Regular price: $20.72

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In While America Aged, best-selling author Roger Lowenstein explains how corporations and governments ran up ruinous pension and health-care promises to workers - promises that are now coming due and that will hit America like a tsunami if nothing is done.

Negotiating high benefits means gambling with future finances - and when the farm gets sold out from underneath major corporations or public institutions, it affects all of us, and in ways we might not imagine. With his trademark narrative panache, Lowenstein unravels the truth about how pensions work in America and illuminates the impending crisis.

©2008 Roger Lowenstein (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A dry departure from L's usual page turner, but

This is an outstanding condensation of the the history of US labor relations as they unfolded within the Auto industry. Lowenstien paints a grim, but I fear all too accurate, picture of the futility of taxpayer recent bailout of an already comatose industry. He is even handed in his citing of causes: inept management and a culture of expediency matched by an ever over reaching UAW. Even more sobering is his treatment of New York City and State, the culture of cronyism and pandering that lead to disastrous and irrevocable concessions given to the unions over the years. Lowenstien names names, and cites specific salaries and pension obligations and points out those who stand to earn more in retirement at the age of 55 or younger, than they did while they were working. Astonishing.

Read this book before the next strike is threatened.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Laurie
  • Florence, KY, United States
  • 06-24-08

More detail than I wanted

I listened to this book in order to better understand pensions, since I am (apparently) part of a shrinking number of working Americans still accruing a one. The book goes into a little more detail than I had hoped for, particularly in regards to the San Diego pension crisis and the NY city workers pension fiasco. The reader is not the best, either. So, while you get the general concepts behind why pensions are being phased out, you may feel bogged down a bit by the minutia.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

While America Aged

An interesting book. However, the monotone voice of the reader makes it hard to listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Confusing mix of evidence and conclusions

What did you like best about While America Aged ? What did you like least?

If the author set out to simply document the intricacies of three unrelated cases of overgenerous pension systems swamping their providers, like a parasite killing its host, a fine book. But the author also appends a conclusion to the book and short editorializing throughout that seem to belong to a different book. The author doesn't realize that the three examples he thoroughly details are actually a giant beacon warning others to avoid the same path, and incongruously advocates further adoptions of pension systems...even after his devoted cataloging of their disastrous effects. It's a very strange book.

If you’ve listened to books by Roger Lowenstein before, how does this one compare?

Narration was great

Which character – as performed by Michael McConnohie – was your favorite?

I didn't even realize the narration was done by separate voices. Very pleasant presentation.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No. It's like 10 hours documenting the many, hellish dangers of smoking, but from a guy who thinks everyone should still be buying and consuming cigarettes, just in moderation.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

True stories you won't forget

Roger Lowenstein lays out a complicated topic in an accessible story form. Well worth the time to educate yourself on this topic. I will be paying attention to the politics and police/firefighters union negotiations from now on.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Timely information neutral presentation

Good coverage of combined misuse of trust by retirees in the system. The attempts to maintain an "unbiased position" leave the implication that the workers are equally to blame as the owners. If that is so, how do we explain the massive shift in wealth distribution -- the autoworker who retires at 50 years old does not have a comparable portion to the CEO who is let go with a REAL golden parachute.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful