The Land of Too Much

American Abundance and the Paradox of Poverty
Author: Monica Prasad
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674067819
Category: Social Science
Page: 270
View: 1157

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Monica Prasad’s powerful demand-side hypothesis addresses three questions: Why does the United States have more poverty than any other developed country? Why did it experience an attack on state intervention in the 1980s, known today as the neoliberal revolution? And why did it recently suffer the greatest economic meltdown in seventy-five years?

The Land of Too Much


Author: Monica Prasad
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674071549
Category: Social Science
Page: 343
View: 8265

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Monica Prasad’s powerful demand-side hypothesis addresses three questions: Why does the United States have more poverty than any other developed country? Why did it experience an attack on state intervention in the 1980s, known today as the neoliberal revolution? And why did it recently suffer the greatest economic meltdown in seventy-five years?

The Sympathetic State

Disaster Relief and the Origins of the American Welfare State
Author: Michele Landis Dauber
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226923487
Category: History
Page: 353
View: 2593

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Drawing on a variety of materials, including newspapers, legal briefs, political speeches, the art and literature of the time, and letters from thousands of ordinary Americans, Dauber shows that while this long history of government disaster relief has faded from our memory today, it was extremely well known to advocates for an expanded role for the national government in the 1930s, including the Social Security Act. Making this connection required framing the Great Depression as a disaster afflicting citizens though no fault of their own. Dauber argues that the disaster paradigm, though successful in defending the New Deal, would ultimately come back to haunt advocates for social welfare. By not making a more radical case for relief, proponents of the New Deal helped create the weak, uniquely American welfare state we have today - one torn between the desire to come to the aid of those suffering and the deeply rooted suspicion that those in need are responsible for their own deprivation.

Capitalizing on Crisis


Author: Greta R. Krippner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674050843
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 222
View: 5813

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Capitalizing on Crisis offers a political sociology of the rise of finance in the U.S. economy over the last three decades. Krippner’s core argument is that successive U.S. administrations embraced policy choices that heightened financialization as a way to escape direct confrontation with the pressing issues of fiscal crisis and legitimation crisis that emerged in the late 1960’s, rather than as a policy goal of its own. This is an extremely important argument for understanding the last forty years of U.S. politics and social development and it helps reconnect economic sociology to political sociology. Krippner focuses on state actions that were crucial to creating a macroenvironment conducive to financialization: (1) the deregulation of financial markets during the 1970s and 1980s; (2) policies that encouraged foreign capital inflows into the U.S. economy in the context of large fiscal imbalances in the early 1980s; and (3) changes in the conduct of monetary policy following the shift to tight monetary policies (high interest rates) in 1979.

Sweet Charity?

Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement
Author: Janet Poppendieck
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1440621357
Category: Social Science
Page: 368
View: 6658

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In this era of eroding commitment to government sponsored welfare programs, voluntarism and private charity have become the popular, optimistic solutions to poverty and hunger. The resurgence of charity has to be a good thing, doesn't it? No, says sociologist Janet Poppendieck, not when stopgap charitable efforts replace consistent public policy, and poverty continues to grow.In Sweet Charity?, Poppendieck travels the country to work in soup kitchens and "gleaning" centers, reporting from the frontlines of America's hunger relief programs to assess the effectiveness of these homegrown efforts. We hear from the "clients" who receive meals too small to feed their families; from the enthusiastic volunteers; and from the directors, who wonder if their "successful" programs are in some way perpetuating the problem they are struggling to solve. Hailed as the most significant book on hunger to appear in decades, Sweet Charity? shows how the drive to end poverty has taken a wrong turn with thousands of well-meaning volunteers on board.

Making the European Monetary Union


Author: Harold James
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674070941
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 585
View: 8771

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Europe’s financial crisis cannot be blamed on the Euro, James contends in this probing exploration of the whys, whens, whos, and what-ifs of European monetary union. The current crisis goes deeper, to conundrums that were debated but not resolved at the time of the Euro’s invention. And, Euro or no Euro, these clashes will continue into the future.

Power and Plenty

Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium
Author: Ronald Findlay,Kevin H. O'Rourke
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400831883
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 648
View: 7019

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International trade has shaped the modern world, yet until now no single book has been available for both economists and general readers that traces the history of the international economy from its earliest beginnings to the present day. Power and Plenty fills this gap, providing the first full account of world trade and development over the course of the last millennium. Ronald Findlay and Kevin O'Rourke examine the successive waves of globalization and "deglobalization" that have occurred during the past thousand years, looking closely at the technological and political causes behind these long-term trends. They show how the expansion and contraction of the world economy has been directly tied to the two-way interplay of trade and geopolitics, and how war and peace have been critical determinants of international trade over the very long run. The story they tell is sweeping in scope, one that links the emergence of the Western economies with economic and political developments throughout Eurasia centuries ago. Drawing extensively upon empirical evidence and informing their systematic analysis with insights from contemporary economic theory, Findlay and O'Rourke demonstrate the close interrelationships of trade and warfare, the mutual interdependence of the world's different regions, and the crucial role these factors have played in explaining modern economic growth. Power and Plenty is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the origins of today's international economy, the forces that continue to shape it, and the economic and political challenges confronting policymakers in the twenty-first century.

People of Plenty

Economic Abundance and the American Character
Author: David M. Potter
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226676319
Category: History
Page: 248
View: 8436

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America has long been famous as a land of plenty, but we seldom realize how much the American people are a people of plenty—a people whose distinctive character has been shaped by economic abundance. In this important book, David M. Potter breaks new ground both in the study of this phenomenon and in his approach to the question of national character. He brings a fresh historical perspective to bear on the vital work done in this field by anthropologists, social psychologists, and psychoanalysts. "The rejection of hindsight, with the insistence on trying to see events from the point of view of the participants, was a governing theme with Potter. . . . This sounds like a truism. Watching him apply it however, is a revelation."—Walter Clemons, Newsweek "The best short book on national character I have seen . . . broadly based, closely reasoned, and lucidly written."—Karl W. Deutsch, Yale Review

The New Fiscal Sociology

Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective
Author: Isaac William Martin,Ajay K. Mehrotra,Monica Prasad
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521494273
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 313
View: 9785

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This volume presents sixteen essays by comparative historical scholars who offer a survey of the new fiscal sociology.

The Politics of Free Markets

The Rise of Neoliberal Economic Policies in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States
Author: Monica Prasad
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226679020
Category: History
Page: 328
View: 2831

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In France and West Germany, where tax structures were more regressive, industrial policy more pro-growth, and welfare states universal and even reverse-redistributive, neoliberalism could not be anchored in electoral dissatisfaction, and therefore it stalled.The attempt to reduce the role of the state in the market through tax cuts, decreases in social spending, deregulation, and privatization - "neoliberalism" - took firm root in the United States under Ronald Reagan and in Britain under Margaret Thatcher. But why did neoliberal policies gain such prominence in these two countries and not in similarly industrialized Western countries such as France and Germany? A comparative-historical analysis of the development of neoliberal politics in these four countries, "The Politics of Free Markets" argues that neoliberalism was made possible in the United States and Britain not because the Left in these countries was too weak, but because it was in many respects too strong. At the time of the oil crisis in the 1970s, American and British tax policies were more progressive, their industrial policy more adversarial to business, and their welfare states more redistributive than those of France and West Germany. Monica Prasad shows that these adversarial structures created opportunities for politicians to find and mobilize dissatisfaction with the status quo.Gives a comparative-historical analysis of the development of neoliberal politics in different countries. This book argues that neoliberalism was made possible in the United States and Britain not because the Left in these countries was too weak, but because it was in many respects too strong.

The Undeserving Rich

American Beliefs about Inequality, Opportunity, and Redistribution
Author: Leslie McCall
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107355230
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 9282

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It is widely assumed that Americans care little about income inequality, believe opportunities abound, admire the rich, and dislike redistributive policies. Leslie McCall contends that such assumptions are based on both incomplete survey data and economic conditions of the past and not present. In fact, Americans have desired less inequality for decades, and McCall's book explains why. Americans become most concerned about inequality in times of inequitable growth, when they view the rich as prospering while opportunities for good jobs, fair pay and high quality education are restricted for everyone else. As a result, they favor policies to expand opportunity and redistribute earnings in the workplace, reducing inequality in the market rather than redistributing income after the fact with tax and spending policies. This book resolves the paradox of how Americans can express little enthusiasm for welfare state policies and still yearn for a more equitable society, and forwards a new model of preferences about income inequality rooted in labor market opportunities rather than welfare state policies.

Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies


Author: Gøsta Esping-Andersen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198742010
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 207
View: 1007

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This text takes a sociological and institutional look at the driving forces of economic transformation. As a result, what stands out is postindustrial diversity, not convergence.

More Than Just Food

Food Justice and Community Change
Author: Garrett Broad
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520287444
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 296
View: 4120

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"Raising concerns about health, the environment, and economic inequality, critics of the industrial food system insist that we are in crisis. In response, food justice activists based in marginalized, low-income communities of color across the United States have developed community-based solutions to the nation's food system problems, arguing that activities like urban agriculture, cultural nutrition education, and food-related social enterprises can be an integral part of systemic social change. Highlighting the work of Community Services Unlimited, a South Los Angeles food justice group founded by the Black Panther Party, More Than Just Food explores the possibilities and limitations of the community-based approach, offering a networked examination of the food justice movement in the age of the 'nonprofit industrial complex'"--Provided by publisher.

Demons in Eden

The Paradox of Plant Diversity
Author: Jonathan Silvertown
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1459627385
Category:
Page: 336
View: 2811

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Jonathan Silvertown here explores the astonishing diversity of plant life in regions as spectacular as the verdant climes of Japan, the lush grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, the shallow wetlands and teeming freshwaters of Florida, the tropical rainforests of southeast Mexico, and the Canary Islands archipelago, whose evolutionary novelties - and exotic plant life - have earned it the sobriquet ''the Gal pagos of botany.'' Along the way, Silvertown looks closely at the evolution of plant diversity in these locales and explains why such variety persists in light of ecological patterns and evolutionary processes. In novel and useful ways, he also investigates the current state of plant diversity on the planet to show the ever - challenging threats posed by invasive species and humans. This paperback edition will include an entirely new chapter on the astonishing diversity of plant life in the Western Cape of South Africa that focuses on fynbos, a vegetation endemic to the Cape. Bringing the secret life of plants into more colorful and vivid focus than ever before, Demons in Eden is an empathic and impassioned exploration of modern plant ecology that unlocks evolutionary mysteries of the natural world.

Hamburgers in Paradise

The Stories behind the Food We Eat
Author: Louise O. Fresco
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400873312
Category: Social Science
Page: 560
View: 5425

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For the first time in human history, there is food in abundance throughout the world. More people than ever before are now freed of the struggle for daily survival, yet few of us are aware of how food lands on our plates. Behind every meal you eat, there is a story. Hamburgers in Paradise explains how. In this wise and passionate book, Louise Fresco takes readers on an enticing cultural journey to show how science has enabled us to overcome past scarcities—and why we have every reason to be optimistic about the future. Using hamburgers in the Garden of Eden as a metaphor for the confusion surrounding food today, she looks at everything from the dominance of supermarkets and the decrease of biodiversity to organic foods and GMOs. She casts doubt on many popular claims about sustainability, and takes issue with naïve rejections of globalization and the idealization of "true and honest" food. Fresco explores topics such as agriculture in human history, poverty and development, and surplus and obesity. She provides insightful discussions of basic foods such as bread, fish, and meat, and intertwines them with social topics like slow food and other gastronomy movements, the fear of technology and risk, food and climate change, the agricultural landscape, urban food systems, and food in art. The culmination of decades of research, Hamburgers in Paradise provides valuable insights into how our food is produced, how it is consumed, and how we can use the lessons of the past to design food systems to feed all humankind in the future.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities


Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 052543285X
Category: Social Science
Page: 480
View: 9077

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Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.

Moving Out of Poverty

Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on Mobility
Author: Deepa Narayan,Patti Petesch
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 9780821369920
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 392
View: 5104

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This book brings together the latest thinking about poverty dynamics from diverse analytic traditions. While covering a vast body of conceptual and empirical knowledge about economic and social mobility, it takes the reader on compelling journeys of multigenerational accounts of three villages in Kanartaka, India, twelve years in the life of a street child in Burkina Faso, and much more. Leading development practitioners and scholars from the fields of anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology critically examine the literature from their disciplines and contribute new frameworks and evidence from their own works. The 'Moving Out of Poverty' series launched in 2007 is under the editorial direction of Deepa Narayan, Senior Advisor of the World Bank and former director of the pathbreaking 'Voices of the Poor' series. It features the results of new comparative research across more than 500 communities in 15 countries to understand how and why people move out of poverty, and presents other work which builds on interdisciplinary and contextually grounded understandings of growth and poverty reduction.

The Paradox of Choice

Why More Is Less, Revised Edition
Author: Barry Schwartz
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061748998
Category: Psychology
Page: 304
View: 5253

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Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions—both big and small—have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented. As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression. In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice—the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish—becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice—from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs—has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse. By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century


Author: Thomas Piketty
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674979850
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 816
View: 6760

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The main driver of inequality—returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth—is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty’s findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.