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The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive [Kindle Edition]

Dean Baker
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Progressives need a fundamentally new approach to politics. They have been losing not just because conservatives have so much more money and power, but also because they have accepted the conservatives’ framing of political debates. They have accepted a framing where conservatives want market outcomes whereas liberals want the government to intervene to bring about outcomes that they consider fair. This puts liberals in the position of seeming to want to tax the winners to help the losers. This "loser liberalism" is bad policy and horrible politics. Progressives would be better off fighting battles over the structure of markets so that they don't redistribute income upward. This book describes some of the key areas where progressives can focus their efforts in restructuring the market so that more income flows to the bulk of the working population rather than just a small elite.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1541 KB
  • Print Length: 172 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Center for Economic and Policy Research; 1 edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005KV35PQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,367 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas, some duds February 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. I thought he could have done more to explain why "loser liberalism" is a loser. The idea that obsessing solely with the tax code is a bad idea is probably true, but I'm not sure if he convinced me of that with this book. My other issue is that he complains about some of the current parts of the progressive agenda as being losers but then he offers some ideas that I felt were sort of on the small side compared to how big our problems seem to be. The example I will use is his discussion of work sharing programs as a solution to unemployment problems. It just seemed depressing to me that that might be the best answer we have to sustained unemployment. Of course, he has many other ideas as well and on the whole he makes a good case. I just felt at some times that when you attack the current progressive project as a "loser" you better come with the big guns or you just seem to be re-arranging the deck chairs on the titanic. Definitely worth a read if you are interested in ideas about how to get outside of the current deadlocked debates.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent September 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dean Baker, co-director at CEPR, publishes the blog "Beat the Press." In BTP, Mr. Baker susses out poor reporting and faulty conventional wisdom regarding economic issues. This book, to my mind, both continues that good work and expands the frame.

Mr. Baker provides an intellectual blueprint for progressives. He argues, convincingly, that conservatives have dominated the economic policy debate. Progressives, on the other hand, have largely capitulated due to their misunderstanding regarding and acceptance of right-wing frameworks. For every liberal who's wondered aloud "how come we keep losing when our ideas are better," Mr. Baker provides the answer.

The book is unabashedly partisan and, thus, not likely to successfully convert anyone. But that appears to be the point. To counter what he sees as an all-out attack on middle- and working-class groups, Mr. Baker provides the best kind of polemic: smart, tough and based on sound economic fundamentals.

Expect conservatives to angrily respond in knee-jerk fashion. But can they counter Mr. Baker's logic and empirical evidence? Unlikely.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hobo Philosopher September 30, 2012
The End of Loser Liberalism

By Dean Baker

Book Review

By Richard Edward Noble

Dean Baker is an economist. He earned his B. A. from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is currently co-director of The Center for Economic and Policy Research.

He has written a bunch of books. I downloaded this one for free. It is the first book by Mr. Baker that I have read but it won't be the last.

Dean Baker calls himself a liberal progressive. Of late I have been referring to myself as a "progressive." Mr. Baker is far more progressive than I am. He's another "idea" man. And he does have ideas. At some points in this book I was laughing openly. Not at Mr. Baker but at his unique ability to turn the tables upside down and backwards on the smart crowd.

What a book this is!

The simplicity of many of his ideas makes a reader wonder why he never thought such things.

Mr. Baker is a free market man ... I think. But he takes these free market principles and turns them back onto the hands and heads that have been feeding them to us all for these many confusing years. He makes an art of "quid pro quo."

How many times have all of us worker types heard the sorrowful whine, But what can I do? The free market dictates.

When our paychecks are cut, it's the free market competition. When we lose our jobs it free market competition. When they close down the plant and take it overseas, it's the free market Global economy. When they take our home, it is simply the free market at work. When we can't afford medical care, it is once again a simple matter of free market competition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From an Economics major... May 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From an Economics major, this was a fun read. I don't agree with everything he has to say (though a fan of Mr. Baker), but be puts his arguments in an eloquently fun manner. He doesn't push on an agenda, but more of a "get off your ass" type of argument. He has a lot of fun debunking "free market fundamentalists" and gives a good amount of footnotes. Albeit, personally, I would have enjoyed a bit more empirical evidence in his arguments and more footnotes to specific data. But again, good book. Especially for the common individual who is not beefy in their economics. If you want the free edition, look at his website.
I definitely recommend this book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone in the 99 Percent should read this June 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dean Baker--the first economist to spot the housing bubble and the danger it posed to the American economy--here gives a clearly written introduction to the current economic crisis and the long-term government policies that have the effect of enriching the One Percent at the expense of everyone else. Baker makes an overwhelming case that progressives interested in lessening inequality need to broaden their focus beyond the tax-and-spend issues that usually dominate political debates about the economy, and work to change federal policy in areas ranging from the Federal Reserve to currency rates, from financial regulation to patents and copyrights. His central message is that we need to understand how the economic game if we're to have any chance of winning--and I can't think of a better place to begin an economic education.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This book is an excellent example of progressive policies that make use of the market, rather than resisting it or attempting to impose an alternative logic. Read more
Published 9 months ago by HonestBill
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and much-needed alternative dialogue for progressives, even...
Not too long ago, I was watching the news with a family member and there was a story about inequality. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Battling the Giants
Five stars for being there and doing the analysis of hard choices

There are many stories linked together in this work. Read more
Published 18 months ago by wsmrer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fair Reading
Interesting ideas about how contemporary liberal policies and programs have failed to hit the target. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Gregory B. Stolcis
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed
I went into this book with some skepticism, thinking that it would be an anti-market screed. I was pleasantly surprised that from the first chapter Baker actually mounts a defense... Read more
Published 23 months ago by billysixstring
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of good information and ideas
Baker gives many examples of how the economic board has been tilted towards the rich (mortgage deduction, SS caps, long term patents, lobbyists and subsidies, BoD/CEO mutual... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Keith Noren
4.0 out of 5 stars 98%er's- Progress Forward
Very informative. Gives one a new way of looking at the political rhetoric. Can the general public comprehend these ideas? Now is the time !
Published 23 months ago by Gary Turner
4.0 out of 5 stars Great summary of how income gets distributed upward
The title does not really describe the value of this book. For me it is a wonderful explanation of how the well-to-do and powerful bend the system to their advantage by adjusting... Read more
Published on January 8, 2013 by Douglas Willey
1.0 out of 5 stars Pages falling out of the boom
Though I bought this book "new" I was more than a little dismayed when i opened it and the first few pages literally started falling out of the binding. Read more
Published on January 1, 2013 by John G Buscher
5.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism and How to Fix It!
An excellent book, not just for liberal, but for everyone who wants to know how many of our financial problems came to be, and how to fix them. Read more
Published on October 17, 2012 by Bill B
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More About the Author

Dean Baker has written extensively on the bubble economy over the last decade and was one of the first economists to recognize the stock and housing bubbles and explicitly warn of the risk of their collapse. Previously a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and a consultant to the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. Baker now co-directs the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. His blog at American Prospect, 'Beat the Press,' features commentary on economic reporting. In addition to Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy (PoliPointPress, 2008), he has written The United States Since 1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer (Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2006). His columns have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Guardian, American Prospect, and Truthout. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.


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