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Saving Capitalism: For The Many, Not The Few Paperback – 2 Feb 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (2 Feb. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785781766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785781766
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2.6 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A riveting guide to how our economic and political system has become so badly flawed.' -- Joseph Stiglitz 'Reich makes a very good case that widening inequality largely reflects political decisions that could have gone in very different directions... Saving Capitalism is a very good guide to the state we're in.' Paul Krugman, The New York Review of Books 'One of Reich's finest works, and is required reading for anyone who has hope that a capitalist system can indeed work the many, and not just the few.' Salon 'Arresting, thought-provoking... Readily understandable language... Powerful.' Publishers Weekly 'Like any good teacher, Robert Reich knows that making a simple yet crucial idea stick often takes much time and many presentations of the concept... In Saving Capitalism, Reich drives home a basic fact that, if widely understood, could lift America from today's destructive political standoff.' Chicago Tribune 'Reich has both the stature and eloquence to make a compelling case... Highly recommended to all readers... Insightful.' Library Journal, starred review

About the Author

Robert Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He has served in three national administrations and has written fourteen books, including the bestsellers Supercapitalism and Locked in the Cabinet. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. He is co-creator of the award-winning 2013 film Inequality for All.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Athan TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Oct. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Capitalism most definitely is at a crossroads. To claim otherwise is, at best, denial.

What’s more worrying is that that there is next to no debate on the relevant issues.

I disagree with, dunno, four out of five conclusions Robert Reich draws in “Saving Capitalism,” but it is regardless the best book I’ve read in years because it defines the terms of the debate.

You read that right. I consider this left-wing book by a former Clinton (wash my mouth) Labor Secretary one of the best I can remember reading. I’m buying copies for my whole family.

The first major issue he tackles is the false debate that pits “free markets” versus “the government,” and this he does straight from the Mancur Olson playbook: spontaneous free markets exist everywhere. A visitor to the former Soviet Union would be confronted with tons of black markets that of necessity sprung up in the absence of official ones, same way a visitor to Marrakesh can walk into the suk where he can find practically anything. (My favorite such market is the former Soviet market for dead lightbulbs you could then bring to work to screw into the fixture left open by the functioning light bulb you’d pilfer from work to bring back to your apartment)

But here’s the deal:

A bunch of rules must be in place for orderly markets that go beyond the flea market. If you want free markets to thrive, then you need an institution that comes up with and enforces the rules for:

1. What am I allowed to own? Can I own other people? Can I own my beachfront? (In Greece, for example, you don’t, the beach is everybody’s). How about ideas? If I can’t own them, will I bother having them? If I own a life-saving idea is it OK for me to own it?
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By Autamme_dot_com TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Sept. 2015
Format: Hardcover
What has happened? Has capitalism ran out of control and instead of providing increasing riches for more people as a reward for hard work it is in danger of overheating the entire machine and blowing it up for good measure?

The author is concerned and he believes that the same economic system which charged America and made it a great economic powerhouse in the past century is failing, leading to greater problems if it is not brought back under control. Can the genie be put back in the bottle? The author believes so and has a plan.

This does not appear to be one of those typical hysteric “oh God, the world is ending, it is all the fault of the elite”-type books but a sensitive, considered look at a problem. The so-called elite do come in for some criticism, as their increasing power and influence is part of the problem, yet it just a component of a complex situation. Not so long ago a typical income in the U.S. could have been enough to sustain an entire family and provide often a fairly comfortable life. Today, you would be struggling and even if two people have the luxury of a job the money just doesn’t seem to stretch. Consumer debt is spiralling and yet the rich are getting richer and the poor, as well as the “pampered middle class” are not.

There is a distinct falsehood, the author claims, that people are paid what they are “worth” and that increased wages leads to reduced employment and thus a vicious circle is formed. A race to the bottom is quite unedifying. Society is becoming ever polarised. It is becoming a “them” and “us” arrangement.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In this book, Robert emphasises that there is no such thing as a free market and that government regulates markets with key players at the top influencing decisions. The current US market encourages the shareholders and management to be well looked after and as a result the majority of the public are heading towards lower incomes and poverty. After explaining the current market and how the US got there, Robert suggests some changes that will make the system fairer for all.

This is not a book on socialism, but on fairer capitalism. Although you may not agree with everything in the book (I didn't), it is worth reading as it opens your eyes to the realities of capitalist free markets from someone who has seen it at high-level (Robert was Secretary of Labour previously).
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By Hande Z TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Jun. 2016
Format: Paperback
Today 23 June 2016 Britain voted to leave the European Union. It is described as a seismic shock. The author of this book will tell you that it should not be. ‘Saving Capitalism – For the Many, Not the Few’ tells us that the big problem today is the gulf between the rich and the poor. But it says that the debates about the left and the right, ‘free market versus government’, even the size of government, as well as issues concerning transgenderism, gun control and abortion, among many others, are side shows that distract us from the real problem. That, Reich says, is the rise of Big Business.

40 years ago, inflation and unemployment were high on both sides of the Atlantic. Today, inflation and unemployment is low, yet the poor remain while the rich have gotten richer. This book explains why. One of the main factors is that in the past, there were many counter-vailing power such as the labour unions, and small businesses and small investors. There is none today.

Reich writes: ‘The real question is not whether Britain and the United States will move toward a capitalism that works for the many rather than the few. Both of our nations will have to. The question is whether this change will occur through democratic reforms or by means of authoritarian mandates.’

The Brexit vote may be the indication that the voters want reforms to come from democratic means. It will not be easy, but a significant first step might just have been taken.
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