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Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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The core of the book focuses on the decline of the American middle class. Wages for most people are stagnant or declining and economic insecurity has soared as more and more risk (retirement, health care, etc) is transferred from employers to individuals.
The book shows how advancing technology and globalization are hollowing out the middle class by destroying many of the best jobs. Jobs are being automated, offshored or contracted out to temp agencies. Even the CEO of the biggest temp agency Kelly Services, which benefits from this trend, is pessimistic about the future for most people, saying "I know well paid engineers at big companies whose only role is to think up ways to reduce headcount."
This ongoing trend toward leaner organizations and less jobs all around may be the biggest single challenge we face, and yet there are very few real solutions being offered.
"Time to Start Thinking" goes on to look at problems with education. Here it gives a balanced look at the Gates Foundation and the out-sized role in plays in this area. The book also questions whether charter schools are really a viable answer.
Next Luce goes on to look at our immigration policy, which borders on lunacy as we turn away the most highly capable and educated immigrants who have come to the U.S. for an education.Read more ›
Luce tackles some of the front page issues such as the need to cut military spending, the shrinking middle class, the changing job market, and the growing healthcare crisis. He was also at one point, Lawrence Summers's speechwriter and had incredible access to interview a broad spectrum of executives, politicians ,military personnel in order to get a clearer picture of what is happening and what actions need to be taken. The colloquy of experts lends a deep gravitas to a book that covers fairly familiar hand-wringing ground.
Studies show that the immigrants are always bigger risk takers than the home born in any society. America has long been seen as the land of opportunity, attracting the best and the brightest from around the world. Those immigrants used to stay in the country but now many leave after getting an education or when their careers are taking off. As Luce sees it, the government plays a key role in making sure that innovators are able to thrive. The second half of the book delves deeply into the failures of our political process to provide clear leadership and direction.
Unlike many of the political candidates, Luce doesn't take issue with government's size, but instead with its adaptability and capacity to change.Read more ›
All net job creation since 1990 has been in the non-tradeable sector and McKinsey predicts no growth in the tradeable sector through 2021; almost all of this was in services, with about half in health care and half in government (sectors with essentially no productivity growth). Many areas have suffered from massive job losses in manufacturing over the last generation. Gambling is one of its most frequent replacements, bringing low-wage jobs, pimps, and drugs as replacements. Economists earlier told us that service jobs were superior to those manufacturing jobs moving to Asia, but that's not bearing out. Too many of the new service jobs are dead-end and part-time w/o benefits, and/or in health care - a sector that cannot continue to grow.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The only thing wrong with the title of this book is that it should have been "The West in the Age of Descent". Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jerry Guild
The Financial Times always features an enormous article called “the Big Read” that focuses on an important topic in the news. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Athan
book was an easily accessable,engaging,thought-provoking look at America's Future. And,boy,is it scary!Published 15 months ago by Kevin Kelly
Insightful writing. Tough, but necessary reading. Shocking to find out how many ways this country is going off the rails. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Carl Grant
It is a good book that brings up some interesting points and challenges conventional wisdom. Towards the end it got repetitive. Read morePublished 23 months ago by M. Anderson
Based upon extensive interviews and research. Perhaps most of the cheerleaders of America will not listen to his argument unfortunately as facts and reality are painful. Read morePublished on July 12, 2014 by Florida windsurfer
This is a review of the unabridged MP3 CD version of Edward Luce's "Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent". Read morePublished on March 15, 2014 by Yoda
very very thought provoking. this should be required reading for college students of political science, economics and business. I happily passed the book to my family.Published on January 8, 2014 by alex thomas