Fat Years and Lean: The American Economy Since Roosevelt

Bernard D. Nossiter, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22.5 (271p) ISBN 978-0-06-435853-8
How did U.S. prosperity unravel to create our present economy of widespread joblessness, persistent inflation and steadily falling incomes for half the population? In a sweeping, perspicacious analysis extending from FDR to the present, economics journalist Nossiter ( The Global Struggle for More ) zeroes in on the 1970s, when curbs on new investment, collapse of the dollar and Vietnam military outlays contributed to ``stagflation.'' He shows how Ronald Reagan used unemployment, an economy of slack, to tame workers, and how he further enriched the wealthy at the expense of the poor. Citing massive government demand for military spending as a crucial factor in the modern U.S. economy, Nossiter is not optimistic about the prospects for change: ``The bottom half of the people appears narcotized,'' he writes, with the poor, the ill-educated and minorities having largely dropped out of national political life. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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