Beyond Outrage

Robert B. Reich, Author, Robert B Reich, Illustrator
Robert Reich. Vintage, $9.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-345-80437-2
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Persuasively arguing that Americans haven't learned the economic lessons of the Great Depression and the stock crash of 2008, and stating that "the U.S. economy won't really bounce back until America's surge to inequality is reversed," former labor secretary Reich (Aftershock) examines how we got into this mess and offers solutions in this slim but informative study. In his view, "An economy should exist for the people who inhabit it, not the other way around," Reich writes, assailing the ramifications of Wall Street's unchecked power and the detrimental impact of the "Regressive Right," his term for conservative Republicans whose social Darwinist agenda, helped along by passivity on the part of Democrats, poses a very real threat to the nation. Reich charges Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas, and Newt Gingrich with shady political dealings, while he systematically debunks various right-wing tactics, such as the benefits of lowering taxes on corporations in order to stimulate job growth. As for solutions, Reich's advice ranges from the simple (become an active citizen) to the specific, such as restoring taxes on the rich to pre-1981 levels, expanding Medicare to cover all Americans and tightening restrictions on big banks. Regardless of where readers stand on many of the polarizing concepts he addresses, Reich offers food for thought. (Sept.)
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