In Saving Capitalism, Robert Reich shows us how far the cancer of Inequality has spread. His advice? Every action must have an equal and opposite reaction.
By Robert Reich
- Publisher : Knopf; 1st Edition (September 29, 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385350570
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385350570
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Customer Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars 890 ratings
About The Author:
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is the author of 18 books (six of them bestsellers) that all deal with the negative externalities created by our chosen system of economics. In his current role as Professor (Goldman School of Public Policy) and senior fellow (Blum Center for Developing Economies) at the University of California (Berkeley campus), Reich helps mentor the next generation of public policy leaders and researchers, who are already using an “interdisciplinary problem-solving approach” to address the major deficiencies left by globalism and capitalism – issues ranging from health care and education to basic sanitation and food security, and disciplines ranging from economics and law to political science and social psychology.
Reich has created quite a public presence, as he attempts to leverage his knowledge of economics to speak on the current inequality in the U.S. and abroad. Watch his critically-acclaimed Netflix documentary Saving Capitalism, or independent film Inequality for all. Watch his videos concerning inequality produced by his Inequality Media company. For more for on progressive public policy, visit his Economic Policy Institute, or The American Prospect, The Common Cause, or his own blog, RobertReich.org. His editing skills have been utilized at the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, and The New Republic. He has offered politic commentary for Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, CNN, Chris Matthews, George Stephanopoulos, and many others.
Reich received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, his master’s from Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar), and his law doctorate from Yale Law School.
About the Book:
“Few ideas have more profoundly poisoned the minds of people than the notions of a ‘free market’ existing somewhere in the universe, into which government ‘intrudes’…a market – any market – requires that government make and enforce the rules of the game…government doesn’t ‘intrude’ on the ‘free market’. It creates the market…without them there is no market.” – Robert Reich, Saving Capitalism
In Saving Capitalism, Reich details the snowball effect created as wealth purchases political power to further increase wealth. His solution: the re-emergence of a ‘countervailing power’ to politically overturn the many rules that have been altered in favor of the ‘one percent’. With the creation of a new politically neutral Third Party, focused only on creating economic justice and democratic equality, areas from campaign finance and intellectual property rights to antitrust laws and wage increases could be addressed. With 20/20 economic vision, Reich foresees a future that contains less jobs, no middle class, and advanced technology that no one will be able to afford. Our economic mission, therefore, becomes how to allocate income so people will be able to purchase the products others create, to keep capitalism from taking a dive. Reich offers several suggestions for citizens to receive ‘shareholder dividends’, from a land / mineral tax to a ‘fee’ for securing intellectual property rights, all which amount to a basic income for all.
Third Option Takeaways:
The Third Option firmly believes in rallying a countervailing power around a politically neutral third party, in order to ‘level’ the economic playing field for all (this might as well be the Third Option’s ‘mission statement’). Once democratic equality (creating a society where people are of equal importance) becomes the goal, several components would be necessary: Education that leads to a secure job (which pays a living wage) would make up one such component. Security in health care services and retirement benefits (lifelong coverage) would constitute another. In between, affordable basic needs would help create more certainty for the general population (i.e., housing, food security, energy, transportation, communication, sanitation, and clean water).
We feel that the imposition of tax transfers (redistribution), stricter regulations, legislative amendments et al only make sense if we decide to keep our current economic system intact. In truth, these very measures are evidence that the structure of our economics is fundamentally flawed and will continue to generate all manner of negative consequences as long as these foundational defects are allowed to remain. Through our inaction, we also condemn each new generation to repeat these same tiresome battles, in order to negotiate barely tolerable, tenuous (and wholly unsatisfying) compromises that will not last. For this reason, The Third Option advocates for a ‘system upgrade’, that will eliminate the need for constant vigilance over bad actors who ‘game’ the flaws in our outdated economic operating system.
Knowing that there are always ‘bugs’ in any upgrade, which will require periodic ‘updates’, new upgrades would obviously be necessary down the road, and should not be feared, as long as the intent is to facilitate democratic equality, which the current system has no intention of doing. As Robert Reich succinctly put it, we have instead created “Inequality For All”.
Other Works By Robert Reich
- Aftershock (2010)
- The Work of Nations (2010)
- The System: Who Rigged, How to Fix It (2020)
- Economics in Wonderland, Beyond Outrage (2012)
- The Common Good (2018)
- Supercapitalism (2007)
- ‘Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful‘
- ‘Overtime Pay: A Lifeline for the Overworked American’
- ‘Robert B. Reich’s Recipe for a Just Society’ (be Michael J Sandel)
- ‘Who is Them?’
- ‘Who is Us?’
- ‘The Shrinking Middle Class’
- ‘America’s Great Divide (Frontline Interview)‘
- ‘Reich Blames Economy’s Woes on Income Disparity (Fresh Air Interview)’
- ‘In Conversation with Joseph Stiglitz’
- ‘The Biggest Deficit You’ve Never Heard Of’
- ‘What’s Next for the U.S. Economy’
- ‘What if We Actually Taxed the Rich?’
- ‘Dismantling a Rigged System’
- ‘What’s Next for Democracy? Social Safety Net in America’