The book carefully explains the rise of and the impact of hyper-competition on business. This is not new to Reich and is probably dealt with in more detail elsewhere, but Reich’s treatment is very good. He then points out that this change has emasculated some aspects of democracy. Something that Al Gore has also written about. He then says that the solution has to be better policing of the marketplace and more carful construction of the rules of law. Of course, only government can do this.
Reich has had a string of really good books. This one is very good, but perhaps not quite as good as some of his others.
It’s important to say what he says. It’s an important response to the free market mantra. And he’s attempting to articulate a middle ground that doesn’t involve reverting to unions and over-regulated industries or the gradual decent into lawlessness. As a political statement he may be just right. But as an intellectual statement, he fails to address the question, “How do we do this”. How do we get the government do a better job of protecting us from fraud and exploitation without gradually reverting to pre-Carter style regulation?
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