From the groundbreaking author team behind the best-selling Winner-Take-All Politics, a timely and topical work that examines what's good for American business and what's good for Americans - and why those interests are misaligned.
In Winner-Take-All Politics, Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson explain how political elites have enabled and propelled plutocracy. They trace the economic and political history of the United States over the last century and show how a viable mixed economy has long been the dominant engine of America's prosperity.
Like every other prospering democracy, the United States developed a mixed economy that channeled the spirit of capitalism into strong growth and healthy social development. In this bargain, government and business were as much partners as rivals. Public investments in education, science, transportation, and technology laid the foundation for broadly based prosperity. Programs of economic security and progressive taxation provided a floor of protection, and business focused on the pursuit of profit - and government addressed needs business could not.
The mixed economy was the most important social innovation of the 20th century. It spread a previously unimaginable level of broad prosperity. It enabled steep increases in education, health, longevity, and economic security. And yet, extraordinarily, it is anathema to many current economic and political elites. And as the advocates of antigovernment free-market fundamentalism have gained power, they are hell-bent on scrapping the instrument of nearly a century of unprecedented economic and social progress. In American Amnesia, Hacker and Pierson explain how - and why - they must be stopped.
©2016 Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
Hacker appeared on the Majority Report podcast discussing this book recently, a very timely book rectifying the the nonsensical and damaging anti-government myths of the last 50 years.
This is a fantastic work on many of the ills plaguing our government while also providing a detailed history of the mixed economy and the prosperity it brought us. I fear that those who really need to read this will casually dismiss its arguments and evidence.
Though the book does rightly focus much of the blame on the GOP and segments of the business community, I deducted one star for not providing more analysis (there is some) on how the political left's leadership mucked up or did not fight against assaults on the deregulation of the economy and government's longstanding role in the mixed economy of our past.
Overall I like the book because it takes you through the whole process of why we are here today politically. Towards the beginning it was a little technical with information meant to inform and not remember from. Afterwards, they use that information to explain what events took place and continue to take place to make that happen. It's a vicious cycle at this point but there is glimmer of hope! The key is to start utilizing all resources and stop looking for the magic pill to fix it all. I personally think people who automatically believe anything the right wing propaganda is spewing out should read this book to understand where their point of view is actually coming from. There is a reason why they are seeing things from an ultra conservative view. This book is not necessarily anti republican or democrat. It's anti corruption and pro equality with the pursuit of liberty and freedom wherever it may come from.
The authors describe familiar problems with enough detail and ingenuity to make you think about modern problems in a new way. If everyone read this book things would get better, fast
loved it, but I wish this could reach the people who really need to hear it, those who forget what history taught us about business elite and gov't competency.
very well written and informative, particularly relating to the founders and the purpose of empowering a federal system.
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