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How the Economy Was Lost: The War of the Worlds Paperback – March 1, 2010
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American economy is in such a mess. I use the term missing to indicate the almost non-existence of mention in the Main Stream Media.
First it is important to understand who Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Virginia and was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan. He was formally an editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, etc. and has written several books on a wide range of topics.
Given his conservative background, his harsh criticism of corporate greed and outright lies pushed by Big Business (and it's shills and apologists in academia and government) lends added credibility to his words.
This book is an organized collection of his columns (Part 1) that deal with the American Economic Crisis we find ourselves in and how we got there. While some of his earlier columns (going back about 5 years) may appear slightly dated, it's interesting to watch his predictions (particularly those about Unregulated Derivatives as a disaster just waiting to happen) come true.
And by the way Derivatives are STILL unregulated! Talk about corruption and malfeasances in high places. I don't think they have even re-instituted the uptick rule on short sellers (this was a rule passed after the crash of 1929 to force traders to wait for the stock to go up a little before they could short it again)
Like many of the other post 1929 laws and regulations, quietly tossed aside as "antiquated and unnecessary".
Later in the book, Part 2 is devoted to an explanation in ordinary language of why free trade doesn't actually always create the win-win scenario that it's boosters insist on.Read more ›
Roberts' overall thesis is that free market zealots have already hollowed-out America's former middle-class manufacturing sector, and have begun doing the same with our service sector. Results include rising personal credit-card and home-equity loan debt, a federal deficit and unfunded liabilities totaling nearly $60 trillion, and trillions more in accumulative trade deficits. Manufacturing job losses total (when written) about 4 million, a University of California study estimates 14 million service jobs will follow, and Alan Blinder (former Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman) estimates that 40-50 million jobs are vulnerable. McDonald's drive-thru order-taking as already occurred. Obviously, none of this bodes well for tax revenues, long-term trends in real-incomes or home values.
America's cherished 'upward mobility' is also fast fading. Roberts points out by outsourcing manufacturing jobs, we unwittingly largely eliminated the rationale for associated high-paying management, engineering, and R&D jobs.Read more ›
The fact that this book is mainly a collection of columns published elsewhere by Roberts in recent years, is both the strength and the weakness of this volume. Roberts' columns are so full of information that the average person would not have access to otherwise, that it is great they have been preserved between the covers of a book. On the other hand, since the author follows certain themes in his work, the reader is faced with a lot of repetition, rather than an argument where one chapter builds upon the last. However, this could be a good thing, as it reinforces in the reader's mind the view he holds about the global economy, so-called "free trade," the prospects of the middle class under these politicians and bureaucrats who have hi-jacked our economy, and related matters that affect our lives every day.
Roberts also has well-defended dissenting views on the foreign policy of our nation, similar to those held by Buchanan, Phillips, and Ron Paul. I have learned to regard the mainstream news through the lens of these writers' opinions, and I think this volume of Paul Craig Roberts' collected columns is well worth buying. It is great for showing to friends to clarify where we stand, and why. It is also great for quick reference purposes. Definitely a good title to own.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I highly recommend this book if you are remotely interested in what is going on in the world, especially the USA. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tracie
Great book from an author with insight. The chapters on supplied econ are great, as well as the ending analyses. Read morePublished 20 months ago by wang chung
But you can buy it (pdf copy) for 10 USAD in
COUNTERPUNCH ( non for profit organisation ) is part of a Network of Networks of... Read more
For many who have not heard of Paul Craig Roberts, this volume of essays published in CounterPunch from 2005-2010 will quickly put your ideas about political economy in order. Read morePublished on October 3, 2011 by Dr. Victor S. Alpher
The United States is the only nation in the history of the world to have intentionally destroyed itself via intentional economic and governmental policy. Read morePublished on September 4, 2011 by K. Johnson
Stanford ecologist Dr. Paul Ehrlich said many years ago that economics is the only academic discipline that still believes in the tooth fairy. Read morePublished on May 27, 2011 by John Kingson
This book bundles the CounterPunch columns of the author, with a lot of repetitions.
However, the columns launch some very hard uppercuts on those in power in the US during... Read more