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The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity Kindle Edition

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

New York Times Bestseller
 
“The ideas in the book have a hook you won’t forget.... In Jeff’s hands, the millstone of opportunity around our necks becomes an adventure, something doable and achievable.”
—Bono
 
“A useful contribution to the conversation we must have in order to make informed political choices in the years ahead.”
The Wall Street Journal
 
“An important assessment of what ails America, and a must-read for policymakers.”
Kirkus Reviews
 
This is the latest in a spate of books provoked by the world economic crisis and one of the best.... He is a fine economist and statistician, and if you want to stockpile facts and arguments for radical advocacy, this is the book for you.”
The Guardian
 
“An important book.... The sheer sweep of his analysis...flouts the boundaries of economics to encompass politics, psychology and moral philosophy.”
Financial Times

“The author’s straightforward exposition, buttressed by a wealth of revealing tables and charts, sharply rebuts reigning free market orthodoxies and makes a compelling case for an activist state that redistributes wealth and makes life fairer and more productive for everyone. . . . His stimulating, staunchly progressive take on America’s dysfunctions is a must-read for every concerned citizen.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Praise for Jeffrey Sachs:
"Jeffrey Sachs is that rare phenomenon: an academic economist famous for his theories about why some countries are poor and others rich, and also famous for his successful practical work in helping poor countries become richer."
— Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse

About the Author

JEFFREY D. SACHS is the Director of The Earth Institute and professor of health policy and management at Columbia University. He is also special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From 2002-2006, he was Director of the UN Millennium Project, which set global goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease and hunger by 2015. He was among TIME's 100 most influential leaders in 2004 and 2005. He is the author of many books and articles, including Common Wealth and The End of Poverty, both of which were international bestsellers. He is one of the leading voices calling for economic development that is in line with environmental sustainabilty.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6214 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (October 4, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 4, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004KPM1FS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,903 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

245 of 259 people found the following review helpful By Tiger CK on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In the Price of Civilization Jeffrey Sachs makes a powerful call for significant changes in the way the U.S. government manages the economy. According to Sachs, an economics professor at Columbia University, Washington has not devised policies that meet the challenge of globalization. Rather than investing in education and infrastructure, as many Asian countries have during the last twenty years, they have resorted to popular short-term stimulus measures such as cutting taxes and reducing interest rates. These problems have been exacerbated by lobbyists whose influence over Republicans and Democrats has made meaningful change impossible.

Sachs argues that the best solution for these problems is for Washington to move toward a "mixed economy" in which a more effective government plays a larger role in regulating businesses. He believes that the current problems in the American economy are structural and not short-term. With the Republicans and Democrats both seeking solutions that will prop up the economy for a year or two rather than address the structural issues, the United States is on the wrong course and not likely to return to the levels of prosperity it previously enjoyed. These problems can only be solved if the government makes a long-term commitment to investing in industry in part by raising taxes on the wealthy and reducing the growing gap between the rich and poor.

The Price of Civilization is divided into two sections. The first section covers The Great Crash and gives a thoroughly detailed description of the mistakes made by American elected officials. He critiques free market capitalism as well as those politicians who have blamed big government for the United States' difficulties in meeting the challenges of globalization.
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92 of 99 people found the following review helpful By R. Sampson on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In "The Price of Civilization" Jeffrey Sachs, one of the top economists specializing in poor and developing countries, turns his attention to the problems facing the United States, a task that he finds himself "deeply surprised and unnerved" to have to undertake.

Sachs is a strong proponent of the "mixed economy" and argues that while the free market works in most cases, it cannot be expected to solve all problems by itself. Government has a crucial role, and Sachs lists three primary goals: efficiency, fairness, and sustainability. In order to achieve these things, government must provide services like regulation, redistribution of income to protect the most vulnerable, and investment in public goods like infrastructure and basic scientific research.

Sachs argues that, beginning with the Reagan administration, the U.S. government has increasingly abandoned this role, and has been more and more subject to capture by corporations and the wealthy elite. As a result of this, and of a distracted consumption-focused population, policy makers have underestimated the impact of globalization and failed to make the necessary investments and adaptations to insure the country's success in the future.

Sachs' prescriptions include increased public investment, especially in education, and a dramatic reduction in military expenditure. He also argues convincingly throughout the book that marginal taxes on the wealthy should be increased, as the rich are not paying their fair share of the "price of civilization."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whether you are from the left or the right, Democrat or Republican, this is the book you must read to understand America. It is extraordinary because it is completely understandable. There is no jargon. This is a totally understandable narrative of what America is facing today and what we as concerned citizens can do about it.
Any undergraduate in college can tell you that economics is more about advanced mathematics than anything else. Warren Buffett, America's most famous investor will tell you that if he needed calculus to make investments, he'd still be delivering newspapers in Omaha. What Sachs has done is come at us with the truth, the unvarnished, unfiltered, objective truth as he sees it.

He pulls no punches and makes no pretense at protecting anyone else's feelings and reputation. He admits voting for Obama, and then tells us why the President has failed us miserably. He will vote for Obama next time as well, but he doesn't mind making point after point why the current programs in effect and proposed can't possibly work. His analysis and conclusions are impeccable. There's no bias here. This is the information you and I as citizens of the Great Republic desperately need and we are not getting it anywhere else.

Mass media wastes our time with the same old recycled nonsense from both sides of the aisle, but not Harvard trained Jeffery Sachs. He comes right at us and tells us that Washington gives us gimmicks after gimmicks when we need long term planning that makes sense. He is absolutely straight forward when he informs us that the millions of jobs lost to China through globalization are GONE FOREVER. The problem is structural unemployment and nobody in the government has attacked it.
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