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All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy (BK Currents (Paperback)) Paperback – May 11, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: BK Currents (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; Annotated edition (May 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576753875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576753873
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,922,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"All Together Now explains the importance of an economy that puts people first and ensures a fair shake for all." -- Senator John Edwards

From the Back Cover

"Jared Bernstein provides a smart look at the American economy, one deeply rooted in American values. All Together Now explains the importance of having an economy that puts people first and ensures a fair shake for all." — Senator John Edwards

"Jared Bernstein is to most economic writers what Red Bull is to decaf latte. In All Together Now he makes such a rousing case for mutual responsibility and shared risk that you'll leap out of your chair and into action. Everyone in the sub-billionaire class needs to read this book and send a gift copy to his or her elected officials." — Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch

"What does our national debate about economics most need? It needs ideas. It needs strong voices for justice who understand economics. And it needs economists with a passion for social decency. Jared Bernstein is a passionate economist who provides hard data to describe the world as it is, and ideas to make the world more just. All Together Now should be read and debated by all who know that the status quo is failing us and seek a daring and bracing examination of the reasons for our discontent." — E. J. Dionne, syndicated columnist, author of Why Americans Hate Politics and Stand Up Fight Back, professor at Georgetown University

"This vitally important and readable book couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Jared Bernstein examines the ever-increasing gap between our so-called ‘booming’ economy and the waning economic security of the very people creating that growth. With common sense and common decency, Bernstein shows where we’ve gone off course and how to find our way back." — Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor


More About the Author

The goal of my work is to help build a much more equitable economy in this country. As a DC-based economist in the heart of the national debate, I've watched this goal take a beating by an evolving philosophy I call YOYO ("you're on your own") economics.

In contrast, I propose a WITT ("we're in this together") agenda which aims to revitatlize a much more optimistic set of options to meet the challenges we face.

I've tried to tell this story in plain language in all that I do and I hope it resonates with you.

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
This book highlights all our past success.
jt
It's well-written (with trademark Bernstein wit), simple and should be read by lots and lots of people.
Donald Cohen
This is the first book in a long time that I've actually bought extra copies of to give to people.
V. I. Scherb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gentle Reader on June 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
With “All Together Now,” Jared Bernstein follows in the footsteps of Tom Paine’s “Common Sense.” Before the publication of Paine’s 1776 pamphlet, colonists either could not imagine a government other than monarchy, or considered such thought premature. Within after, the Declaration of Independence was composed and signed. Much as “Common Sense” encouraged people to think creatively about and act on the possibility of liberty and self-government, “All Together Now” does so for social policy. Then monarchy held people’s minds in a straightjacket. In our era it is the extreme version now current of those venerable American ideals, the free market and rugged individualism.

The book begins with a delightful parable illustrating the difference between heaven and hell. They are identical except that in one, everyone looks out only for number one, while in the other, everyone helps one another. This story deftly distinguishes between the prevailing ideology of the last quarter century -- You’re On Your Own or YOYO – and Bernstein’s alternative -- We’re In This Together or WITT. It is also characteristic of the book’s style: minimal reliance on charts and numbers and such things as make my eyes glaze over (thus no need to add MEGO to WITT or YOYO), and maximal reliance on a breezy style that is easy to read, understand and stay with.

At a very abstract level, the difference between the two ideologies, YOYO and WITT, is how much risk should individuals have to shoulder on their own, and how much should we share across all of us. Risk is not used in its every day sense, the chance of a bad thing happening.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By V. I. Scherb on May 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
I don't usually read books on economics, but I noticed Sen. John Edwards recommendation on the cover and after reading the opening I couldn't put it down. Yes, there are some numbers, and some charts and graphs, but in general it is a clear, concise (154 pages), and convincing argument that is also reasonably priced. After reading about two pages, I realized that Prof. Bernstein was articulating what I have been increasingly sensing over the last twenty years or so: that so called "neo-classical economics" are based on a series of false assumptions and only rarely describe how markets actually work. However, since their pronouncements can be used by corporations and the super-rich to accumulate more wealth (and feel virtuous at the same time) their largely unverified claims have become gospel constantly spouted throughout the media.

What Berstein does is examine the assumptions of those he calls "Your On Your Own" economists and the politicians who self-interestedly appropriate those economists' ideas to justify pro-corporate and pro-wealth market manipulations and contrast those with the more Kenyesian school of We're In This Together. In the war of acronyms, it's the YOYOs versus the WITTs. Berstein not only shows how the YOYO assumptions and theories are usually belied by actual economic performance, but he demonstrates why neoclassical or Keynsian economics becomes popular and powerful at a given time and why we are due (I would say overdue) for a change. His extreamly practical solutions to things like unemployment caused by globalization, ridiculously expensive healthcare, decaying infrastructure, and inequality in wealth and educational opportunity are both simple and cost effective. Does it mean higher taxes for corporations and the super-wealthy?
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Donald Cohen on May 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic!

In fact, this is the book that I've wanted to write for some time. Amidst, all the talk about 'framing', poll driven hand-wringing about progressives lacking vision, needing new ideas, etc., etc, this book cuts right to the chase and lays out a straitforward political vision (and by an economist, to boot!). It's well-written (with trademark Bernstein wit), simple and should be read by lots and lots of people. And this is the kind of book you can organize with. I could take this into any environment -- a union hall, church group, legislative session, even business groups -- and find heads nodding.

I'm going to make required reading and plan on distributing to many others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By redhawk on August 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
A good book to examine a contrasting philosophy to the "rugged individualist" ideals. He does get into data and graphs, from a high level, but admits that there is much more detail to be explained and worked out to put these plans in action. The book makes a case for sharing risk, as a nation, in areas like health-care, helping those hurt by globalization by putting the excess labor to good use through smart government programs (infrastructure, energy independence)and making sure everyones wages rise as our productivity and GNP expands. He contends, and indeed shows, that even as we have become more productive and expanded our economy, wages for most have stagnated. He contends that the middle class is powerless to stop it because the people with the money make the rules to benefit themselves through lobbying the government. Where he falls down (almost to 3 stars) is in his inability to be a little less biased. Of course, in a political book, you expect some bias, but he's a little much at times. When talking about the decline in the power of unions, for instance, he neglects to mention the unions themselves as being partially responsible through corruption and the same arrogance that those now in power have. The auto industry being a perfect example of powerful unions exerting power while turing out garbage then claiming "buy American". His discourse on the Hurricane Katrina aftermath being created by "YOYO" (you're on your own) philosphy is also a stretch. That had much more to do with the magnitude of the disaster, political bickering, and plain old incompetence by democratic and republican officials. He also has too much disdain for his political rivals to see where his best chance of success is.Read more ›
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