Book picks similar to
The Great Depression by Lionel Robbins
Cornered : The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction
Barry C. Lynn - 2009
Which of the four eyeglass stores listed in the directory should you visit first? Don't waste a lot of time deciding; it really doesn't matter. A single, huge international corporation owns three of the four eyeglass stores listed. And the fourth? Out of business. Think you'll try your luck at Sears? Don't bother. The same company you've never heard of controls their eyewear department, too. What appears at first to be a fine example of competitive capitalism in action is, in fact, an immense monopoly in disguise. And it's far from being the only one.In Cornered, journalist Barry C. Lynn paints a genuinely alarming picture: most of our public debates about globalization, competitiveness, creative destruction, and risky finance are nothing more than a cover for the widespread consolidation of power in nearly every imaginable sector of the American economy.Cornered strips the camouflage from the secret world of twenty-first-century monopolies—neofeudalist empires whose sheer size, vast resources, and immense political power enable them to control virtually every major industry in America in an increasingly authoritarian manner. Lynn reveals how these massive juggernauts, which would have been illegal just thirty years ago, came into being, how they have destroyed or devoured their competition, and how they collude with one another to maintain their power and create the illusion of open, competitive markets.The Obama administration has promised more aggressive enforcement on antitrust issues, but Lynn argues that they are missing the forest for the trees. For decades, the federal government has all but encouraged companies to buy one another up, outsource all their production, and make their profits by leveraging their market share. It will take more than a lawsuit or two to overthrow America's corporatist oligarchy and restore a model of capitalism that protects our rights as property holders and citizens.Through stories of real people and real industries, Barry C. Lynn shows how monopolies threaten independent businesses, squelch innovation, degrade the quality and safety of basic products, destabilize our most vital industrial and financial systems, and destroy the very fabric of democracy. Avoiding the partisan cant that has poisoned virtually every important American debate in recent years, he explains how, over the past three decades, leaders of both parties and thinkers across the political spectrum have encouraged and enabled the growth of monopolies. He traces the history of how such now-familiar phrases as "free market" and "consumer welfare" were created and used to pave the way for monopolization. Lynn also demonstrates how the drive for "always lower prices," routinely invoked to justify ruthless practices that might once have landed their perpetrators in jail, makes jobs disappear, puts small businesses out of business, and turns dreams of entrepreneurial success into impossible fantasies.Complete with an entirely fresh set of solutions based on the traditional American approach of empowering the individual citizen, Cornered is both a wake-up call and a call to arms for anyone who believes in democracy, competition, and liberty for all.
Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong
Edward Conard - 2012
Conventional wisdom blames Wall Street and the mortgage industry for using low down payments, teaser rates, and other predatory tactics to seduce unsuspecting home owners into assuming mortgages they couldn’t afford. It blames average Americans for borrowing recklessly and spending too much. And it blames the tax policies and deregulatory environment of the Reagan and Bush administrations for encouraging reckless risk taking by wealthy individuals and financial institutions. But according to Unintended Consequences, the conventional wisdom masks the real causes of our economic disruption and puts us at risk of facing a slew of unintended—and potentially dangerous—consequences. This book addresses many essential but overlooked questions, such as:-If the United States had become a nation of reckless consumers rather than investors, why did productivity soar in the years leading up to the meltdown?-If predatory bankers took advantage of home owners, why did down payments decline, thereby shifting risk from home owners to lenders?-If the risks were easy to spot, why did top political and financial advisers encourage lenders to make unsound investments?-If new regulations encourage banks to hold enough capital to fund withdrawals and not just loan losses, how will the economy underwrite the risks necessary to reach full employment?In an attempt to set the record straight and fill the void left by other analysts, Conard presents a fascinating and contrarian case for how the economy really works, what went wrong over the past decade, and what steps we can take to start growing again.To read an excerpt from Unintended Consequences, please visit http://www.edwardconard.com/book-excerptFor up-to-date information on everything related to Unintended Consequences, visit www.edwardconard.com
Antony Loewenstein - 2015
He visits Britain’s immigration detention centers, tours the prison system in the United States, and digs into the underbelly of the companies making a fortune from them. Loewenstein reveals the dark history of how large multinational corporations have become more powerful than governments, supported by media and political elites.
The Turn of the Tortoise: The Challenge and Promise of India's Future
T.N. Ninan - 2015
Ninan addresses a range of contemporary questions as only he can—looking at why the economy lost steam, the emerging trends in politics, the Chinese shadow over India, and the relationship between the state and the citizen. He asks whether manufacturing can be made a success story, what is the size of the neo-middle class, who really is the aam aadmi, and if it is possible to put an end to extreme poverty now. And, finally—what are the fears that should keep us awake at night?This wide-ranging book is an attempt to understand, through data and analyses, where India stands today, why it has emerged the way it has, and what the next ten years might bring. For anyone interested in India and its future, this is essential and enlightening reading.
Capitalism and the Historians
Friedrich A. Hayek - 1954
The authors offer documentary evidence to support their conclusion that under capitalism the workers, despite long hours and other hardships of factory life, were better off financially, had more opportunities, and led a better life than had been the case before the Industrial Revolution.
The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments
Charles Goyette - 2009
On the heels of the most recent economic crisis, America is headed toward another: high inflation and dollar devaluation. Charles Goyette reveals the governmental errors that led to the current economic crisis and the bumpy road ahead. The signs are clear: Federal debt is compounding while growth has stalled, and America's foreign creditors are questioning the dollar's reserve currency status. Meanwhile, the "hidden" federal debt, much larger than the official debt, makes things even worse. So what can you do to safeguard your assets when the dollar heads south? This book is the essential guide for protecting yourself--and even profiting--in this time of financial turbulence. In clear detail, Goyette explains the alternative investments--from gold and silver to oil and agriculture-- that will remain strong in the face of mounting inflation. The Dollar Meltdown gives you the tools to maintain the value of your savings and captilize on the coming opportunities. Don't get left holding the bag after decades of government irresponsibility. The Dollar Meltdown shows you how to take the safety of your finances into your own hands.
On Classical Economics
Thomas Sowell - 2006
It is not simply a Cook's tour of colorful personalities of the past but a study of how certain economic concepts and tools of analysis arose, and how their implications were revealed during the controversies that followed. In addition to a general understanding of classical macroeconomics and microeconomics, this book offers special insight into the neglected pioneering work of Sismondi—and why it was neglected—and a detailed look at John Stuart Mill's enigmatic role in the development of economics and the mysteries of Marxian economics.Clear, engaging, and very readable, without being either cute or condescending, On Classical Economics can enable a course on the history of economic thought to make a contribution to students’ understanding of economics in general--whether in price theory, monetary theory, or international trade. In short, it is a book about analysis as well as history.
George Reisman - 1996
It is state of the art in economic theory and political philosophy. The intelligent, open-minded reader who seeks to understand the economics and politics of the modern world (along with much of its closely related history and social and cultural phenomena), and what is required to improve mankind's lot in these two vital areas, need look no further than to this book.
The Economics and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy
Hans-Hermann Hoppe - 1993
Whether the following studies deal with economic topics, such as employment, interest, money, banking, business cycles, taxes, public goods, or growth; with philosophical problems as the foundations of know ledge, and of economics and ethics in particular; or the reconstruction and theoretical explanation of historical and sociological phenomena such as exploitation, the rise and fall of civilizations, international politics, war, imperialism, and the role of ideas and ideological movements in the course of social evolution - each ultimately contributes to but one conclusion: The right to private property is an indisputably valid, absolute principle of ethics and the basis for continuous 'optimal' economic progress. To rise from the ruins of socialism and overcome the stagnation of the Western welfare states, nothing will suffice but the uncompromizing privatization of all socialized, that is, government, property and the establishment of a contractual society based on the recognition of the absoluteness of private property rights. *** In writing the following studies I received help from many sides. Special thanks go to my wife Margaret, who again took on the task of de Germanizing my English; to Llewellyn H."
Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance
David McNally - 2010
In developing an account of the crisis as rooted in fundamental features of capitalism, this study challenges the view that capitalism's source lies in financial deregulation, and highlights the emergence of new patterns of world inequality and new centers of accumulation, particularly in East Asia, and the profound economic instabilities these have produced. This original account of the “financialization” of the world economy during this period explores the intricate connections between international financial markets and new forms of debt and dispossession. Analyzing the massive intervention of the world’s central banks to stave off another Great Depression, this study shows that while averting a complete meltdown, this intervention also laid the basis for recurring crises for poor and working class people: job loss, increased poverty and inequality, and cuts in social programs. Taking a global view of these processes, exposing the damage inflicted on countries in the Global South, as well as the intensification of racism and attacks on migrant workers, this book also traces new patterns of social and political resistance—from housing activism and education struggles, to mass strikes and protests in Martinique, Guadeloupe, France, and Puerto Rico—as indicators of the potential for building anticapitalist opposition to the damage that neoliberal capitalism is inflicting on the lives of millions.
The Idea of Communism
Tariq Ali - 2009
Yet, why was this collapse of Communism considered final, but the many failures of capitalism are considered temporary and episodic? In The Idea of Communism, Tariq Ali addresses this very question.The idea of Communism, argues Ali, was simple and noble. The Communist Manifesto, which advocated the creation of a society based on the principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” rather than a system based on greed and profit, appealed to millions all over the globe. However, Ali argues that the vision of society adumbrated by the founders of Communism was a far cry from what became known as actually existing socialism in the Soviet Union and China. The Communist system that developed ignored Engels’s belief that a workers’ movement and its victory were inconceivable without freedom of the press and assembly. This freedom, Engels insisted, “is the air it needs to breathe.Here, in a thought-provoking re-evaluation, Ali argues that a new form of socialism and global planning is vital to save the planet from capitalist and environmental degradation.
The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate
James Rosen - 2008
Mitchell, the central figure in the rise and ruin of Richard Nixon and the highest-ranking American official ever convicted on criminal charges.As U.S. attorney general from 1969 to 1972, John Mitchell stood at the center of the upheavals of the late sixties. The most powerful man in the Nixon cabinet, a confident troubleshooter, Mitchell championed law and order against the bomb-throwers of the antiwar movement, desegregated the South’s public schools, restored calm after the killings at Kent State, and steered the commander-in-chief through the Pentagon Papers and Joint Chiefs spying crises. After leaving office, Mitchell survived the ITT and Vesco scandals—but was ultimately destroyed by Watergate. With a novelist’s skill, James Rosen traces Mitchell’s early life and career from his Long Island boyhood to his mastery of Wall Street, where Mitchell's innovations in municipal finance made him a power broker to the Rockefellers and mayors and governors in all fifty states. After merging law firms with Richard Nixon, Mitchell brilliantly managed Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign and, at his urging, reluctantly agreed to serve as attorney general. With his steely demeanor and trademark pipe, Mitchell commanded awe throughout the government as Nixon’s most trusted adviser, the only man in Washington who could say no to the president.Chronicling the collapse of the Nixon presidency, The Strong Man follows America’s former top cop on his singular odyssey through the criminal justice system—a tortuous maze of camera crews, congressional hearings, special prosecutors, and federal trials. The path led, ultimately, to a prison cell in Montgomery, Alabama, where Mitchell was welcomed into federal custody by the same men he had appointed to office. Rosen also reveals the dark truth about Mitchell’s marriage to the flamboyant and volatile Martha Mitchell: her slide into alcoholism and madness, their bitter divorce, and the toll it all took on their daughter, Marty. Based on 250 original interviews and hundreds of thousands of previously unpublished documents and tapes, The Strong Man resolves definitively the central mysteries of the Nixon era: the true purpose of the Watergate break-in, who ordered it, the hidden role played by the Central Intelligence Agency, and those behind the cover-up. A landmark of history and biography, The Strong Man is that rarest of books: both a model of scholarly research and savvy analysis and a masterful literary achievement.
We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative
George J. Borjas - 2016
As early as 1645, the Massachusetts Bay Colony began to prohibit the entry of “paupers.” Today, however, the notion that immigration is universally beneficial has become pervasive. To many modern economists, immigrants are a trove of much-needed workers who can fill predetermined slots along the proverbial assembly line.But this view of immigration’s impact is overly simplified, explains George J. Borjas, a Cuban-American, Harvard labor economist. Immigrants are more than just workers—they’re people who have lives outside of the factory gates and who may or may not fit the ideal of the country to which they’ve come to live and work. Like the rest of us, they’re protected by social insurance programs, and the choices they make are affected by their social environments.In We Wanted Workers, Borjas pulls back the curtain of political bluster to show that, in the grand scheme, immigration has not affected the average American all that much. But it has created winners and losers. The losers tend to be nonmigrant workers who compete for the same jobs as immigrants. And somebody’s lower wage is somebody else’s higher profit, so those who employ immigrants benefit handsomely. In the end, immigration is mainly just another government redistribution program.“I am an immigrant,” writes Borjas, “and yet I do not buy into the notion that immigration is universally beneficial. . . . But I still feel that it is a good thing to give some of the poor and huddled masses, people who face so many hardships, a chance to experience the incredible opportunities that our exceptional country has to offer.” Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent, We Wanted Workers is essential reading for anyone interested in the issue of immigration in America today.