cover image Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (and Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)

Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (and Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)

Jared Bernstein. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, $26.95 (225pp) ISBN 978-1-57675-477-1

According to economist and author Bernstein (All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy), the endless parade of economic legislation and corporate criminality that keep the rich getting richer are all a direct product of economic knowledge being monopolized and manipulated by the rich, keeping the middle and lower classes woefully unprepared to understand, much less stand up to, the economic forces aligned against them. Fortunately, this accessible overview should clear things up for even the most befogged reader. Answering questions from an average American perspective-""the ones in the vise grip of the crunch""-Bernstein explains murky topics like health care reform, minimum wage laws, the Federal Reserve, immigration and budget deficits with a clear, friendly manner that sidesteps any scholarly (and/or sinister) obfuscation. His progressive ""we're all in this togther"" philosophy, though seemingly familiar, is backed up with enough data and savvy to illuminate what's wrong in the dominant ""self-reliance"" narrative of American political discourse. This down-to-earth, populist guide to the pressing economic issues of our time is a clarifying, useful and empowering resource.