From Publishers Weekly
As Keynesianism has been surpassed by a resurgent free market ideology, many of the policies, institutions and regulations of the New Deal have been abandoned in favor of a more business-friendly orientation. Kuttner argues that these changes have further enriched the already wealthy at the expense of America's lower and middle classes, exacerbating inequality and systematically weakening the economy. The controversial American Prospect editor favors a form of soft capitalism, in which the vicissitudes of the market and the risk to which it exposes ordinary Americans are tempered by government intervention—or, as he colorfully puts it, public regulation of the market's self-cannibalizing tendencies. Bringing a wealth of historical knowledge to bear on the problems of financial regulation, Kuttner compares the causes of the Great Depression and other economic crises to behavior patterns evident in our market system today, with unfavorable conclusions. However, much of the argumentation may be too technical to hold the interest of a nonspecialist for very long. While some of Kuttner's statistics are dubious and some of his policy recommendations have been thoroughly and universally discredited (e.g., reregulation of the airline industry, bringing the Federal Reserve under presidential control), his book is a useful corrective to more extreme libertarian works. (Nov.)
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"The strength of Kuttner's latest effort is that, with seven years' distance from the Clinton era, his arguments now look emphatically right."
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--Noam Scheiber, The New York Times Book Review
"Kuttner has written a very important book."
--Alexander Zaitchik, The San Francisco Chronicle
"A scathing broadside aimed at the failures of laissez-faire American capitalism . . . Kuttner's unique talent is in cutting through the knee-jerk assumptions that have become orthodoxy in American policy debates."
"In this new and wise book Robert Kuttner walks among the wreckage strewn across the landscape by the fundamentalist ideology that took hold in Washington and says there is still hope of averting lasting economic calamity. But his message is clear: Hurry!"
"Robert Kuttner is a prophet whose time has come. This lucid, passionate, razor-sharp book carries a message as urgent as it is clarifying."
“Ten years ago, in Everything for Sale, Robert Kuttner powerfully demonstrated the difference between respect for markets and worship of markets. His new book is just as persuasive and powerfully argued. I hope that this time we heed the warnings, rather than living through the consequences of ignoring them again.”
"If I could assign one book to all the presidential candidates it would be this one. Robert Kuttner, perhaps the most insightful economic commentator in the country, has done it again."
"Robert Kuttner is the intellectual guru of our country’s New Progressive Era. The Squandering of America diagnoses our government’s illnesses and tells us how to cure them."
--Senator Sherrod Brown
"The Squandering of America brilliantly explains how we once created a cooperative and equitable prosperity, how that economy was captured by a financial elite, and how to reclaim America's economic and political
“If you want to understand why America’s prosperity, power and prestige are under siege, read The Squandering of America. This is more than a fine book; it is an education for the tumultuous times that lie ahead.”
“In The Squandering of America, Bob Kuttner tells the story that the financial elites and free-market ideologues would rather not be told: that broad prosperity and economic security, once the foundation of our middle-class economy, are disappearing as quickly as the polar ice caps.
--Senator Byron Dorgan
"In a time of great commotion in American politics and economics, no one connects the dots more clearly or wisely than Robert Kuttner. This is must reading for anyone who wishes to understand why they are feeling so anxious about the economy."