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The Unaffordable Nation: Searching for a Decent Life in America Paperback – May 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159102515X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591025153
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,355,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jeffrey Jones digs deep into the American political psyche to find a moral basis for the dissatisfaction many middle-class Americans feel with their economic circumstances. In this very accessible book, Jones articulates a public philosophy of reward for labor — the Covenant on Affordability — connecting it to a decent life .... he pulls together a striking range of references, from William Graham Sumner to contemporary credit card debt, to yield a unique and original analysis of our current economic and political malaise."
LAWRENCE BLUM
Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education and
Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts—Boston

"A thoughtful, scholarly look at the morality behind America's betrayal of work."
ANYA KAMENETZ, author of Generation Debt

About the Author

Jeffrey Jones, J.D., Ph.D. (Portland, OR), is an assistant professor of law at the Lewis and Clark Law School and an employment attorney for Barran Liebman LLP, both in Portland, Oregon. He holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Formerly, he worked as an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts and was also a postdoctoral scholar at Boston University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
THE UNAFFORDABLE NATION: SEARCHING FOR A DECENT LIFE IN AMERICA addresses concerns over the affordability of a decent life in America, and should be a part of any high school to college-level library strong in American social issues. In an era where even two incomes often isn't enough to make ends meet, the country is fast becoming an unaffordable nation by those who struggle in the middle and see their families falling to the poorer end of the economic sale - and THE UNAFFORDABLE NATION addresses these problems, offering plenty of opportunity for debate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Audrey Williams on November 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
The author posits that there is an unwritten social contract between labor and business that promises that hard work will pay off in the ability to afford a decent life. The author's take was that when non-managerial wages generally drop below the living wage then trouble is a-brewing.

The book starts out with an attempt to show that the definition of a "decent life" is not as amorphous as it sounds, then continues on with details about the social contract. Basically the social contract involves laborers' duty to work hard, and in return business should provide a living wage.

I thought it was actually a pretty well-rounded book, and not rabidly pro-worker like it could have been. It was pretty realistic about the nature of modern global economics. It didn't come off as some socialist diatribe, like you would expect from the title. The writing style was really academic, though.
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By R. Le on September 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Professor Jones addresses the current issues of our time and our world. Economics, philosophy and issues of globalization are several ways Jones helps us understand the changing times for life in America. It was personal to me because it helped me articulate some of my own questions regarding my career and obligations to society in a changing world.
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