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Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People Paperback – November 14, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dean Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). He is the author of The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. He also has a blog, "Beat the Press," where he discusses the media's coverage of economic issues. Jared Bernstein is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he focuses on fiscal policies, income inequality and mobility, the analysis of financial and housing markets, and of course, full employment. From 2009 to 2011, Bernstein was the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Center for Economic & Policy Research (November 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615918352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615918358
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bernstein and Baker lay out the answers in this book.

If you have a capitalist society, you are not yoked necessarily to the idea that the current version of capitalism is the one that is necessary, right, and the only way possible. You can have capitalism with a human face where workers are not fighting for crumbs.

The point of this book is that the current upwardly distributing system is the logical conclusion to policy decisions that were made already. Different, more equitable policy decisions can be made. These include raiding the minimum wage, targeting a lower "Natural" unemployment level, and going for weak dollar policies to help boosts exports relative to imports.

This is a short book, basically a long white paper, but it is an important book. I suppose that is why they are distributing it at cost. I read it in an evening over the long weekend, and I nodded my head to their words. It needs to be in the hands of policy makers, as soon as possible.

A couple of notes. The only thing that troubles me is the idea of weakening the currency (70). It is not an issue that it should be done, but that others can make moves to offset your moves because currency's values are relative to each other. That and you don't want to be labeled a currency manipulator on President Romney's first day in office. The second thing that gets me is that there is a cover design implying an attack on a certain company that isn't followed through fully in the text. I kept waiting for it, and it never came. I have to admit to liking take-downs of the beast from Bensonville.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The authors lay out a well reasoned case based on considerable historical data why full employment should be a top national priority. With continued high unemployment, middle class stagnation and shrinkage, and growing wealth and income inequality, measures to promote full employment are especially vital. The authors detail specific steps that would need to be taken to bring this about. These include addressing the trade imbalance and more public investment in jobs. Political conservatives, with their current obsession with budget deficits, will undoubtedly disagree. Unfortunately, their prescription of austerity measures will only increase unemployment and slow growth while the top 1 percent will continue to do very well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a clear, well-written book that makes a strong case for full employment policies. It is well researched with a number of references to scholarly sources, but it is intended for a general audience. I am not an economist and had no difficulty understanding the book's main arguments. The many benefits of a full employment economy are explained as are the policies that are needed to establish and sustain full employment. The authors make a strong case that a commitment to full employment is absolutely essential to solving America's economic and social problems. Although the book is brief (can be read in a couple of hours) every page contains valuable insights and practical ideas. It is a book that makes one feel hopeful about the future because it offers sensible answers to the many problems, such as rapidly increasing inequality and long-term unemployment, that austerity advocates would like us to believe are permanent features that we can do nothing about. We have had periods of full employment before. Full employment is not only achievable; it is common sense.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a book that explains Keynesian economics in easy to understand language this is your book. I find personally didn't find it all that technical but I've studied a lot of economics. Did like the added information regarding monetary devaluation and inflation, felt it was covered very well. I'll note that you probably won't like it if you're Conservative, you've been been warned. Personally, Milton Friedman should read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I believe that full employment is always possible if private enterprise and government decide to make it so. Dean Baker explains why this is good for everyone, especially workers, because when the greatest number of people are employed, wages rise and the economy grows. Dean Baker's explanation is a bit too text-like, but the message comes through well enough that any boredom you may feel will not stop you from finishing this book. The idea of justice for working people ceased to be championed starting with the Reagan Revolution that turned the tide in favor of the entitled super-rich and mega-corporations. Very informative and inspiring too!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a conservative and only purchased this book because it was free. Much to my surprise, I liked it and learned a lot. Dean Baker does an good job of explaining the importance of full employment and inflation for economic growth and makes a compelling argument for government intervention to raise the employment rate. It definitely changed my attitudes toward employment and inflation as drivers of growth. The book is a bit technical, but is very readable.
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