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The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West [Kindle Edition]

Paul Craig Roberts , Hudson Atwell , Ryan McCullough , Johannes Maruschzik
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.95
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Book Description

This very readable book by a distinguished economist, Wall Street Journal editor, and Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury is a major challenge both to economic theory and to media explanations of the ongoing 21st century economic crisis. The one percent have pulled off an economic and political revolution. By offshoring manufacturing and professional service jobs, US corporations destroyed the growth of consumer income, the basis of the US economy, leaving the bulk of the population mired in debt. Deregulation was used to concentrate income and wealth in fewer hands and financial firms in corporations “too big to fail,” removing financial corporations from market discipline and forcing taxpayers in the US and Europe to cover bankster losses. Environmental destruction has accelerated as economists refuse to count the exhaustion of nature’s resources as a cost and as corporations impose the cost of their activities on the environment and on third parties who do not share in the profits. This is the book to read for those who want to understand the mistakes that are bringing the West to its knees.

Editorial Reviews


"The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism is fearless. It transcends Roberts' illustrious career and prior works of intellectual and practical analysis." NOMI PRINS

"In his inimitable way, Roberts describes how the rhetorical patter talk about free-markets is a cover story for the horror of an extractive asset-stripping operation by publicly supported private banks and the governments that they control." MICHAEL HUDSON

"Clearly, this empirically based, theoretically challenging book is one of the most important works of our time." Johannes Maruschzik, Preface to the German Edition

About the Author

is former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury in the Reagan administration, associate editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Business Week. He served as Senior Research Fellow at Hoover Institution, and Stanford, and held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at Georgetown University. Dr. Roberts has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions and was awarded the US Treasury's Meritorious Service Award for "outstanding contributions to the formulation of US economic policy”. He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, and Oxford.

Product Details

  • File Size: 722 KB
  • Print Length: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Atwell Publishing; 1 edition (February 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,018 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
134 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collapse Overtakes The West March 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The Failure Of Laissez Faire Capitalism And Economic Dissolution Of The West by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts - formerly Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy - is a fundamentally important work about the dramatic changes that are taking place in the US and world economies. For this reason, I translated the book into German in the spring of 2012 for its publication by Weltbuch (Dresden) in July 2012 (German title 'Wirtschaft am Abgrund - Der Zusammenbruch der Volkswirtschaften und das Scheitern der Globalisierung'). Economic and political developments during the past year have given the book even greater significance.

Roberts describes the social, political, and economic dispossession that is occurring throughout the West. The citizens in the Western democracies are being forced into acceptance of the agenda of a small oligarchy of powerful private interests. The "free" media, "democratic" governments, and most economists serve the ruling private interests. Let's face it: Private power can be just as abusive as public power. The worst-case scenario is when both are working hand in hand, what, in fact, is happening in the Western democracies today.

Economic theory based on "empty world" economics cannot deal with the problems of a "full world" economy. A mistaken understanding of free trade has blinded the West to its economic erosion by jobs offshoring--labor arbitrage that substitutes lower paid foreign labor for the higher wages in developed countries, with the result that Western economies are deprived of employment opportunities, tax base, and real GDP growth.

Contrary to government claims and media reports, the U.S. economy is still in a recession. A real recovery is not in sight.
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94 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economics for a Full World March 5, 2013
By hd
Format:Kindle Edition
Review by Herman Daly, Emeritus Professor, University of Maryland

Dr. Roberts was educated at Georgia Tech, University of Virginia, UC Berkeley, and Oxford University. He was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury in the Reagan Administration, associate editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and holder of the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at Georgetown University. His honors also include the US Treasury's Meritorious Service Award, and France's Legion of Honor.

As evident from this description, Paul Craig Roberts writes from a very solid establishment background in academic political economy, financial journalism, and high public office. His radical critique of today's economics and public policy will no doubt be surprising to some, but it is based on impressive knowledge and experience, as well on an irresistibly convincing honesty. He did not inherit his present understanding of political economy, but developed it through study and experience, with openness to the persuasive power of facts, and willingness to question economic dogmas of both the right and the left.

The book is of special interest to ecological economists, not only for the explicit and insightful support his reasoning gives us, but also for the larger financial and political context in which he places steady-state economics. Although written mainly from a US perspective, the book includes a very clear and informative explanation of the European crisis.
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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read March 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
There are very few voices in the West today with the independence, courage, critical thinking and analytical abilities necessary to see through the phantasms of organized deceit which have been perpetrated by powerful private interest groups and their servants in government, academia and media, and expose the simple truth. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is one such voice, and The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is a big serving of realism.

Deregulated capitalism did not create the Mecca prophesied by libertarians and neoliberals, but instead instability, insecurity, and the dissolution of the middle class. Those who mistakenly believed that markets are self-regulating failed to realize simple truths that govern the real world: 1) selfishness, greed, and evil always exist, 2) private power is no better than public power, and 3) power abhors a vacuum.

When the government is not powerful enough to restrain greedy self-serving private interests, those private interests co-opt and assimilate the government - in effect becoming the government. The result is an oligarchy of crony capitalism, not a libertarian free market. If markets are not embedded in society so that they serve a social purpose for all, they will be monopolized by private interests, leading to instability and insecurity.

In his book False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism, John Gray reaches the same conclusion as Roberts. Gray shows that free unregulated markets are not natural and are only created by government coercion in the service of private interests or an ideology. It is regulated markets that grow up naturally.

Anyone can have 20/20 vision in hindsight.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars First, I confess I did not finish the book ...
First, I confess I did not finish the book, because once I 'get' the point, I tend to move on to something else. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Andre Makovsky
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Don't try to argue economics and financial policy fallacy without having read this book.
Published 22 days ago by I. C. Onur
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Interesting read
Published 1 month ago by Robert
4.0 out of 5 stars Devastating Consequences of Globalism
Very well researched book. Most of the book is about outsourcing and globalism and its consequences. It was a bit of a long read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dexter
5.0 out of 5 stars an eye opener
This book opens your eye to fact that you have never thought of . Written in simple English that help you to understand complex economic issues .
Published 4 months ago by Hattan J. Zahid
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by Louis Beshara
5.0 out of 5 stars must read book....
must read the one percent screw the other 99 percent and kills the country
Published 4 months ago by Roger Gauthier
1.0 out of 5 stars Statist Tool
"The biggest mistake that libertarians make is the way they view government and private sectors. Read more
Published 4 months ago by oortcloud
4.0 out of 5 stars I've seen a couple interviews with this man and as ...
I've seen a couple interviews with this man and as a financial expert (Roberts) he says some scary things about what goes on in banking and government, but in some other... Read more
Published 5 months ago by David E. Craddock
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the book
Enjoyed the book, Paul clearly interconnects globalization, labor movement and capital flow across the national boundaries and what opportunities this presents to the corporations... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ujjwal Subedi
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