f you are interested in understanding the current political morass, Robert Kuttner has written the primer. Meticulously researched, Kuttner traces the rise of the new American oligarchy and the parallel undermining of American democracy. Step by step, you will read how big money interests together with their Republican an Democrat allies, undermined the social safety net and demolished the protective financial regulations that had kept the greed of financial fat cats in check since Roosevelt's New Deal.
The author describes in detail how current American economic policy has become "a race to the bottom." How instead of stimulating democracy and bettering working conditions in other countries making them more like us, American workers are rapidly losing ground and becoming more like them. How globalism, supply side economics, free trade and deregulation have been sold as programs good for America but led directly to the S&L crisis and the 2008 economic meltdown and have actually cost our country 5,000,000 well paying jobs since the 1970's.
Want to know why our country's infrastructure is falling apart and why 40% of the increase in America's GDP since 1970 has gone to the top 1% while working and middle class wages have stagnated? Why is it that working and middle class kids graduate college with a crushing debt burden while all the Republicans talk about is tax cuts for the rich? Read this book.
Many Americans, particularly younger Americans, forgetting or not bothering to study history are unaware that benefits such as the forty hour week, the eight hour day and even such simple perks like bathroom breaks and lunch hours were paid for in blood by the union movement in the 19th century.
There is a broad movement among some of our largest companies to use "independent contractors rather than bringing in new hires as employees. This cynical maneuver is often sold as providing greater worker freedom and flexibility, but these contractors work to a schedule and are often paid less. This allows companies to avoid offering paid vacations, sick time, unemployment insurance, workmen's compensation and social security. Millennials may forget what Santayana said, but they ignore at their peril the words of Richard Nixon: "The American dream does not come to those who fall asleep."