- Unknown Binding
- Publisher: Vintage (January 1, 2008)
- ASIN: B001UVZKYE
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
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Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life (V Unknown Binding – January 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Fast forward to 2007, capitalism is thriving and democracy is sputtering. Why has capitlism become supercapitalism and democracy become enfeebled? Reich explains that it was a combination of things: deregulation, globe spanning computer networks, better transportation, etc. The changes were mainly a result of technological breakthroughs; unlike many leftists, he is not conspiratorial thinker. The winner of this great transformation was the consumer/investor and the loser was the citizen/wage earner. The consumer has more choices than ever before and at reasonable prices. The investor has unprecedented opportunities to make profits. The citzen, however, is not doing well. The average citizen does not have much voice - other than voting - in the body politic. And on the wage earner has been stagnating for many years. The most salient illustration of this trend is Walmart. Walmart delivers the goods at low prices, but the trade-off is low wages for their employees.Read more ›
He was fortunate enough to have been born in the right place at the right time (as well as being of the preferred race and sex).
His grandson, Jared, Joanie's son, is 25, has three years of college education, works very hard (about 60 hours per week), lives with his mother and will probably never be able to afford the home and lifestyle experienced by his grandfather.
While the US GDP has grown rapidly, the benefits of the process are not readily visible to Jared - or millions of other young people like him.
Supercapitalism does an excellent job of explaining what has happened to the US economy - and why Jared is having a harder time than his grandfather.
While the term 'fair and balanced' is overused by parts of the media, this book is actually 'fair and balanced'!
Rather than bashing corporations - and corporate executives - Reich points out that they should be expected to do what they do - provide the best products at the lowest prices for consumers and provide a competitive return for stockholders.
He also says that we, as citizens, should become more actively involved in making decisions that are in the best interest of our country.
Reich discusses a major roadblock for citizens to overcome when he notes, "But the largest impediment to reform is one brazen fact: Many politicians and lobbyists want to continue to extort money from the private sector. That's how politicians keep their hold on power and lobbyists keep their hold on money."
Supercapitalism presents a clear analysis of why we are where we are - and a call to action for citizens to become more involved in promoting the common good.
It's not due to some large conspiracy or any hidden political agenda as much as it is driven by consumption. Ultimately Reich argues that it robs the common citizen of any control over democracy. It's not surprising that this is a highly charged issue because the economics of what benefits society (or "the common good" as Reich calls it)often gets tangled up in the web of politics. Reich also points out that the cost of supercompetitiveness, constantly falling prices is a loss to the economic and social health of America. Reich points out that everyone wants to get the lowest price possible but he also suggests that we must balance that with our desire to have decent wages and benefits. He also points out that the move towards regulation was initiated by government and that corporations went along because it kept out competition and guaranteed a top and bottom for prices allowing companies to get a profit without fear of cutting prices so low that it would put them out of business.
I should point out that this is an oversimplification of Reich's points but it does capture some of the concepts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is excellent! I wish I had read it when it first emerged. The message is still timely and important, and
I encourage others to read it. Read more
Promptly delivered. Well packaged. Interesting read. Thanks.Published 9 months ago by Arnold A. Coons, Jr.
Econ. Professor Robert Reich is well known by those who are interesting in microeconomics as applied to our economy. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Gerald M. Sutliff
Helpful in terms of understanding from where we have come and where we SHOULD go.Published 14 months ago by Carl Demarco