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America: What Went Wrong? Paperback – January 1, 1992
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Several pressing topics not included in Phillip's book are discussed here. "Net operating loss" is perhaps the most egregious method of transferring wealth upward. This highly biased tax allowance allows struggling companies to write off last year's net operating loss on this year's tax bill, forcing taxpayers to pay for operating losses incurred by private sector firms. Similarly, Chapter 11 bankruptcies allow indigent firms to continue operating with present management but immune from creditors. The net effect of both measures is to lessen risk and encourage reckless speculation, thereby undermining long-term market health. Included in the book are other degenerate measures deriving largely from the 1980's: Deduction of interest from corporate borrowing, Tax-free government bonds (deriving from early 1900's), Untaxed stock transactions, et.al. The overall result is to transfer the tax burden from wealthy categories to middle-cass brackets.Read more ›
Can't wait to see Bartlett and Steele's latest work: What Went Wrong: The Betrayal of the American Dream. They're working with the Investigative Reporting Workshop of the American University School of Communications. Bartlett and Steele are true examples of what used to sell papers--smart, in-depth reporting that never flinched.
David L. Bartlett and James B. Steele are Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporters for the `Philadelphia Inquirer' who documented this war on America's middle class [those who are salaried and work year round]. This book is the expanded version of articles printed in October 1991 (`Acknowledgments'). This 227 page paperback has ten chapters, an `Epilogue', `Notes on Sources', a list of House and Senate members, and an `Index'. The wage and salary structure of business and Federal tax policies are leading to a two-class society (`Prologue'). The top 4% earn as much as the bottom half of US workers in 1989. [Is it any better today?] This was due to the tax policies of the 1980s (p.xii). The authors use income to define the "middle class" (p.xiiii). Their standard of living is falling due to "structural problems". Interest payments on the national debt transfers parts of your paycheck to the wealthy (p.xvi).
Chapter 1 tells how the earnings of the rich greatly increased during the 1980s while the wages of the middle class barely kept up with inflation. Corporations are closing plants and discharging workers in the USA sending jobs out of the county (Chapter 2). Laws allow US corporations to deduct interest payments on borrowed money so they pay less in taxes. Ordinary people have to pay more (Chapter 3). The changed bankruptcy law in 1978 allowed corporate borrowing and leveraged buyouts (Chapter 4). Mismanagement lead to bankruptcy and a loss of jobs and pensions for their workers. Chapter 5 tells how outsourcing a business leads to lower taxes, a benefit for corporate owners. Deregulation was followed by failures of over-extended businesses, such as trucking, airlines, and savings and loans banks (Chapter 6).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is absolutely the BEST book I have ever read on the sorry state of American business and how it relates to economics and domestic policy. I refer it to all my clients. Read morePublished 4 months ago by M. G. Flynn
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the genesis of our current economic and societal problems. Read morePublished 5 months ago by nancy J
Well researched and supported by anecdotal explanations of the impact upon the rank, file, and middle class of America. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Douglas L. Phipps
Every American should read this book to see where all the jobs, and the technology, and the money, went. Too bad that it's not available on electronic devices like the Kindle. Read morePublished 18 months ago by jimcgreevy
Coming on the heels of the longest peace-time expansion in U.S. history and concurrent with one of the mildest recessions in recent times, Bartlett and Steele cobbled together a... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Chris Huston
Written by a pair of seasoned investigative newspaper journalists in the early 1980's ( we don't have those kind of folks anymore ). Read morePublished 22 months ago by D. Nils Helppi
Great book filled with information everyone should be aware of to be informed of the workings of the government behind the scenesPublished on February 28, 2013 by D.H.
Prescient in many, many ways. Reading this book, published in 1992 reads like it is a 2013 NYTimes best seller. Read morePublished on February 20, 2013 by dbcopper
Excellent research goes into this book explaining the decline of the middle class in America. Please read and vote for your representatives who understand the importance of a... Read morePublished on December 29, 2012 by Randi Wickliff