deaths of despair and the future of capitalism
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Deaths Of Despair And The Future Of Capitalism by Anne Case
"This book documents the decline of white-working class lives over the last half-century and examines the social and economic forces that have slowly made these lives more difficult. Case and Deaton argue that market and political power in the United States have moved away from labor towards capital-as unions have weakened and politics have become more favorable to business, corporations have become more powerful. Consolidation in some American industries, healthcare especially, has brought an increase in monopoly power in some product markets so that it is possible for firms to raise prices above what they would be in a freely competitive market. This, the authors argue, is a major cause of wage stagnation among working-class Americans and has played a substantial role in the increase in deaths of despair. Case and Deaton offer a way forward, including ideas that, even in our current political situation, may be feasible and improve lives"--
Deaths Of Despair And The Future Of Capitalism by Anne Case
From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, a groundbreaking account of how the flaws in capitalism are fatal for America's working class Life expectancy in the United States has recently fallen for three years in a row—a reversal not seen since 1918 or in any other wealthy nation in modern times. In the past two decades, deaths of despair from suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism have risen dramatically, and now claim hundreds of thousands of American lives each year—and they're still rising. Anne Case and Angus Deaton, known for first sounding the alarm about deaths of despair, explain the overwhelming surge in these deaths and shed light on the social and economic forces that are making life harder for the working class. They demonstrate why, for those who used to prosper in America, capitalism is no longer delivering. Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism paints a troubling portrait of the American dream in decline. For the white working class, today's America has become a land of broken families and few prospects. As the college educated become healthier and wealthier, adults without a degree are literally dying from pain and despair. In this critically important book, Case and Deaton tie the crisis to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and, above all, to a rapacious health-care sector that redistributes working-class wages into the pockets of the wealthy. Capitalism, which over two centuries lifted countless people out of poverty, is now destroying the lives of blue-collar America. This book charts a way forward, providing solutions that can rein in capitalism’s excesses and make it work for everyone.
The Code Of Capital by Katharina Pistor
"Capital is the defining feature of modern economies, yet most people have no idea where it actually comes from. What is it, exactly, that transforms mere wealth into an asset that automatically creates more wealth? The Code of Capital explains how capital is created behind closed doors in the offices of private attorneys, and why this little-known fact is one of the biggest reasons for the widening wealth gap between the holders of capital and everybody else. In this revealing book, Katharina Pistor argues that the law selectively "codes" certain assets, endowing them with the capacity to protect and produce private wealth. With the right legal coding, any object, claim, or idea can be turned into capital - and lawyers are the keepers of the code. Pistor describes how they pick and choose among different legal systems and legal devices for the ones that best serve their clients' needs, and how techniques that were first perfected centuries ago to code landholdings as capital are being used today to code stocks, bonds, ideas, and even expectations--assets that exist only in law. A powerful new way of thinking about one of the most pernicious problems of our time, The Code of Capital explores the different ways that debt, complex financial products, and other assets are coded to give financial advantage to their holders. This provocative book paints a troubling portrait of the pervasive global nature of the code, the people who shape it, and the governments that enforce it."--Provided by publisher.
Much economic advice is bogus quantification, warn two leading experts in this essential book. Invented numbers offer false security; we need instead robust narratives that yield the confidence to manage uncertainty. Some uncertainties are resolvable. The insurance industry’s actuarial tables and the gambler’s roulette wheel both yield to the tools of probability theory. Most situations in life, however, involve a deeper kind of uncertainty, a radical uncertainty for which historical data provide no useful guidance to future outcomes. Radical uncertainty concerns events whose determinants are insufficiently understood for probabilities to be known or forecasting possible. Before President Barack Obama made the fateful decision to send in the Navy Seals, his advisers offered him wildly divergent estimates of the odds that Osama bin Laden would be in the Abbottabad compound. In 2000, no one—not least Steve Jobs—knew what a smartphone was; how could anyone have predicted how many would be sold in 2020? And financial advisers who confidently provide the information required in the standard retirement planning package—what will interest rates, the cost of living, and your state of health be in 2050?—demonstrate only that their advice is worthless. The limits of certainty demonstrate the power of human judgment over artificial intelligence. In most critical decisions there can be no forecasts or probability distributions on which we might sensibly rely. Instead of inventing numbers to fill the gaps in our knowledge, we should adopt business, political, and personal strategies that will be robust to alternative futures and resilient to unpredictable events. Within the security of such a robust and resilient reference narrative, uncertainty can be embraced, because it is the source of creativity, excitement, and profit.
Tightrope by Nicholas D. Kristof
New York Times Best Seller "A deft and uniquely credible exploration of rural America, and of other left-behind pockets of our country. One of the most important books I've read on the state of our disunion."—Tara Westover, author of Educated The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, best-selling Half the Sky now issue a plea--deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans--to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure. With stark poignancy and political dispassion, Tightrope draws us deep into an "other America." The authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the children with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon, an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared. About one-quarter of the children on Kristof's old school bus died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents. And while these particular stories unfolded in one corner of the country, they are representative of many places the authors write about, ranging from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to New York and Virginia. But here too are stories about resurgence, among them: Annette Dove, who has devoted her life to helping the teenagers of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as they navigate the chaotic reality of growing up poor; Daniel McDowell, of Baltimore, whose tale of opioid addiction and recovery suggests that there are viable ways to solve our nation's drug epidemic. These accounts, illustrated with searing images by Lynsey Addario, the award-winning photographer, provide a picture of working-class families needlessly but profoundly damaged as a result of decades of policy mistakes. With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.
We Re Still Here by Jennifer M. Silva
The economy has been brutal to American workers for several decades. The chance to give one's children a better life than one's own -- the promise at the heart of the American Dream -- is withering away. While onlookers assume those suffering in marginalized working-class communities will instinctively rise up, the 2016 election threw into sharp relief how little we know about how the working-class translate their grievances into politics. In We're Still Here, Jennifer M. Silva tells a deep, multi-generational story of pain, place, and politics that will endure long after the Trump administration. Drawing on over 100 interviews with black, white, and Latino working-class residents of a declining coal town in Pennsylvania, Silva reveals how the decline of the American Dream is lived and felt. The routines and rhythms of traditional working-class life such as manual labor, unions, marriage, church, and social clubs have diminished. In their place, she argues, individualized strategies for coping with pain, and finding personal redemption, have themselves become sources of political stimulus and reaction among the working class. Understanding how generations of Democratic voters come to reject the social safety net and often politics altogether requires moving beyond simple partisanship into a maze of addiction, joblessness, family disruption, violence, and trauma. Instead, Silva argues that we need to uncover the relationships, loyalties, longings, and moral visions that underlie and generate the civic and political disengagement of working-class people. We're Still Here provides powerful, on the ground evidence of the remaking of working-class identity and politics that will spark new tensions but also open up the possibility for shifting alliances and new possibilities.
Capitalism Alone by Branko Milanovic
For the first time in history, the globe is dominated by one economic system. Capitalism prevails because it delivers prosperity and meets desires for autonomy. But it also is unstable and morally defective. Surveying the varieties and futures of capitalism, Branko Milanovic offers creative solutions to improve a system that isn’t going anywhere.
Strangers In Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild
The National Book Award Finalist and New York Times bestseller that became a guide and balm for a country struggling to understand the election of Donald Trump "A generous but disconcerting look at the Tea Party. . . . This is a smart, respectful and compelling book." —Jason DeParle, The New York Times Book Review When Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, a bewildered nation turned to Strangers in Their Own Land to understand what Trump voters were thinking when they cast their ballots. Arlie Hochschild, one of the most influential sociologists of her generation, had spent the preceding five years immersed in the community around Lake Charles, Louisiana, a Tea Party stronghold. As Jedediah Purdy put it in the New Republic, “Hochschild is fascinated by how people make sense of their lives. . . . [Her] attentive, detailed portraits . . . reveal a gulf between Hochchild’s ‘strangers in their own land’ and a new elite.” Already a favorite common read book in communities and on campuses across the country and called “humble and important” by David Brooks and “masterly” by Atul Gawande, Hochschild’s book has been lauded by Noam Chomsky, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, and countless others. The paperback edition features a new afterword by the author reflecting on the election of Donald Trump and the other events that have unfolded both in Louisiana and around the country since the hardcover edition was published, and also includes a readers’ group guide at the back of the book.
Permanent Revolution by Wyatt Wells
Permanent Revolution concisely describes the development and workings of capitalism and its influence on the broader society. In the developed world—Europe, North America, and parts of East Asia—capitalism is ubiquitous, and as such, often taken for granted. Discussion usually focuses on specific aspects of the system that individuals appreciate or dislike, ignoring the larger picture. The notion of millennials denouncing capitalism on Facebook and Twitter—products of capitalist development—is a caricature that is eerily close to reality. In this book, Wyatt Wells examines the development of economic innovation, the role of financial markets, the business cycle, the ways markets operate, and the position of labor in capitalist economies, as well as the effects of capitalism on law, politics, religion, and even the arts. This discussion is grounded in history, though it does make use of economic theory. As a result, the book sometimes approaches topics from an unconventional direction. For instance, it notes that financial markets not only pool and allocate the resources of savers—the role ascribed to them in conventional economics textbooks—but they also discipline enterprises, punishing those unable to meet prescribed financial standards. Permanent Revolution ranges broadly, delving into how capitalism reshapes the broader society. The system creates wealth in new and, often, unexpected places, and it constantly moves people physically and socially. The result revolutionizes society. Traditional structures based on deference and long experience gradually collapse because they no longer correspond to social reality. Capitalist societies must devise ways to accommodate perpetual change in politics, religion, and society. Much of the diversity, liberty, and flexibility we associate with modern society are the product of capitalist development.
The Great Escape by Angus Deaton
Asserts that 250 years ago, some parts of the world began to experience sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the stage for today's hugely unequal world and examines the United States, a nation that has prospered but is today experiencing slower growth and increasing inequality.