This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. The world at times seems to have gone crazy and Jeffrey Sachs, who I've long admired from his stints on Bloomberg, diagnoses the problems. He always strikes me as an inherently decent and compassionate person and this comes through in strong measure in the book. Whilst it is nice for people to be wealthy this cannot be achieved in a vacuum separate from society, and ultimately happiness comes from family and societal behaviours rather than immense wealth. Sachs illustrates countless cases where the obvious and democratic choices are completely ignored by the American ruling elite of both parties as they strive to keep their funding base happy and appease short-termism constantly with vote grabbing tax cuts, with little done to maintain or enhance the underlying fabric and long term pillars of society. The rampant commercialism that has been unleashed over the last 40 years is laid bare along with a host of statistics and graphs to prove his points. The first half of the book may make you angry however only by knowing the facts and seeing with clearer vision can we move forward in the second half Sachs details measures he believes will help address the malaise. Overall, a superb read.
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