Brandeis University professor and Clinton labor secretary Reich may be vertically challenged, but he's never been short on ideas. In this brief analysis of what's gone wrong in the U.S. for ordinary citizens, Reich offers a straightforward argument. Our astonishing economic growth after World War II, he maintains, grew out of a social contract: (a) anyone who wants a job should have one; (b) those who work should earn enough to lift themselves and their families out of poverty; and (c) all Americans should have access to an education. This social contract has collapsed over decades of social Darwinism; it needs to be restored. Reich examines the roles of business (it does
have civic responsibilities), government (addressing the broadening income--and wealth--gap between rich and poor is high on its list of responsibilities), and education (it's the heart of the problem). A true "family values" agenda, he urges, needs to address the problems of millions of families living from paycheck to paycheck, not thousands of families worried about "the death tax." Denial, escapism, and resignation, Reich maintains, are the main obstacles to rebuilding a decent working society. A punchy, pragmatic, articulate statement of the basic goals of progressive reform. Mary CarrollCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Reich is a big thinker and a great writer. --Nancy Folbre, The Washington Post
"Reich has a talent for mastering economic and social complexities and making them easy for the layperson to grasp." --Daniel Akst, The Wall Street Journal
"Reich writes in ways unusual for an economist; he is self-effacing, witty and more interested in exploring the world's complexities than in uncovering unvarying laws." --Alan Wolfe, The New York Times Book Review