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Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries) Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is structured around the author's answers to real questions from real people, which I greatly appreciated, having asked many of those questions myself and never before received a satisfactory answer. Crunch is truly inspirational - not only do we all have the ability to understand complex economic principles, but we have the power to see through media hype and make our own decisions about the best policies to get our flailing economy back on track.
One of the things I loved about this book is that it explains economic principles--as well as the motives of those who try to misrepresent them for their own purposes--in terms a non-economist can understand. I feel like I got an in on the knowledge that the experts had been hoarding for themselves. One of Bernstein's key arguments is that economics is about power, and in sharing this information he gives power back to those of us without PhDs in Economics.
Another thing I really liked is that this book doesn't stop with what's wrong. The author offers insights about and suggestions for how we can change to work through really big economic problems like health care, social security, and globalization.
He explains why much of today's economic policy is little more than rationalized greed. In particular how the Federal Reserve Board's hiking of interest rates when labor markets get tight is great for the large investor class, (lowers wages by increasing the number of unemployed in a slowed economy), but hammers working people.
I also enjoyed the explanation of the "education myth", how it is naive to think the 70% of the population that does not attend college should somehow do so and all will be well. The author pointed out this is an easy way for the free market apologists to place the blame for gross inequality on "other people"...if only they would do this, or that, they could live worthwhile lives. Right. The devaluing of others labor and the addiction of American business to cheap labor in general is an age old sport.
Mr. Bernstein seems to enjoy poking fun at the free market zealots and economists who think all will be well for everyone through the magic of the market place. As if greed and injustice do not exist. This "Easter Bunny/Santa Claus" economic approach is ripped by the author and I loved every single line. Finally someone from Washington with the guts to tell it like it is.
This was just a great book. Easy to read, and gets to the heart of real issues impacting average Americans. I loved it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't know much about economics, but hope to learn more, thus listening to the Crunch CDs.
I am caught by the seeming contradictions that Bernstein throws out. Read more
At last someone has written a lucid explanation of the American middle class's financial stagnation. Read morePublished on February 7, 2010 by Rolf Dobelli
This is a fantastic book. It is written for a layperson audience - an aim towards which it is extremely successful. Read morePublished on May 5, 2009 by Hans G. Despain
If I believed in book burning--this would be on the top of the heap!
I listened to this book on CD. Read more
For people who know little about economics, this is a useful introduction written in clear, simple language. Read morePublished on March 14, 2009 by Alan A. Elsner
The "bad news" about "Crunch" is that it is a collection of poorly thought out, sometimes inconsistent, economic ideas. The worse news is that the author, Jared Bernstein, is V.P. Read morePublished on March 10, 2009 by Loyd Eskildson
My Dad and I have been having this running debate about the direction the world is going. I say better, he says worse, and we never seem to come to any consensus. Read morePublished on September 10, 2008 by Joshua Kim
Let's start by understanding that Dr. Bernstein is not an economist. His Ph.D. is actually in the area of Social Welfare. And that tells us a lot about this book. Read morePublished on September 7, 2008 by Kenneth D. Gartrell