly critical choice ahead is between a market organized for broad-based prosperity and one designed to deliver ever more gains to the top. Visionary and acute, Saving Capitalism illuminates the path toward restoring America’s fundamental promise of opportunity and advancement.

Review

Praise for Robert B. Reich’s Saving Capitalism

A Publishers Weekly Business & Economics Top 10 selection for Fall 2015

"Ambitious. . . . Reich makes a very good case that widening inequality largely reflects political decisions that could have gone in very different directions. . . .  Saving Capitalism is a very good guide to the state we’re in." — The New York Review of Books

“If you want to understand why income and wealth inequality are the economic, political, and moral issues of our time, you must read this book. Robert Reich is one of the best economists in modern American history. This book is a roadmap on how to rebuild the middle class and fix a rigged economy that has been propped up by a corrupt campaign finance system.” —United States Senator Bernie Sanders

“[A] sweeping treatise on inequality in America. . . . A rallying call.” — The New York Times Book Review

“One of Reich’s finest works, and is required reading for anyone who has hope that a capitalist system can indeed work for the many, and not just the few.” — Salon

“Like any good teacher, Robert Reich knows that making a simple yet crucial idea stick often takes much time and many presentations of the concept. . . . In Saving Capitalism, Reich drives home a basic fact that, if widely understood, could lift America from today’s destructive political standoff.” — Chicago Tribune

“A well-written, thought-provoking book by one of America’s leading economic thinkers and progressive champions.” The Huffington Post

“Engrossing. . . . [Reich] is calmly articulate, not alarmist; yet a sense of urgency pulses through his unambiguous prose.” —The Argonaut (Los Angeles)

“Audacious. . . . Offers a pragmatic reform-filled path forward. . . . [Reich takes] on the very language used by the business world that perpetuates the myth that the private sector exists as magical sphere entirely unrelated to government.” — EcoWatch

“Reich has both the stature and eloquence to make a compelling case. His sharply argued critique is therefore highly recommended to all readers. . . . Insightful.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“An arresting, thought-provoking treatise on the need to reverse the trend of income inequality in the U.S. . . . Reich’s powerful final argument is that Americans need to rid themselves of the idea that it’s too late to change their economy.” — Publishers Weekly

“An accessible examination of how the ‘apparent arbitrariness and unfairness of the economy [has] undermined the public’s faith in its basic tenets’. . . . The author takes a measured view even as he argues against free market orthodoxies, [and] he arrives at some innovative reforms. . . . Reich’s overriding message is that we don’t have to put up with things as they are. It’s a useful and necessary one.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This is an important and provocative book about the erosion of America’s middle class by one of the nation’s most astute and passionate social critics. Reich provides an original and compelling analysis of how the rules governing America’s form of capitalism have contributed to growing income inequality and of how these rules have been distorted by the role of money in the U.S. political system.” —Laura D’Andrea Tyson

“Robert Reich has written a riveting guide to how our economic and political system has become so badly flawed, distorted by pervasive rent seeking and monopolies. He explains our rising inequality and our poor economic performance. Wholesale reform is needed—far beyond the usual prescriptions of raising the minimum wage and spending more money on education.” —Joseph Stiglitz

“Robert Reich sets the terms for new and more productive debates by rediscovering the political roots of the economic arrangements we too often take for granted. Everyone concerned with our economic future will need to grapple with Reich’s arguments in 2016 and beyond.” —Lawrence H. Summers

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, and senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He has served in three national administrations and has written fourteen books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into twenty-two languages, and the bestsellers Supercapitalism and Locked in the Cabinet. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He is co-creator of the award-winning 2013 film Inequality for All. He is also chair of the national governing board of Common Cause. He lives in Berkeley.

www.robertreich.org

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

chapter 1

The Prevailing View

It usually occurs in a small theater or a lecture hall. Someone introduces me and then introduces a person who is there to debate me. My debate opponent and I then spend five or ten minutes sparring over the chosen topic—­education, poverty, income inequality, taxes, executive pay, middle-­class wages, climate change, drug trafficking, whatever. It doesn’t matter. Because, with astounding regularity, the debate soon turns to whether the “free market” is better at doing something than government.

I do not invite this. In fact, as I’ve already said and will soon explain, I view it as a meaningless debate. Worse, it’s a distraction from what we should be debating. Intentional or not, it deflects the public’s attention from what’s really at issue.

Few ideas have more profoundly poisoned the minds of more people than the notion of a “free market” existing somewhere in the universe, into which government “intrudes.” In this view, whatever inequality or insecurity the market generates is assumed to be the natural and inevitable consequence of impersonal “market forces.” What you’re paid is simply a measure of what you’re worth in the market. If you aren’t paid enough to live on, so be it. If others rake in billions, they must be worth it. If millions of people are unemployed or their paychecks are shrinking or they have to work two or three jobs and have no idea what they’ll be earning next month or even next week, that’s unfortunate but it’s the outcome of “market forces.”

According to this view, whatever we might do to reduce inequality or economic insecurity—­to make the economy work for most of us—­runs the risk of distorting the market and causing it to be less efficient, or of producing unintended consequences that may end up harming us. Although market imperfections such as pollution or unsafe workplaces, or the need for public goods such as basic research or even aid to the poor, may require the government to intervene on occasion, these instances are exceptions to the general rule that the market knows best.

The prevailing view is so dominant that it is now almost taken for granted. It is taught in almost every course on introductory economics. It has found its way into everyday public discourse. One hears it expressed by politicians on both sides of the aisle.

The question typically left to debate is how much intervention is warranted. Conservatives want a smaller government and less intervention; liberals want a larger and more activist government. This has become the interminable debate, the bone of contention that splits left from right in America and in much of the rest of the capitalist world. One’s response to it typically depends on which you trust most (the least): the government or the “free market.”

But the prevailing view, as well as the debate it has spawned, is utterly false. There can be no “free market” without government. The “free market” does not exist in the wilds beyond the reach of civilization. Competition in the wild is a contest for survival in which the largest and strongest typically win. Civilization, by contrast, is defined by rules; rules create markets, and governments generate the rules. As the seventeenth-­century political philosopher Thomas Hobbes put it in his book Leviathan:

[in nature] there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

A market—­any market—­requires that government make and enforce the rules of the game. In most modern democracies, such rules emanate from legislatures, administrative agencies, and courts. Government doesn’t “intrude” on the “free market.” It creates the market.

The rules are neither neutral nor universal, and they are not permanent. Different societies at different times have adopted different versions. The rules partly mirror a society’s evolving norms and values but also reflect who in society has the most power to make or influence them. Yet the interminable debate over whether the “free market” is better than “government” makes it impossible for us to examine who exercises this power, how they benefit from doing so, and whether such rules need to be altered so that more people benefit from them.

The size of government is not unimportant, but the rules for how the free market functions have far greater impact on an economy and a society. Surely it is useful to debate how much government should tax and spend, regulate and subsidize. Yet these issues are at the margin of the economy, while the rules are the economy. It is impossible to have a market system without such rules and without the choices that lie behind them. As the economic historian Karl Polanyi recognized, those who argue for “less government” are really arguing for a different government—­often one that favors them or their patrons. “Deregulation” of the financial sector in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, for example, could more appropriately be described as “reregulation.” It did not mean less government. It meant a different set of rules, initially allowing Wall Street to speculate on a wide assortment of risky but lucrative bets and permitting banks to push mortgages onto people who couldn’t afford them. When the bubble burst in 2008, the government issued rules to protect the assets of the largest banks, subsidize them so they would not go under, and induce them to acquire weaker banks. At the same time, the government enforced other rules that caused millions of people to lose their homes. These were followed by additional rules intended to prevent the banks from engaging in new rounds of risky behavior (although in the view of many experts, these new rules are inadequate).

The critical things to watch out for aren’t the rare big events, such as the 2008 bailout of the Street itself, but the ongoing multitude of small rule changes that continuously alter the economic game. Even a big event’s most important effects are on how the game is played differently thereafter. The bailout of Wall Street created an implicit guarantee that the government would subsidize the biggest banks if they ever got into trouble. This, as I will show, gave the biggest banks a financial advantage over smaller banks and fueled their subsequent growth and dominance over the entire financial sector, which enhanced their subsequent political power to get rules they wanted and avoid those they did not.

The “free market” is a myth that prevents us from examining these rule changes and asking whom they serve. The myth is therefore highly useful to those who do not wish such an examination to be undertaken. It is no accident that those with disproportionate influence over these rules, who are the largest beneficiaries of how the rules have been designed and adapted, are also among the most vehement supporters of the “free market” and the most ardent advocates of the relative superiority of the market over government. But the debate itself also serves their goal of distracting the public from the underlying realities of how the rules are generated and changed, their own power over this process, and the extent to which they gain from the results. In other words, not only do these “free market” advocates want the public to agree with them about the superiority of the market but also about the central importance of this interminable debate.

They are helped by the fact that the underlying rules are well hidden in an economy where so much of what is owned and traded is becoming intangible and complex. Rules governing intellectual property, for example, are harder to see than the rules of an older economy in which property took the tangible forms of land, factories, and machinery. Likewise, monopolies and market power were clearer in the days of giant railroads and oil trusts than they are now, when a Google, Apple, Facebook, or Comcast can gain dominance over a network, platform, or communications system. At the same time, contracts were simpler to parse when buyers and sellers were on more or less equal footing and could easily know or discover what the other party was promising. That was before the advent of complex mortgages, consumer agreements, franchise systems, and employment contracts, all of whose terms are now largely dictated by one party. Similarly, financial obligations were clearer when banking was simpler and the savings of some were loaned to others who wanted to buy homes or start businesses. In today’s world of elaborate financial instruments, by contrast, it is sometimes difficult to tell who owes what to whom, or when, or why.

Before we can understand the consequences of all of this for modern capitalism, it is first necessary to address basic questions about how government has organized and reorganized the market, what interests have had the most influence on this process, and who has gained and who has lost as a result. To do so, we must examine the market mechanism in some detail.

2

The Five Building Blocks of Capitalism

In order to have a “free market,” decisions must be made about

•property: what can be owned

•monopoly: what degree of market power is permissible

•contract: what can be bought and sold, and on what terms

•bankruptcy: what happens when purchasers can’t pay up

•enforcement: how to make sure no one cheats on any of these rules

You might think such decisions obvious. Ownership, for ex- ample, is simply a matter of what you’ve created or bought or invented, what’s yours.

Think again. What about slaves? The human genome? A nuclear bomb? A recipe? Most contemporary societies have decided you can’t own these things. You can own land, a car, mobile devices, a home, and all the things that go into a home. But the most important form of property is now intellectual property—­new designs, ideas, and inventions. What exactly counts as intellectual property, and how long can you own it?

Decisions also underlie what degree of market power is permissible—­how large and economically potent a company or small group of firms can become, or to what extent dominance over a standard platform or search engine unduly constrains competition.

Similarly, you may think buying and selling is simply a matter of agreeing on a price—­just supply and demand. But most societies have decided against buying and selling sex, babies, and votes. Most don’t allow the sale of dangerous drugs, unsafe foods, or deceptive Ponzi schemes. Similarly, most civilized societies do not allow or enforce contracts that are coerced or that are based on fraud. But what exactly does “coercion” mean? Or even “fraud”?

Other decisions govern unpaid debts: Big corporations can use bankruptcy to rid themselves of burdensome pension obligations to their employees, for example, while homeowners cannot use bankruptcy to reduce burdensome mortgages, and former students cannot use it to reduce burdensome student debts.

And we rely on decisions about how all these rules are enforced—­the priorities of police, inspectors, and prosecutors; who can participate in government rule making; who has standing to sue; and the outcomes of judicial proceedings.

Many of these decisions are far from obvious and some of them change over time, either because social values change (think of slavery), technologies change (patents on novel arrangements of molecules), or the people with power to influence these decisions change (not just public officials, but the people who got them into their positions).

These decisions don’t “intrude” on the free market. They constitute the free market. Without them there is no market.

What guides these decisions? What do the people who make the rules seek to achieve? The rules can be designed to maximize efficiency (given the current distribution of income and wealth in society), or growth (depending on who benefits from that growth and what a society is willing to sacrifice to achieve it, such as fouling the environment), or fairness (depending on prevailing norms about what constitutes a fair and decent society); or they can be designed to maximized the profits of large corporations and big banks, and the wealth of those already very wealthy.

If a democracy is working as it should, elected officials, agency heads, and judges will be making the rules roughly in accordance with the values of most citizens. As philosopher John Rawls has suggested, a fair choice of rule would reflect the views of the typical citizen who did not know how he or she would be affected by its application. Accordingly, the “free market” would generate outcomes that improved the well-­being of the vast majority.

But if a democracy is failing (or never functioned to begin with), the rules might instead enhance the wealth of a comparative few at the top while keeping almost everyone else relatively poor and economically insecure. Those with sufficient power and resources would have enough influence over politicians, regulatory heads, and judges to ensure that the “free market” worked mostly on their behalf.

This is not corruption as commonly understood. In the United States, those with power and resources rarely directly bribe public officials in order to receive specific and visible favors, such as advantageous government contracts. Instead, they make campaign contributions and occasionally hold out the promise of lucrative jobs at the end of government careers. And the most valuable things they get in exchange are market rules that seem to apply to everyone and appear to be neutral, but that systematically and disproportionately benefit them. To state the matter another way, it is not the unique and perceptible government “intrusions” into the market that have the greatest effect on who wins and who loses; it is the way government organizes the market.

Power and influence are hidden inside the processes through which market rules are made, and the resulting economic gains and losses are disguised as the “natural” outcomes of “impersonal market forces.” Yet as long as we remain obsessed by the debate over the relative merits of the “free market” and “government,” we have little hope of seeing through the camouflage.

Before examining each of the five building blocks of capitalism separately, it is useful to see how political power shapes all of them and why market freedom cannot be understood apart from how such power is exercised, and by whom.

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Dienne
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Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2015
I have been recommending this book far and wide to anyone and everyone who will listen. Not necessarily because I agree with everything in the book, but because of Reich’s simple, laymen explanation of the building blocks of the “free” market – property, monopoly,... See more
I have been recommending this book far and wide to anyone and everyone who will listen. Not necessarily because I agree with everything in the book, but because of Reich’s simple, laymen explanation of the building blocks of the “free” market – property, monopoly, contract, bankruptcy and enforcement – and how those elements are, in fact, determined by the government. As Reich himself says repeatedly throughout the book, it’s not a conflict between “government” on one hand and the “free market” on the other hand. The government, through laws, regulations and judicial proceedings, actually creates the market. It’s not even a matter of the size of the government – “big government” vs. “small government”. It’s a matter of who controls the government and in whose interests these laws, regulations and judicial proceedings work – the majority of the people/society as a whole? Or a rich and influential few? Furthermore, Reich destroys the notion that those rich and influential few deserve the power and wealth that they control because they have “earned it”.

After an introductory chapter, Reich spends the first five chapters explaining each of the building blocks of the market and how those can be manipulated to either protect and support the majority of the people or to promote the interests of the powerful few. What types of things can be owned and how is that ownership allocated? Tangible goods may be obvious but what about intangible things like intellectual property, large platforms like the internet or cable, or even labor? Furthermore, what share of any particular market is it okay for any individual or corporation to own? What kinds of contracts can be made, especially in situations in which the parties to a contract may not have equal power? When a party to a contract cannot fulfill it, what protection does such party have? What rights does the creditor have? And when these issues end up in court, how are they decided?

In the period after World War II until the 1970s or so, Reich demonstrates how these building blocks were used to protect jobs, health, the environment and the rights and interests of ordinary Americans. But since the 1980s and the rise of “supply sided economics”, and especially since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision earlier this decade, large corporations and powerful individuals have used their influence to encourage elected officials to create laws and policies that favor the interests of the powerful. For instance, he describes at length the patent process and how Big Pharma and others have lobbied to extend patents nearly indefinitely, and how Big Pharma has even paid generic drug companies to delay releasing generic drugs even after the patent has finally expired, which forces Americans to pay very high prices for drugs available much cheaper elsewhere (and Big Pharma has lobbied to restrict Americans from buying such cheaper drugs from foreign pharmacies over the internet). As another example, customers and employees are often forced to sign contracts mandating that disputes be arbitrated by an arbitrator of the company’s choosing (which said arbitrator is most likely to favor the company that is paying them over the customer or employee). Reich gives dozens of other examples of how the “free” market is rigged against ordinary Americans and it’s done intentionally by powerful individuals and corporations exerting their influence on the government in order to create the market in their favor. He demonstrates how these rules and policies redistribute wealth upward as the market works. Talk of “redistribution” of wealth through taxes (generally thought to be “socialist” is a non-starter because the wealth is already redistributed before the fact.

Reich goes on to explore and explode the myth of “meritocracy” – the idea that we all “earn” what we “deserve” in the market. Reich points out that that is obviously true in a tautological sense. We get what we get because we can’t get more. But from the working poor to the non-working rich, he demonstrates the fallacies that lie behind such thinking. He looks at how, in the past, the value of labor itself has often been considered to provide a stake in the final output and income of the company itself. After all, no goods or services would be provided without the people who do the work. But over the last few decades, only those providing the capital are viewed as stakeholders, so labor, consumers, and society as a whole loses out.

For these reasons I recommend the book to every American to get a clear understanding of the distortion of the “free market” propaganda. But that’s not to say that the book doesn’t have its flaws. For one thing, Reich relies rather heavily on the passive voice. While he does make it clear that these laws and policies have been implemented intentionally at the behest of the powerful few, he denies that these powerful few have any moral culpability. They are just acting on their own self-interest, the same as you and I. I’m sorry, but no. My taking a job, for instance, in which I know that other candidates lost out because I succeeded, is not at all the same as, for instance, repealing the laws that protected commercial banking funds from risky investment and speculation so that big bankers can gamble with federally-protected savings accounts. Most of us consider the needs of other people as we go about doing the best to provide for ourselves and our families. Most of us don’t feel the need to reduce food stamps and take money out of poor people’s mouths just so that we could make another couple million. In fact, there’s a reason why most of us are not multi-millionaires or billionaires – we’re simply not ruthless enough.

Secondly (and relatedly) Reich doesn’t talk nearly enough about the mechanisms of this influence. He talks a lot about “lobbying”, but he really doesn’t explore what that word means. When I was in high school civics, we learned that lobbying is simply talking or writing to your elected official to try to convince him or her of your point of view and get his/her vote in your favor. But if that’s all it is, why do companies suddenly have so much more influence that ordinary citizens, especially considering how many more of us there are? So the guy from Monsanto is just that much more persuasive than Farmer Joe from Kansas? Or is there something more behind Monsanto’s persuasiveness that Farmer Joe doesn’t have access to? Sure, Monsanto can afford to hire people to do nothing but talk to Congressmen, while Farmer Joe is busy planting, tilling and harvesting his fields. Reich does talk about campaign contributions and promises of lucrative jobs post-government service, but he really needs to go into much more depth.

He could also stand to talk in depth about the media. The major media, including print and broadcast services, are almost entirely owned by six media corporations. Reich does cover this a tiny bit in his section on monopoly, but the implications are staggering. In addition to the money pouring into politician’s campaign coffers, citizens are hampered by a lack of information. There is almost a complete media black-out on certain aspects of how the government is run, unless one spends one’s time scouring blogs and alternate media. The media also control the range of “acceptable” opinions – anything outside that range is the lunatic fringe. For example, should we invade XYZ Muslim country with boots on the ground, or should we contain the situation with drones and special ops? Not getting involved at all is crazy talk. Should we bail out the banks or not? Bailing out the people and letting the banks fail is crazy talk.

Reich’s final chapters address his solutions for the ills he lays out in the majority of the book. Most such solutions are simply repealing the bad laws and policies that have been enacted as he’s explained earlier in the book. Get rid of Citizen’s United. Outlaw the revolving door between government service and the corporate world. Reduce patent lengths. Outlaw pay-for-delay. Etc. Reich seems to believe that such moves are completely possible. I’d like to believe him. With an informed and energetic citizenry, I think he would be right. But one of the most impressive aspects of the neoliberal takeover has been the containment of the populace. We as a nation are either so busy making ends meet or so distracted by games and gadgets, that we’ve willingly allowed a corporate coup under our very noses. More and more people are waking up and realizing what’s happening, but at the same time we have less and less voice. Our survival will depend upon not getting sidetracked by the liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican narrative and coming together as citizens of a nation that are all in it together, whether we want to be or not. But the same people who control our government and the media (and, more and more, education) benefit from these false fights and will stir them up as long as they can. I’m not sure I have faith in the American people to see past the propaganda.

I will say again that I salute Reich for writing such a clear and cogent explanation of the fallacies of the “government vs. free market” debate. Again, every American should read this book. My criticisms are just my wishing that he’d taken his arguments just a bit further, and such criticisms are, perhaps, just a bit unfair – like criticizing the receiver who returned a kick-off for ninety yards, but didn’t quite make it the last couple yards for a touchdown. Reich’s voice is especially important now as we head into the primaries for the 2016 elections. Reich does list a few criticisms of the Bill Clinton administration in which he served and what he wishes would have been done differently. I hope he’ll loudly raise those same criticisms as Hillary campaigns for the Democratic nomination.
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Mal Warwick
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Cogent and compelling
Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2015
If you’ve ever been exposed to Robert Reich’s “Wealth and Poverty” course at UC Berkeley, perhaps through the film Inequality for All, or heard him speak in public, you know that there are few people alive today who are his equal in the ability to explain complex economic... See more
If you’ve ever been exposed to Robert Reich’s “Wealth and Poverty” course at UC Berkeley, perhaps through the film Inequality for All, or heard him speak in public, you know that there are few people alive today who are his equal in the ability to explain complex economic and social issues so cogently and compellingly. And few indeed are as funny as he is, either: the man could make a go of a career with a standup act.

capitalismHowever, there’s not a lot of humor in Saving Capitalism, Reich’s fifteenth book. In this brilliant long essay, the former U.S. Secretary of Labor takes on the economic issues of the day from a perspective that rarely comes to light in public discourse: he rejects the widespread assumption that a “free market” exists independent of government.

“A market — any market — requires that government make and enforce the rules of the game,” Reich writes. The size of government, the preoccupation of the American Right for the past four decades, is a distraction from the reality that big corporations and the country’s wealthiest people have steadily rigged the rules that structure the economy — through lobbying, massive political contributions, and the courts. Society’s biggest challenge today, inequality in wealth and income, was the inevitable result of the steady shift of power to the “1%” from the rest of us, as Occupy Wall Street so famously pointed out. “The critical debate for the future is not about the size of government,” Reich adds; “it is about whom government is for.” This is a view of American society from 30,000 feet.

Reich cites a study by two scholars who set out to gauge “the relative influence . . . of economic elites, business groups, mass-based interest groups, and average citizens.” The study concluded, “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, everything you ever feared about the influence of the 1% is true.

As Reich explains in a particularly enlightening chapter, “The Decline of Countervailing Power,” the principal reason why Wall Street, the corporations, and the superrich have managed to enrich themselves at the expense of the middle class and the working poor is that the counterweight to what we call the 1% today has steadily withered away since the 1970s. Reich refers to the “interest groups and membership organizations — clubs, associations, political parties, and trade unions — to which politicians were [once] responsive.”

The most potent of these factors was, of course, the labor movement. Following World War II, labor stood toe-to-toe with Big Business when it came to employees’ wages and working conditions and wielded huge influence in Washington. As we’re so painfully aware, that is far from the case today — but the decline of organized labor didn’t happen by accident. It was engineered beginning in the early 1970s by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and their Republican allies, working from the top down through the courts, the Congress, and state governments across the country. Reich doesn’t tell this story, perhaps because it’s so well known.

Saving Capitalism should be required reading for every American who wishes to understand the way our society works today. Unfortunately, though the book has already begun to climb on the bestseller lists, we can be sure that will never happen in an era when a megalomaniacal reality TV star is topping the polls in the Republican presidential primary competition.

Robert B. Reich served three presidents — Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton — in the course of a long and distinguished career in academia and government. Currently he is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
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David Lindsay
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Inequality in America
Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2017
This book is a great read. Robert Reich does a good job explaining America’s political and economic problems from a liberal perspective. He endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016. The book is well-written and thought-provoking. It expands on the ideas the author expressed in his... See more
This book is a great read. Robert Reich does a good job explaining America’s political and economic problems from a liberal perspective. He endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016. The book is well-written and thought-provoking. It expands on the ideas the author expressed in his book Inequality for All. He also looks at the failures of the political system and offers some solutions.

Reich provides data that shows that the US is becoming a less equal society. He argues that upward mobility has largely vanished in America. Wages have stagnated since the 1970s. Productivity gains and the benefits of economic growth have not been passed onto the workers. By 2013, the median American household, after adjusting for inflation, was earning less than it did in 1989. In 1978, the chief executives of America’s big companies took home 30 times the pay of their average workers; in 2013, that multiplier was 296. The 400 richest people in America have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans put together. You start to wonder if the US is slowly becoming a third world country, with a few rich people and lots of poverty.

Reich believes that the main reason for the inequality is that the wealthy and powerful increasingly control the politicians. Political influence has been used to rewrite the rules and skew the system in favor of the wealthy and large corporations. This has meant that antitrust laws are no longer applied, unions have been weakened and ordinary workers have fewer rights. This has resulted in the creation of an oligarchy. Reich wants ordinary people to take back power and restore democracy. He argues that politicians of both major parties now believe that their job is to serve their donors, with the result that the bottom 50% of the population has been forgotten.

Reich’s view is that the debate in the US often comes down to an argument over whether the “free market” or government control is the optimal system. He argues that it is not a case of either-or, because the free market can only exist within a rules-based system: “Few ideas have more profoundly poisoned the minds of more people than the notion of a ‘free market’ existing somewhere in the universe, into which the government ‘intrudes.’” Reich argues that without government, there would be anarchy, and the life of man would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short (he quotes English political philosopher Thomas Hobbes). The government creates rules that allow the free market to function and regulates the power given to market participants. This includes the rules governing bankruptcy, monopoly, contracts, and property rights. Since the 1980s Wall Street, big corporations and the wealthy elite have set the rules with the aim of helping the few rather than the many. Reich argues that the extent to which companies can exercise market power is, in large part, determined by politicians. In order to change the system, the political power that has been lost has to be regained.

Reich argues that too many US industries are controlled by monopolists and oligopolists. He uses the example of the Internet, where cable companies no longer really compete with each other, and customers have to take what is offered. He claims that the result is that broadband is both slower and far more expensive in the US than in other industrialized countries. He argues that the cable company’s higher profits aren’t encouraging new investment. Local Internet service providers have less incentive to improve service than if they faced more competition and earned lower profits. He argues that the combination of higher profits and low investment is starting to apply across the whole US economy. There are lots of industries where there is limited competition. Reich argues that the rise in market power reflects a failure to apply antitrust laws and it is also bad for workers.

Reich argues that US policy turned hostile toward unions in the 1980s and this increased inequality because wages stagnated. The IMF discovered there is a close association between falling unionization and a rising share of income going to the top one percent. Reich wants to raise the minimum wage. Most economists have traditionally argued that raising the minimum wage will reduce employment. Reich argues that firms employing a lot of low-wage workers—such as fast-food chains—can usually pass the costs through to their customers. There have been studies in which employment in counties whose states have increased the minimum wage have been compared with employment in neighboring counties across the state line. There was no negative effect on employment.

In terms of solutions, Reich wants a minimum wage, greater protection for unions, and Citizens United to be reversed. Reich believes the only real long-term solution to the problems we face from globalization and overpopulation is the implementation of a universal basic income. He also wants legislation that would require organizations to view themselves as answering not just to stockholders but to a broader set of “stakeholders,” including workers and customers. Reich is an optimist and is confident that change will come. Economic reforms and power shifts have happened in the past. Populist presidents have changed the rules before: Andrew Jackson in the 1830s, Theodore Roosevelt in the early 20th century, and FDR''s New Deal. The book was an enjoyable read. Reich is a great explainer.
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Christopher Paul Winter
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I first read this book in a local library, and was so impressed that I bought my own copy.
Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2017
John Maynard Keynes understood that free-market capitalism requires government regulation in order to function properly. Robert Reich understands that also, and he is one of the most prominent voices telling us how many of the capitalists we know today work... See more
John Maynard Keynes understood that free-market capitalism requires government regulation in order to function properly.

Robert Reich understands that also, and he is one of the most prominent voices telling us how many of the capitalists we know today work against such regulation. His latest book may be his most cogent explanation. It lays out the five building blocks of capitalism and shows how the rules governing these building blocks have been distorted to favor the wealthy. And it proposes answers to the problem -- answers which boil down to reasonable restraints on unbridled acquisitiveness. If that restraint does not come from within, then it must be imposed from without: for example by laws like Glass-Steagle, which once restrained investment banks without causing investment bankers much heartburn.

But that was then; this is now. The current clamor for absolutely unfettered free markets tells me some among the wealthy are feeling a lot of heartburn these days. As Reich notes on page 11, "It is perhaps no accident that those who argue most vehemently on behalf of an immutable and rational ''free market'' and against government ''intrusion'' are often the same people who exert disproportionate influence over the market mechanism. They champion ''free enterprise'' and equate the ''free market'' with liberty while quietly altering the rules of the game to their own advantage. They extol freedom without acknowledging the growing imbalance of power in our society that''s eroding the freedoms of most people."
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William M. Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Outside my comfort zone
Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2017
Psychologists observe that we seek affirmation for our entrenched beliefs. They recommend reading outside our comfort zones. Hence, my decision to read Robert Reich. To my surprise, his thesis is compelling. He embraces capitalism, but he argues that markets... See more
Psychologists observe that we seek affirmation for our entrenched beliefs. They recommend reading outside our comfort zones. Hence, my decision to read Robert Reich.

To my surprise, his thesis is compelling. He embraces capitalism, but he argues that markets behave badly because a political/legal/industrial complex (my words) biases the economy to profit the advantaged minority to the detriment of the rest of us with little political clout. Although this is familiar territory, he is critical of Republicans and Democrats, conservative and liberals, and in general, he blames a political process that filters facts through an economic elite.

He is not offering a socialist substitute. Indeed, it is difficult to see how socialism does any more than strengthen the economicc elite. Nor is it clear how the advantaged will relinquish their advantage. Reich writes us into a Gordian knot.

As conservative and liberal, Reich and I are unlikely to rub elbows in a Boston bar. But I appreciate his thoughtful critique.
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George Fulmore
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Full of Ideas for making things better
Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2021
This is an inspiring book. The copyright date is 2016, and it was clearly written before the emergence of Donald Trump as President. In fact, Trump is only mentioned in the book once, and this is because of his infamous bankruptcy issues over his Atlantic City properties.... See more
This is an inspiring book. The copyright date is 2016, and it was clearly written before the emergence of Donald Trump as President. In fact, Trump is only mentioned in the book once, and this is because of his infamous bankruptcy issues over his Atlantic City properties. The author actually talks about some prominent Republicans voting for Hillary Clinton, in anticipation of her becoming President in 2017.
So much for that prediction or insight.
But as this is review is written, and the Presidential era of Joe Biden has begun, it is as if this book may be even more relevant in the current events of American history.
The thesis of this book is that there is nothing inherent in capitalism that should lead to “mounting insecurity and economic inequality.” He says that this has been the case in American history, in varying degrees over time, but that it can be changed. When this increasing inequality is unchecked by government intervention, it feeds upon itself and has to be “saved from its own excesses.”
If this is not done, we get to a point where the rich and powerful have most of the money and political power. Per Reich, this is not good for anyone, including the rich and powerful.
He questions whether the “free market” has every really been free. He says that there can be a government that is there to “make and enforce the rules of the game.” He does not think the size of government is a major issue. What is more important is that government be there to stabilize things, especially when they get out of whack.
He says that there are five building blocks of capitalism: property, monopoly, contract, bankruptcy and enforcement.
He sees the accumulation of money and power as linked to the core. He talks about how real and intellectual property have been the basis for wealth for centuries. And he shows how some giant corporations, such as Pfizer and Monsanto have been able to monopolize products to produce huge financial gains. He cites Amazon as an entity that sucks all the air out of the room, when it comes to eliminating competition. And he talks about the dangers of insider trading on the stock market.
Reich believes in capitalism, but he wants controls. For example, he says that “In America, people with lots of money can easily avoid the consequences of bad bets.” He is good with bankruptcy, but wants it available to common folks, as well. And he points out that many of the super rich are such because of inheritance, not from earning their own money from scratch.
He says that things get bad when the majority in the country feel that the system is rigged against them and that they have little chance to make that better. He rails against the argument that American workers are paid what they are worth. He spends a whole chapter talking about the rising payouts to corporate CEOs, especially in comparison to the average income of employees of their companies. He says that it would be far healthier for corporations to pay their CEO and top executives less, then use those saving to reinvest in the company, itself, and/or to pay their employees more. He hates the idea of corporations using money to buy back their own stock to raise the unit stock price.
As for the tax system, he says that it is “biased toward the owners of wealth and against people whose incomes are from wages.” He also says that trends in the 1970s led directly to the stagnation of middle-class wages. He cites GE CEO Jack Welch as leading that charge. The guy was hell bent on increasing shareholder returns at the expense of the workers. Another factor that affected the stagnation of wages was the deterioration of unions. Yet another was the emergence of sending manufacturing jobs and industries overseas, mainly to China. Such factors encouraged workers to accept the pay and benefits offered.
He cites the rise of the “working poor,” who may be working two jobs, not one, but still cannot pay all the bills. He, I assume, would be encouraging the current Biden efforts to raise the national minimum wage to a level of a “living wage.” He argues that when workers have to seek government programs to help pay their bills, it is the employers who win out here, and the average taxpayer who is really paying the bills. He suggests having the federal government be more involved in paying for the schools and universities. He encourages increased taxation on inherited wealth.
He says “no one should confuse income for virtue, (or) net worth for worthiness. The underlying reality is that capitalism is not working as it should or as it can….The playing field is clearly tilted toward those who have the resources and power to tilt it in their direction.”
So, what can be done? He says that redistribution of wealth has, for the most part, actually been going in the wrong direction, to the rich and powerful from the working class, not the other way. He questions how the richest four Americans could have as much money as the lower 50% of American households. He says that “The economy cannot function without the purchasing power of a large and growing middle-class.” He feels that these trends toward more and more wealth at the top are not sustainable, economically or politically.
“The only way back to a democracy and economy that work for the majority,” he suggests, “ is for the majority to become politically active once again.” What needs to be done is to establish a “new countervailing power.”
Reich suggests that we “lift the curtain” on how the economy and so-called free market work. “The explicit aim of this new (effort) would be to save capitalism, by enabling most Americans to benefit from its success.” He also says that “with effective countervailing power, the American corporation could be reimagined and reinvented.”
He says that today’s employment opportunities involved about 20% of the jobs being in “routine productions work,” while about 50% are now in “personal services.” Another 20% of jobs are in problem-solving or analysis. But he says that the allocation of work and jobs is not the primary challenge. It is the distribution of income and wealth. And, clearly, for what it is worth, there are about 10% of American households today who do not need to “work.”
As far as income and wealth redistribution, he talks about ways to “share future wealth.” He also talks about a basic minimum income. And, he encourages us to find ways to “design the rules of the market so that the economy generates what most people would consider a fair distribution on its own, without necessitating large distributions after the fact.”
As I said above, it seems like this book and its ideas are very much in sync with what is emerging from the Biden administration in its first 100 days in office. May some of the ideas in this book be useful in that effort and beyond.
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migedy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Legalized Insider Trading
Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2016
Reich makes many interesting observations, including: 1. Although the free market is very efficient at rewarding people for their behavior, it''s the underlying rules of the market that determine what those rewards are going to be; therefore, one should not... See more
Reich makes many interesting observations, including:

1. Although the free market is very efficient at rewarding people for their behavior, it''s the underlying rules of the market that determine what those rewards are going to be; therefore, one should not confuse the statement "the market greatly rewarded so-and-so" with the view "so-and-so deserves their reward because the market rewarded them". For example, in the 1960s CEO pay was 20 times average worker in that CEO''s Co. This ratio has steadily risen and today CEO pay is 300 times average Co. worker wages. Reich asks if CEOs are over 15 times (15,000.%) better than past CEOs. A study of 1,500 large cos. from 1994 to 2013 by economists shows that, the higher the CEO compensation, in general the worse their companies did.

2. Over the last 35 years there have been many changes to the rules of the free market, involving: property rights, monopoly rights, contracts, bankruptcy, and how the rules are enforced. These changes have resulted in wealth being transferred from the middle class to the upper class. For example, new rules regarding banking has given enormous bonuses to executives at large banks. There were 1,007,000 full-time minimum wage workers in the USA in 2013. Reich states that if those bonuses to bankers had been given, instead, to minimum wage earners, they would have doubled their minimum wages.

3. Most interesting is Reich''s example of changes to the SEC that have enabled the most egregious form of insider trading to occur legally. SEC rules have changed over time to enable heads of companies to not reveal when their Company does buyback of shares, nor to reveal when they cash out their stock options in their companies. The person who would have the most insider info. about a company would be the CEO and top executives of that co. If their main source of income is stock options, then a CEO can make many millions by doing the following:
a. CEO directs his co. to borrow $ in order to buy back shares (leveraged buyback). Large buybacks will cause the value of the his Co. shares to increase in value in the market (and shareholders will not know that buybacks are what is causing this rise in stock price).
b. He then uses his insider info. to determine when to privately cash out his stock options.

What the CEO/executives have essentially done is legally-sanctioned insider trading.

Reich documents the changes in SEC rules regarding stock buybacks and execution of stock options that have resulted in enormous changes in the amount of buybacks going on in the market and the enormous amount of non-salary (i.e. stock option) compensation going to executives.

Due to these changes in the rules of the game, the amount of buybacks has gone from very little to $3.6 trillion for S&P500 during 2001-2013, according to Reich.

4. Reich argues that gov. subsidies to students at private, elite universities are around $54K per student per year while only around $7K to public university students (although public universities educate many more students).

The main point he makes is that the debate is usually framed as: conservatives want less regulation and more free market while liberals want more regulation and less free market; instead, the debate should be reframed as: Revealing how the wealthy have been getting enormous subsidies (involving wealth transfer to themselves from the middle and poor classes), in a manner that is largely invisible (because it happens automatically as the rules of the game have become tilted in their favor, due to their increasing political & lobbying influence).

However, of all the points he made, the buyback/insider-trading scheme was most disturbing to me.
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Ian Mann
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
One of many studies found that good teachers increase the average present value of their students’ ...
Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2017
As I have reaffirmed many times in this column, I hold the opinion that no economic system has grown companies and countries faster and more effectively than Capitalism. However, it hasn’t raised the quality of life for all beneficiaries equally - to say the least. It is... See more
As I have reaffirmed many times in this column, I hold the opinion that no economic system has grown companies and countries faster and more effectively than Capitalism. However, it hasn’t raised the quality of life for all beneficiaries equally - to say the least. It is this regrettable failing that is addressed by Robert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, and was Secretary of Labour under President Bill Clinton.
Fundamental to Capitalism is the notion of a free market, where people pay for goods or services according to how they value them. What follows logically from this is that what one is paid, reflects one’s worth in the market. If you are paid too little to live on, it is because that is all you are worth, and if you are paid tens of millions you must be worth it.
One of many studies found that good teachers increase the average present value of their students’ lifetime earnings by $250,000. Perhaps, if teachers were paid better the profession would attract many more such teachers. “The worth to society of many CEOs, hedge-fund managers, investment bankers, high-frequency traders, lobbyists, and high-end corporate lawyers, may be less than they command in the market. Much of what they do entails taking money out of one set of pockets and putting it into another, in escalating zero-sum activity,” Reich asserts.
If Capitalism is so ‘good’, why is it so bad?
That is the subject of this profound book, as well as what can reasonably be done about it. To achieve any change to the economy of a society, to make it more equitable, reasonable and humane, requires first a sound understanding of what actually makes it work.
To have a ‘free market’, decisions must be made about five critical issues: property, monopoly, contract, bankruptcy, and enforcement.
What can be understood as property, and therefore can be owned? Cars? Land? Slaves? A bomb? Intellectual property such as the human genome? Some have been approved and others not.
What degree of market power is permissible? How big a control over the market is acceptable? Is a monopoly permissible?
What can be bought and sold, and on what terms? Votes? Unsafe food? Babies? Most civilized societies do not allow or enforce contracts that are fraudulent, or that are based on coercion. But how do you understand coercion? Is insisting you buy insurance from me in order to buy something else you want, coercion?
What happens when purchasers can’t pay their debts? Do they go to debtor’s prison or declare bankruptcy, and pay all debtors a only portion of what is owed equally? Are employees who have lost their bonus or the rest of their employment contract, seen as debtors? Can homeowners declare bankruptcy and so reduce their obligation on their home loan? Can students declare bankruptcy and be relieved of some of their student loan?
How can we make sure no one cheats on any of these rules? We have to rely on decisions about how all these rules are enforced or they will be valueless. What are the priorities of police, inspectors, and prosecutors? Who is entitled to sue whom?
Markets, whether a ‘free market’ or a ‘planned’ economy (one that is heavily regulated or controlled by the government, as in socialist or communist countries,) are made by human beings. This is no different to nations, governments, laws, corporations, and sports which are all the products of human beings. These products reflect moral values and judgments, and are not static; they change over time.
The rules are made by those with the most power over rule-making, and by changing the rules, the balance can be shifted for or against certain groups. As such, the rules can be skewed to the benefit of a few, rather than the many.
Whether in the USA or South Africa, decisions are too often made behind closed doors, in negotiations influenced disproportionately by those with enough resources to be heard. This creates and perpetuates a vicious cycle: economic dominance feeds political power, and political power further enlarges economic dominance. This is most evident in the USA, partly because of the country’s economic sophistication, level of transparency and freedom of expression and democracy.
These decisions have real consequences for an economy and for the individual people whose livelihoods are affected by them. In 2000 in the US, for example, labour’s share of nonfarm business income was 63%. In 2013, it was 57%, representing a shift of about $750 billion annually, from those who labour to produce the capital, to those who own the capital.
The reality is that government has a pivotal role in designing, organizing, and enforcing the market to begin with. The free market vs. planned market debate clouds the thousands of choices made by legislators, administrators, and judges. It clouds the ongoing task of deciding that can have huge consequences, and that will never cease, so long as there are changes in market conditions, innovations and technological advances.
This is the key takeaway from this book. Changing the economic system will not help the many: vigilantly monitoring, influencing, and counterbalancing power, will.
This book is a profound account of a very thoughtful and very well informed intellectual. It will shed light on some very troubling issues.
Readability Light ----+ Serious
Insights High +---- Low
Practical High ----+ Low
*Ian Mann of Gateways consults internationally on leadership and strategy, and is the author of the recently released ‘Executive Update.
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Top reviews from other countries

J. lee
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Really great read. I think a lot of people may ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2018
Really great read. I think a lot of people may dismiss Robert Reich after hearing that he served in Bill Clinton''s administration, supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and is regarded as a very liberal economics and public policy professor. In this book he clearly demonstrates...See more
Really great read. I think a lot of people may dismiss Robert Reich after hearing that he served in Bill Clinton''s administration, supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and is regarded as a very liberal economics and public policy professor. In this book he clearly demonstrates he believes the capitalist, free market society to be the most beneficial to humanity. However his arguments are based on the idea that the current rules regulating said market are currently skewed massively in the favour of major corporations, and those that set the rules are supporting this notion, whether willingly or not. For people without an economics background this book provides a relatively simple description, with relevant model examples, of these cases, and a limited number of solutions. If i''m . honest from what i hear, a lot of his other books seem to describe exactly the same thing, so i''m going to be cautious in choosing to buy any of his future books.
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Kieran Fennelly
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hugely informative, the inequality might get you riled up though.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 17, 2018
Do''t dismiss this book based on the current political climate in the US. If you think Capitalism can be used as a positive force in economics, then this book will highlight the corruption that undermines the freedom of market economics as a cornerstone of Classic American...See more
Do''t dismiss this book based on the current political climate in the US. If you think Capitalism can be used as a positive force in economics, then this book will highlight the corruption that undermines the freedom of market economics as a cornerstone of Classic American Liberalism. Reich is hugely informative and you might find yourself going to a dictionary more than a few occasions to really grasp some of the more intricate language but Reich is not a difficult read. He is challenging and at times the corruption of the markets during the global crash of 2008 is a tough read, but Reich is honest and truthful in his stories and beliefs in Capitalism. If anything this book is worth more of a read is you are more inclined towards Socialism but want a fair and balanced view of both economic principles. Reich is a lefty, but a real believer in Capitalist values. Hugely informative.
4 people found this helpful
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Luis A.
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
recommended to better understand where our economic model stands, why, and where it might head to
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2018
The core idea of the book is that markets are created by governments (in turn elected by people, in democracies) and thus the discussion of free market vs. government is nonsense, as markets have always been created and regulated by political powers. The book claims such...See more
The core idea of the book is that markets are created by governments (in turn elected by people, in democracies) and thus the discussion of free market vs. government is nonsense, as markets have always been created and regulated by political powers. The book claims such artificial discussion has been imposed by those who have been benefiting from rules presented as ''market-friendly'' to hide the reality that they in fact skew the market mechanisms towards the direction of multinationals, big banks and wealthy individuals. Key decisions for restoring balance must come from the political economy discipline. The book is well written, and though simple, its main idea is interesting and probably new to most people. It starts by presenting the five pillars of capitalism, in a reader-friendly theoretical introduction; moving on to what''s been reshaping those pillars in the recent decades, the consequences of such reshaping, and what can be made to restore countervailing powers that have been eliminated and contributo to inequality.
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Chris
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An eye-opening read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 2, 2017
In this book, Robert emphasises that there is no such thing as a free market and that government regulates markets with key players at the top influencing decisions. The current US market encourages the shareholders and management to be well looked after and as a result the...See more
In this book, Robert emphasises that there is no such thing as a free market and that government regulates markets with key players at the top influencing decisions. The current US market encourages the shareholders and management to be well looked after and as a result the majority of the public are heading towards lower incomes and poverty. After explaining the current market and how the US got there, Robert suggests some changes that will make the system fairer for all. This is not a book on socialism, but on fairer capitalism. Although you may not agree with everything in the book (I didn''t), it is worth reading as it opens your eyes to the realities of capitalist free markets from someone who has seen it at high-level (Robert was Secretary of Labour previously).
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Phil Cunliffe
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Just brilliant.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 22, 2018
After watching Robert''s video "Inequality for all" I decided to find out more about how we are all affected by the way the rules of capitalism are shaped. This was the perfect book to satisfy my curiosity. I will be recommending it whenever I getting the opportunity.
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