The Raging 2020s: Companies, Countries, People—and the Fight for Our Future

Alec Ross. Holt, $28.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-77092-9
The social contract functions best when the relationship between government, citizens, and private companies sits in balance—and that balance has been thrown way off, according to this trenchant survey. Former Obama adviser Ross (The Industries of the Future) writes that the rights and responsibilities of individuals need to be rebalanced with those of states and corporations because globalization, deregulation, and the climate crisis have changed the state of the world, and things are only getting worse as inequality grows. Ross describes the chilling effects of “shareholder capitalism,” which prioritizes shareholder profit over all other goals, as well as what can happen when private companies step in when the government fails or falters—as when Walmart proved that “major retailers can use their leverage to force a product off the shelves much faster than the government can” when it began pushing eco-friendly products in 2007. Things could get better, Ross writes, by 2030, and to that end he suggests reforms including a four-day workweek, reasonable social safety nets, and fair compensation. But, he warns, “if nothing changes, rage will be the defining quality of the 2020s.” This disquieting look is a must-read for anyone looking to understand the present moment. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/30/2021
Release date: 09/14/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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