A passionate, articulate argument detailing how the United States political system has failed to adapt to the economic challenges of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The American economy is in peril. It has fallen hostage to a casino of financial speculation, creating instability as well as inequality. Tens of millions of workers are vulnerable to layoffs and outsourcing, health care and retirement burdens are increasingly being shifted from employers to individuals. Here Kuttner debunks alarmist claims about supposed economic hazards and exposes the genuine dangers: hedge funds and private equity run amok, sub-prime lenders, Wall Street middlemen, and America's dependence on foreign central banks. He then outlines a persuasive, bold alternative, a new model of managed capitalism that can deliver security and opportunity, and rekindle democracy as we know it.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: The Squandering of America|
|Release Date: 11-11-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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The Squandering of America
Introduction: Failures of Politics
Americans have the good fortune to live in a nation that has stood for political liberty and economic opportunity since its founding. Even in the republic’s early years, when we cherished our isolation from a troubled world, the American idea was a beacon to other nations. In the twentieth century, a bolder, more outward-looking America came to stand for enlightened leadership globally. At home, a more democratic America became a more balanced society. Public policies promoted broad prosperity and economic security, by harnessing the creative, often chaotic power of capitalism for the general good.
Today, we are seeing the squandering of America, on multiple fronts. The ultimate test of a democracy is whether it is possible for the people to throw out the governing party. In politics, we have come very close to losing our democracy, not just in rigged rules and stolen elections but in the domination of politics by big money, the decline in participation by ordinary people, and the assault on basic constitutional liberties.
America’s role as a global leader has been squandered as never before. Our government has been pursuing policies based on fantasies, failing to contain Islamist extremism, failing to promote democratic values and international order. Instead, foreign threats are being used to undermine liberty at home. George W. Bush’s bungled war in the Middle East has made a difficult challenge incalculably worse. He has squandered the global goodwill that has long been the necessary complement to America’s military might. His policies in general have made America a lightning rod rather than a source of