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on October 6, 2004
I've read just about everything there is to read in main stream economics. Although I've poured over the works of Hayek, Keynes, Marx, Smith, Ricardo, etc... this book touched me like no other.

The plain language of the mechanics of the devaluation of labor was sobering. Althought written in 1997, its message is even more relevant today. People working harder for less, buying into the free market myth, but living the reality.

The fact is capital moves much faster than most people can adapt. Forcing people to periodically start over again as jobs are lost. Such negative competition is assisting the small minority of anonymous large investors, but in the process also hollowing out the middle class. Forcing people to work several jobs, or incur debt simply to maintain their economic status. At some point the middle class will reach its limit and its decline will effect both the market and politics.

I highly recommend this book. It's insightful, well written, and thought provoking.
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on May 7, 2004
I agree with the main statement of the authors that today those who earn their living from work are coming out losers: shrinking wage growth, problematic pension and healthcare insurance coverage, decline in health and safety protection.
Keynes' ultimate nightmare has arrived: industrial capitalism has been replaced by financial capitalism.
This is reflected in corporate as well as governmental policies.
To hide actual tendencies corporate America has invented newspeak: displacement for firing or re-engineering for big lay-offs.
The workers are not only laid off, but even their Social Security System is privatized, offering huge management fees to financial institutions.
The policies of the Fed are purely financial, because bankers as creditors don't want te be paid back by inflated notes. It secures also an environment of high real intrest rates. But when the financial sector gets in trouble, it asks the government (all the tax payers) to step in, e.g. the bailout of the savings and loan industry.
The authors castigate rightly supply-side economics as a policy of lowering tax rates for the rich and at the same time as a money-raising vehicle for the GOP.
They show clearly that small businesses are not the cornerstone of job creation.
The position of the US work force is also beleaguered by powerful trends in world capitalism with the rise of India and China and their cheap labour force.
The authors prescribe sensible measures to reverse the trend: public investment (infrastructure), improved education and research and development.
But I don't believe that these measures can stop the immensely powerful shift that is taken place from the US/European markets to Asia. Ultimately, the economic world centre will be replaced by a new one, probably China.
A very revealing and necessary book. Not to be missed.
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on July 10, 2005
How ironic it is to go back to this book written in 1997 and see the entire dynamic of outsourcing and globalization analyzed before it became evident to the rest of us. Even today, however, it is not obsolete because they not only predicted the events but also demonstrated why globalization would have this consequence. They also provide a critical analysis of reengineering which demonstrated the technique as little more that an excuse for downsizing jobs and wages. Even now this book is a must read on globalization.
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on March 22, 2010
The central thesis of this book is that those who own capital, or who can control its allocation, are in a much better economic position than those who have to work for a living. Writing this book during the Clinton years, the authors were speaking with respect to the USA. It is now 13 years later, and their thesis still holds, except it is applicable to the entire world. The financial meltdowns across Asia and Latin America at the turn of the century, followed by crises in the USA and parts of the Middle East more recently have all underscored the power of capital over labor. Now, throughout the world, central banks and by extension, commercial banks, run the economies of nations, states and cities. My only complaint about this book is its minimal reference to the works of Karl Marx and Lenin, two individuals who foresaw much of what has happened after WWII.
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on July 16, 2014
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on April 11, 2000
The authors have got their premise correct, but in my opinion miss the point in their conclusion. Many of the chapters (especially the one on Bangalore) do not really come to grips with the point of the argument. The title is about the triumph of "Capital" and the betrayal of "Work", a tantalizing title and a true statement in this age. They failed to expand their argument and prove their point.
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