Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?

Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?

Book - 2018
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In the past few decades, the wages of most workers have stagnated, even as productivity increased. Social supports have been cut, while corporations have achieved record profits. Downward mobility has produced political backlash. What is going on? [This book] argues that neither trade nor immigration nor technological change is responsible for the harm to workers' prospects. According to Robert Kuttner, global capitalism is to blame. By limiting workers' rights, liberating bankers, allowing corporations to evade taxation, and preventing nations from ensuring economic security, raw capitalism strikes at the very foundation of a healthy democracy. The resurgence of predatory capitalism was not inevitable. After the Great Depression, the U.S. government harnessed capitalism to democracy. Under Roosevelt's New Deal, labor unions were legalized and capital regulated. Well into the 1950s and '60s, the Western world combined a thriving economy with a secure and growing middle class. Beginning in the 1970s, as deregulated capitalism regained the upper hand, elites began to dominate politics once again; policy reversals followed. The inequality and instability that ensued would eventually, in 2016, cause disillusioned voters to support far-right faux populism. Is today's poisonous alliance of reckless finance and ultra-nationalism inevitable? Or can we find the political will to make capitalism serve democracy, and not the other way around? Charting a plan for bold action based on political precedent, [this book] is essential reading for anyone eager to reverse the decline of democracy in the West.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, [2018]
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780393609936
0393609936
Characteristics: xxii, 359 pages ; 25 cm

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4536o
Aug 12, 2018

Those of us who grew up in the 1950s saw no reason to question capitalism. Most Dads had a decent job, with full benefits including employer-paid family healthcare. Your community banks took in money for savings accounts and lent it back to your neighbors as car loans and home mortgages. College was affordable, generously supported by state legislatures. The wealthy functioned as local civic patrons. Legislatures and Congress usually practiced the art of compromise.
If you are middle-aged or younger, this sounds like fantasy, and Robert Kuttner explains why the postwar era was indeed a happy blip in the eternal quest of the powerful to utterly subjugate the average person. And thus why disenchantment with our current state of affairs has (once again) rendered socialism attractive to young adults, if they are not (once again) seduced by national fascism instead. Kuttner is erudite and even-handed in his detailed explanation of the forces responsible for a nation which is increasingly made up of a very few princes and many, many serfs. If you are trying to understand what happened to our society, this is the book for you.

ArapahoeAnnaL Apr 17, 2018

Shed light on "Strangers in Their Own Land"?

s
StarGladiator
Jan 24, 2018

I look forward to reading this; looks interesting aside from the author's wishful thinking at the end - - the faux dems and pseudo-dems still appear hellbent on doing the same thing over and over and over again - - they must be addicted to failure, or are being paid the Big Bucks for their political theater?!
In Washington state [USA], our so-called // democratic \\ governor appears to be following the Koch brothers/ALEC agenda down to the letter [allowing charter schools legislation to pass, usual tax breaks for the mega-corportions, various actions to kill small business, et cetera, et cetera], yet the dem machine party people act as clueless as ever. In Seattle, specific so-called progressive elements want safe injection sites [gov't supported heroin injection sites for a still illegal drug], yet ignore the shrinking existence of safe streets, and safe places auto drivers can park without having their vehicles broken in [and no, I am no longer an auto driver at my advanced age].

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