The author of 12 acclaimed books, Robert B. Reich is a Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and has served in three national administrations.
While many blamed Wall Street for the financial meltdown, Aftershock points a finger at a national economy in which wealth is increasingly concentrated at the top - and where a grasping middle class simply does not have the resources to remain viable.
©2010 Robert B. Reich (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
"Reich's thesis is well argued and frighteningly plausible: without a return to the 'basic bargain' (that workers are also consumers), the "aftershock" of the Great Recession includes long-term high unemployment and a political backlash - a crisis, he notes with a sort of grim optimism, that just might be painful enough to encourage necessary structural reforms." (Publishers Weekly)
It is difficult to write about a book that tells us how we as a society have gone wrong after all if you don't like the book what exactly are you saying? I chose this book to try to understand at a greater depth what has happened to our economy and how perhaps it can be right-sided again. I did however have 2 apprehensions as I clicked the download button.
First it is narrated by the author. Not always a good listen in my experience and opinion however Reich does a good job. His voice is provides for easy listening and he doesn't over emphasize for drama as many self read authors do, in my opinion.
Second, would I "get it"? After all this is not the easiest topic to digest and has great potential for being as dry as toast. Reich however does a fantastic job of "dumbing this down" so that any listener can comprehend the issues at hand.
I also think that Reich does a great job of providing us a history lesson to aid in our understanding of the economic cycles. He explains the politics, in a non-biased fashion and helps the reader comprehend how Wall Street has taken over Main Street. I found it valuable to read how we got here and hear some potential solutions for how we might get out.
Most importantly I think I understand(sadly) why my middle class income feels tight and is getting tighter and why my children will likely struggle in ways I did not in my early adult years. And I feel that the suggested solutions that Reich offers are valid and will shape my choices for political candidates moving forward---just not sure that this will be enough. Definitely scary times ahead.
i.m going to read this again . I've recommended it on facebook .1st time I've ever done that
Yes... he provides a lot of analysis and facts that make a second listen worthwhile.
The use of historical analysis. Dr. Reich's credentials in academia are very well established, but his work at the Labor Department during the 1990s was particularly impressive. As an economist, I often shy away from books from people (even those with as good of credentials as Dr. Reich) that have taken an active roles in political fights. However, Dr. Reich does an outstanding job of stepping outside of his liberal background and offering support and criticism of "both sides". His point is decidedly not to blame anyone, nor is it to engage in class warfare (as someone that is very much a capitalist, I appreciated that investors were not the 'villains'). Instead, his focus was on what can we do to make our economy better for EVERY class. His ability to synthesize economics, numbers, history and behavioral finance and then present it in such a way that is easy to follow and understand makes it clear that he is also a very capable educator. I enjoyed a lot about the book, but would have to say the one most memorable thing is that it was a rational, well reasoned and argued prescription that serves all Americans, and does not seek to vilify anyone.
I have not listened to any of his "performances" in audio book before... I have watched some of his speeches and interviews, and this one is relatively comparable. When he is assigned the position of arguing for the political left, he is a bit more partisan than he is in this book, but for the most part it is consistent and always very impressive.
I found myself nodding in agreement a lot... glad to hear someone speaking the clear truth.
If you have an interest in gaining a better understanding of where our economy is right now, and some ideas (not the only ideas, but some pretty good ones) on where we can go now to make our country better off... all while not having to listen to how the rich or the folks on government assistance are the bane of our existence, I highly encourage you to listen to this book
I really appreciate all the author had to say about why the New Deal worked. I wasn't convinced by his tax plan, but I do appreciate the effort. There have been a number of books in this area from the likes of Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz -- how can you not talk about the biggest financial crisis in the US (if not the world) since the Great Depression. Having the author read the book had for me the sense of Dr Reich talking to me and explaining what's happening in the economy. It's a quick listen so very worth your time.
Some interesting thoguhts about the economy but then it gets way out there at the end. Too far for me to take seriously.
No- I won't read it.
Interesting book, but at the end the author loses or perhaps I should say passes the point of disbelief. His ideas about what will happen or has to happen feel far too sci-fi.
Having a political science/legal/government back ground myself, I felt the author needed to do a bit more research on constitutional law as well as how city bonds and city governments work.
People too often don't understand how cities are chartered and this affects local economies on a far greater level than a mortgage scam or ponzi scheme. When the local economy is going or not going so does the nation.
Mr. Reich's comprehensive review of the last century in American economics gives a clear understanding of how the "Great Recession of 2008" came to be, and what can be done to to bring the nation back to prosperity, at least from a Keynesian perspective. His points are well supported and his conclusions are worth listening to, even by those who might have political differences.
Fascinating, detailed perspective.
We will have the same problem again if tough decisions aren't made soon.
I miss his appearances on Marketplace.
This is worth taking a break as there is so much info. He does a great job of keeping it interesting.
We need more information like this with historical perspective.
Too many books these days waiver from facts and reality due to personal and/or political reasons - this one does not. Mr Reich stays with the facts and properly places history in perspective. The times of today are not exactly like economic history, and those that hang on to those 'old' economic beliefs will be left behind. This informative book was a quick 'read' and I'll likely give it another listen.
Perhaps redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor would increase economic activity. But I will never be convinced that any regulatory agency could efficiently and fairly pull it off. Plus, it ignores what I believe about fairness and the rewards of hard work - even if it does not maintain a red-hot economy. Mr. Reich does not discuss the ill affects of a steep Federal Deficit.
Robert Reich gives a smart and well reasoned assessment of what our economy needs at this moment. Looking back at what worked and what did not work through history, he details why progressive economic reforms are not only desirable, but critical to allow our economy to recover.
Listening to the book was a pleasure, as Mr. Reich's understanding of the subject matter is amplified by his enthusiasm and what seems to be explanations and storytelling instead of simply reading from a book. Very good performance and pleasurable to hear.
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