From Publishers Weekly
Thornton Parker qualifies as an expert on the big economic picture as well as the current state of the stock market and his prognosis for the millions of soon-to-retire baby boomers is grim. In What If Boomers Can't Retire?: How to Build Real Security, Not Phantom Wealth, Parker carefully and clearly lays out his argument for moving capital from speculative investments with inflated worth to productive, long-term investments. He also argues against the privatization of Social Security. Although timely and informative, the book may overwhelm novices with its detai. $50,000 marketing budget.
From Library Journal
Parker, who has worked for the Department of Commerce and the Executive Office of the President, focuses on retirement plans and investing in stocks to solve the ongoing Social Security problem. He defines phantom wealth as "the returns from corporate stocks that are based on market prices" as opposed to real wealth that is based on "work, earnings, and solid accomplishments, instead of just hopes." The author cautions against setting up retirement plans based on a structure of phantom wealth that depends on stock prices; inflated stock prices may help some individuals, but it can, according to the author, distort the economy and hurt society as a whole. He recommends creating real wealth as well as reconsidering and reestablishing "values, goals, and ways of thinking about living, aging, investing, and running companies." The author recommends specific strategies designed for individuals, including baby boomers, their parents, and the younger generation. Rather than just offering a how-to list, Parker discusses extensively how organizations, individuals, and the country as a whole should "think more deeply about values and goals than they usually do." The bibliographical references and glossary are also helpful. This thought-provoking work is recommended primarily for public libraries. Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, NY
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