The Great Equalizer: How Main Street Capitalism Can Create an Economy for Everyone

David M. Smick. Perseus, $27.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-61039-784-1
Smick (The World Is Curved), an investment advisor and former Capitol Hill staffer, makes a thoughtful, if buzzword-laden, plea for an economy-wide shift from mammoth companies to plucky startups. Writing that “the economic system is rigged,” he sketches in a system in which big banks and the government favor established behemoths over nimble, innovative newcomers. He goes on to say that the U.S. has had too much Wall Street–style capitalism (financial engineering) and not enough Main Street–style capitalism (innovation). Smick presents a 14-point plan of bipartisan reforms for reorienting the U.S. toward smaller, gutsier businesses, covering topics such as the “illusion of certainty,” the financial crisis and big banks, competition with China, and secular stagnation. Getting surprisingly emotional given the financial theme, he focuses heavily on how Americans have felt after the 2008 crash, arguing that, contrary to popular opinion, “America’s best days are yet to come.” The book’s stumbling block is its obsession with America’s view of itself, which leads the author to rely on a number of clichés, such as the idea of entitled, complacent millennials and Internet-drunk young people who can no longer communicate properly. Nonetheless, this call to arms regarding the need to get audacious and adventurous about U.S. economic growth is a thought-provoking, entertaining read. Agent: Jim Levine, Levine Greenberg Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/07/2016
Release date: 01/01/2017
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-61039-785-8
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