cover image The Servant Economy: 
Where America’s Elite Is 
Sending the Middle Class

The Servant Economy: Where America’s Elite Is Sending the Middle Class

Jeff Faux. Wiley, $27.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-470-18239-0

Economist Faux (coauthor of The Global Class War) records the decline of the American middle class and the inability of either political party to arrest it. This pessimistic but insightful book reviews U.S. economic history and the recent flattening of incomes and expanding debt leading to the Great Recession of 2008 from a leftist perspective. Faux dissects the role of bankers, real estate lobbies, and government policies in creating the disaster, fingering both the Clinton and Bush administrations’ loose oversight of Wall Street and responsibility in the housing debacle. As Faux sharply observes, employee evaluation is more subjective in a service economy, a fact that gives bosses increased power to control and subjugate workers, leading to a “servant economy.” But Faux’s guiding lights show their age. Barbara Tuchman’s decades-old warnings on public folly are dated and mundane. Using Howard Zinn to frame American history, Faux concocts an oppressive but nebulous elite. Channeling Karl Marx, he suggests that business-oriented intellectuals and U.S. corporate leaders seek a permanent army of the unemployed to keep wages low and employees docile. Faux deplores the corrupting impact of big money on government and the gap between the governing class and the American middle class. His unpersuasive solution is a constitutional amendment prohibiting corporations the rights of persons and mandating “hard limits on campaign spending.” Agent: Gail Ross. (July)