We Are Better Than This

How Government Should Spend Our Money
Author: Edward D. Kleinbard
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 019933224X
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 509
View: 4694

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"A book which examines how government - which is to say, all of us, acting collectively - can make our country healthier, wealthier and happier, if we put government to useful work in those areas where it most productively complements our private markets"--

We Are Better Than This

How Government Should Spend Our Money
Author: Edward D. Kleinbard
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199332266
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 6930

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We Are Better Than This fundamentally reframes budget debates in the United States. Author Edward D. Kleinbard explains how the public's preoccupation with tax policy alone has obscured any understanding of government's ability to complement the private sector through investment and insurance programs that enhance the general welfare and prosperity of our society at large. He argues that when we choose how government should spend and tax, we open a window into our "fiscal soul," because those choices are the means by which we express the values we cherish and the regard in which we hold our fellow citizens. Though these values are being diminished by short-sighted decisions to starve government, strategic government spending can directly make citizens happier, healthier, and even wealthier. Expertly combining the latest economic research with his insider knowledge of the budget process into a simple yet compelling narrative, he unmasks the tax mythologies and false arguments that too often dominate contemporary discourse about budget policies. Large quantities of comparative data are succinctly distilled to situate the United States among its peer countries, so that readers can judge for themselves whether contemporary budget choices really reflect our aspirational fiscal soul. Kleinbard's presentation takes a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing on economics, finance, law, political science and moral philosophy. He uniquely weaves economic research and moral philosophy together by emphasizing our welfare, not just our national income, and by contrasting the actual beliefs of Adam Smith, a great moral philosopher, with the cartoon version of the man presented by proponents of the most extreme forms of private market triumphalism.

Seven Bad Ideas

How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World
Author: Jeff Madrick
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307961192
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 272
View: 4078

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A bold indictment of some of our most accepted mainstream economic theories—why they’re wrong, and how they’ve been harming America and the world. Budget deficits are bad. A strong dollar is good. Controlling inflation is paramount. Pay reflects greater worker skills. A deregulated free market is fair and effective. Theories like these have become mantras among American economists both liberal and conservative over recent decades. Validated originally by patron saints like Milton Friedman, they’ve assumed the status of self-evident truths across much of the mainstream. Jeff Madrick, former columnist for The New York Times and Harper’s, argues compellingly that a reconsideration is long overdue. Since the financial turmoil of the 1970s made stagnating wages and relatively high unemployment the norm, Madrick argues, many leading economists have retrenched to the classical (and outdated) bulwarks of theory, drawing their ideas more from purist principles than from the real-world behavior of governments and markets—while, ironically, deeply affecting those governments and markets by their counsel. Madrick atomizes seven of the greatest false idols of modern economic theory, illustrating how these ideas have been damaging markets, infrastructure, and individual livelihoods for years, causing hundreds of billions of dollars of wasted investment, financial crisis after financial crisis, poor and unequal public education, primitive public transportation, gross inequality of income and wealth and stagnating wages, and uncontrolled military spending. Using the Great Recession as his foremost case study, Madrick shows how the decisions America should have made before, during, and after the financial crisis were suppressed by wrongheaded but popular theory, and how the consequences are still disadvantaging working America and undermining the foundations of global commerce. Madrick spares no sinners as he reveals how the “Friedman doctrine” has undermined the meaning of citizenship and community, how the “Great Moderation” became a great jobs emergency, and how economists were so concerned with getting the incentives right for Wall Street that they got financial regulation all wrong. He in turn examines the too-often-marginalized good ideas of modern economics and convincingly argues just how beneficial they could be—if they can gain traction among policy makers. Trenchant, sweeping, and empirical, Seven Bad Ideas resoundingly disrupts the status quo of modern economic theory. From the Hardcover edition.

Dollarocracy

How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America
Author: John Nichols,Robert McChesney
Publisher: Nation Books
ISBN: 1568587112
Category: Political Science
Page: 368
View: 9571

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In the wake of the Citizen's United decision, elections will be controlled by moneyed interests as never before.

The No Spend Year

How I Spent Less and Lived More
Author: Michelle McGagh
Publisher: Coronet
ISBN: 9781473652149
Category:
Page: 208
View: 6539

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Personal finance journalist, Michelle McGagh, takes on a challenge to not spend money for a whole year in an engaging narrative that combines personal experience with accessible advice on money so you can learn to spend less and live more. Michelle McGagh has been writing about money for over a decade. You'd think that would make her a whizz with her own cash, right? Wrong! Spending with abandon and ignoring bank statements were her modus operandi. Just because she wasn't in serious debt, apart from her massive London mortgage, she thought she was in control. She wasn't. Something needed to be done but rather than cut back here and there, Michelle's approach was more radical. She set herself a challenge to not spend anything for an entire year. She pays her bills and she has a minimal budget for her weekly groceries and household essentials but otherwise Michelle doesn't spend any money at all. She is finding creative ways to get the things she needs, to travel and to still be able to enjoy her time. Not only has she saved money but she is happier: no longer feeling the desire to buy things all the time or feeling the pressure of being sold to. Her relationship with money, with things, with time, with others has changed for the better. The No Spend Year is Michelle's honestly written and personal account of her challenge. But it is more than that, it is also a tool for life that will help you get to grips with your own financial situation. She talks about money in an accessible, unintimidating and often entertaining way and interspersed throughout are really brilliant personal finance tips and life hacks about interest, mortgages, savings , pensions and spending less to help you live a more financially secure life too.

Meatonomics

How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much—and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter
Author: David Robinson Simon
Publisher: Conari Press
ISBN: 1609258614
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 320
View: 9075

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Few consumers are aware of the economic forces behind the production of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Yet omnivore and herbivore alike, the forces of meatonomics affect us in many ways. Most importantly, we’ve lost the ability to decide for ourselves what – and how much – to eat. Those decisions are made for us by animal food producers who control our buying choices with artificially-low prices, misleading messaging, and heavy control over legislation and regulation. Learn how and why they do it and how you can respond. Written in a clear and accessible style, Meatonomics provides vital insight into how the economics of animal food production influence our spending, eating, health, prosperity, and longevity. Meatonomics is the first book to add up the huge “externalized” costs that the animal food system imposes on taxpayers, animals and the environment, and it finds these costs total about $414 billion yearly. With yearly retail sales of around $250 billion, that means that for every $1 of product they sell, meat and dairy producers impose almost $2 in hidden costs on the rest of us. But if producers were forced to internalize these costs, a $4 Big Mac would cost about $11.

Do Deficits Matter?


Author: Daniel Shaviro
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226751153
Category: Political Science
Page: 345
View: 6361

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Do deficits matter? Yes and no, says Daniel Shaviro in this political and economic study. Yes, because fiscal policy affects generational distribution, national saving, and the level of government spending. And no, because the deficit is an inaccurate measure with little economic content. This book provides an invaluable guide for anyone wanting to know exactly what is at stake for Americans in this ongoing debate. "[An] excellent, comprehensive, and illuminating book. Its analysis, deftly integrating considerations of economics, law, politics, and philosophy, brings the issues of 'balanced budgets,' national saving, and intergenerational equity out of the area of religious crusades and into an arena of reason. . . . A magnificent, judicious, and balanced treatment. It should be read and studied not just by specialists in fiscal policy but by all those in the economic and political community."—Robert Eisner, Journal of Economic Literature "Shaviro's history, economics, and political analysis are right on the mark. For all readers."—Library Journal

Everybody Lies

Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are
Author: Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062390872
Category: Social Science
Page: 352
View: 5473

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Foreword by Steven Pinker Blending the informed analysis of The Signal and the Noise with the instructive iconoclasm of Think Like a Freak, a fascinating, illuminating, and witty look at what the vast amounts of information now instantly available to us reveals about ourselves and our world—provided we ask the right questions. By the end of an average day in the early twenty-first century, human beings searching the internet will amass eight trillion gigabytes of data. This staggering amount of information—unprecedented in history—can tell us a great deal about who we are—the fears, desires, and behaviors that drive us, and the conscious and unconscious decisions we make. From the profound to the mundane, we can gain astonishing knowledge about the human psyche that less than twenty years ago, seemed unfathomable. Everybody Lies offers fascinating, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud insights into everything from economics to ethics to sports to race to sex, gender and more, all drawn from the world of big data. What percentage of white voters didn’t vote for Barack Obama because he’s black? Does where you go to school effect how successful you are in life? Do parents secretly favor boy children over girls? Do violent films affect the crime rate? Can you beat the stock market? How regularly do we lie about our sex lives and who’s more self-conscious about sex, men or women? Investigating these questions and a host of others, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz offers revelations that can help us understand ourselves and our lives better. Drawing on studies and experiments on how we really live and think, he demonstrates in fascinating and often funny ways the extent to which all the world is indeed a lab. With conclusions ranging from strange-but-true to thought-provoking to disturbing, he explores the power of this digital truth serum and its deeper potential—revealing biases deeply embedded within us, information we can use to change our culture, and the questions we’re afraid to ask that might be essential to our health—both emotional and physical. All of us are touched by big data everyday, and its influence is multiplying. Everybody Lies challenges us to think differently about how we see it and the world.

Happy Money

The Science of Smarter Spending
Author: Elizabeth Dunn,Michael Norton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476740704
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 224
View: 3614

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If you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re not spending it right. Two rising stars in behavioral science explain how money can buy happiness—if you follow five core principles of smarter spending. If you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re not spending it right. Two rising stars in behavioral science explain how money can buy happiness—if you follow five core principles of smarter spending. Happy Money offers a tour of new research on the science of spending. Most people recognize that they need professional advice on how to earn, save, and invest their money. When it comes to spending that money, most people just follow their intuitions. But scientific research shows that those intuitions are often wrong. Happy Money explains why you can get more happiness for your money by following five principles, from choosing experiences over stuff to spending money on others. And the five principles can be used not only by individuals but by companies seeking to create happier employees and provide “happier products” to their customers. Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton show how companies from Google to Pepsi to Crate & Barrel have put these ideas into action. Along the way, the authors describe new research that reveals that luxury cars often provide no more pleasure than economy models, that commercials can actually enhance the enjoyment of watching television, and that residents of many cities frequently miss out on inexpensive pleasures in their hometowns. By the end of this book, readers will ask themselves one simple question whenever they reach for their wallets: Am I getting the biggest happiness bang for my buck?

All Your Worth

The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan
Author: Elizabeth Warren,Amelia Warren Tyagi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743269888
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 304
View: 6790

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A guide to achieving financial stability and prosperity encourages new ways to think about and manage money, discussing such topics as balancing a budget, planning for entertainment, and getting out of debt.

Your Money

The Missing Manual
Author: J. D. Roth
Publisher: "O'Reilly Media, Inc."
ISBN: 0596809409
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 324
View: 822

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Guides readers with practical advice for getting -- and keeping -- their finances in order, covering all the money-management bases, from saving and spending to getting out of debt to investing, and planning for retirement.

Private Government

How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It)
Author: Elizabeth Anderson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140088778X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 224
View: 8372

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Why our workplaces are authoritarian private governments—and why we can't see it One in four American workers says their workplace is a "dictatorship." Yet that number probably would be even higher if we recognized most employers for what they are—private governments with sweeping authoritarian power over our lives, on duty and off. We normally think of government as something only the state does, yet many of us are governed far more—and far more obtrusively—by the private government of the workplace. In this provocative and compelling book, Elizabeth Anderson argues that the failure to see this stems from long-standing confusions. These confusions explain why, despite all evidence to the contrary, we still talk as if free markets make workers free—and why so many employers advocate less government even while they act as dictators in their businesses. In many workplaces, employers minutely regulate workers' speech, clothing, and manners, leaving them with little privacy and few other rights. And employers often extend their authority to workers' off-duty lives. Workers can be fired for their political speech, recreational activities, diet, and almost anything else employers care to govern. Yet we continue to talk as if early advocates of market society—from John Locke and Adam Smith to Thomas Paine and Abraham Lincoln—were right when they argued that it would free workers from oppressive authorities. That dream was shattered by the Industrial Revolution, but the myth endures. Private Government offers a better way to talk about the workplace, opening up space for discovering how workers can enjoy real freedom. Based on the prestigious Tanner Lectures delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values, Private Government is edited and introduced by Stephen Macedo and includes commentary by cultural critic David Bromwich, economist Tyler Cowen, historian Ann Hughes, and philosopher Niko Kolodny.

Democracy and Political Ignorance

Why Smaller Government Is Smarter, Second Edition
Author: Ilya Somin
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804799350
Category: Law
Page: 312
View: 8327

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One of the biggest problems with modern democracy is that most of the public is usually ignorant of politics and government. Many people understand that their votes are unlikely to change the outcome of an election and don't see the point in learning much about politics. This creates a nation of people with little political knowledge and little ability to objectively evaluate what they do know. The second edition of Democracy and Political Ignorance fully updates its analysis to include new and vital discussions on the implications of the "Big Sort" for politics, the link between political ignorance and the disproportionate political influence of the wealthy, assessment of proposed new strategies for increasing political knowledge, and up-to-date survey data on political ignorance during recent elections. Ilya Somin mines the depths of the current state of ignorance in America and reveals it as a major problem for democracy. He weighs various options for solving this problem, provocatively arguing that political ignorance is best mitigated and its effects lessened by decentralizing and limiting government. People make better decisions when they have stronger incentives to acquire relevant information—and to use it wisely.

Dollars and Sense

How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter
Author: Dan Ariely,Jeff Kriesler
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
ISBN: 9781432850180
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 480
View: 8176

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Uninvested

How Wall Street Hijacks Your Money and How to Fight Back
Author: Bobby Monks
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698406281
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 192
View: 2486

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Bobby Monks is blowing the whistle on Wall Street, giving middle class Americans the low down on how they’re being fleeced of their retirement money—and what they can do about it Every month our financial statements arrive, and every month we glance at them, trying to understand, hoping that we’ll come out ahead. But most of us have no idea what’s really going on or the costs involved. According to Bobby Monks—who has been a banker and borrower, investor and entrepreneur—financial firms and money managers have complicated the investing process to keep us in the dark, profiting from our ignorance. Having dealt with the financial sector throughout his career, Monks has seen it all. In Uninvested, he reveals how, when, and why the relationship between us and our money managers became corrupted—and what we can do to fix it. Monks shows how the system works not only against us as individuals but also against society at large. Without our knowledge or approval, our money is diverted into the pockets of CEOs and misappropriated, promoting business practices that contribute to economic inequality, political dysfunction, and environmental woe. Monks’ experiences give him a unique perspective on how we got to this point. Drawing on original research and interviews with key figures such as Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, legendary investor Carl Icahn, and former congressman Barney Frank of the Dodd-Frank Act, Monks teaches us how to take back ownership and control of our money. As he writes: Even in the decades preceding the most recent downturn, very few investors enjoyed financial success equal to that of their money managers. Given this, I have long wondered why investors don’t pull their money out of the system en masse. I suspect that it is because most feel powerless. Unaware of the implications of their investments and unable to penetrate the excruciating complexity of the system that facilitates them, many seem to seek refuge in their money managers’ aura of sophistication, pretense of competence, and projection of certainty. It seems to me that most investors are simply sleepwalking through the investing process. They have become uninvested. When we outsource our investing, we sacrifice control—but not responsibility. My goal in writing this book is to convince you that the best (and only) way to fix this broken system is to awaken a critical mass of engaged investors and recruit them to participate more fully in the investing process. From the Hardcover edition.

Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life


Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 1631490834
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 8482

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Half-Earth proposes an achievable plan to save our imperiled biosphere: devote half the surface of the Earth to nature. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature. If we are to undertake such an ambitious endeavor, we first must understand just what the biosphere is, why it's essential to our survival, and the manifold threats now facing it. In doing so, Wilson describes how our species, in only a mere blink of geological time, became the architects and rulers of this epoch and outlines the consequences of this that will affect all of life, both ours and the natural world, far into the future. Half-Earth provides an enormously moving and naturalistic portrait of just what is being lost when we clip "twigs and eventually whole braches of life's family tree." In elegiac prose, Wilson documents the many ongoing extinctions that are imminent, paying tribute to creatures great and small, not the least of them the two Sumatran rhinos whom he encounters in captivity. Uniquely, Half-Earth considers not only the large animals and star species of plants but also the millions of invertebrate animals and microorganisms that, despite being overlooked, form the foundations of Earth's ecosystems. In stinging language, he avers that the biosphere does not belong to us and addresses many fallacious notions such as the idea that ongoing extinctions can be balanced out by the introduction of alien species into new ecosystems or that extinct species might be brought back through cloning. This includes a critique of the "anthropocenists," a fashionable collection of revisionist environmentalists who believe that the human species alone can be saved through engineering and technology. Despite the Earth's parlous condition, Wilson is no doomsayer, resigned to fatalism. Defying prevailing conventional wisdom, he suggests that we still have time to put aside half the Earth and identifies actual spots where Earth's biodiversity can still be reclaimed. Suffused with a profound Darwinian understanding of our planet's fragility, Half-Earth reverberates with an urgency like few other books, but it offers an attainable goal that we can strive for on behalf of all life.

The Ethics of Voting


Author: Jason Brennan
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691154449
Category: Philosophy
Page: 216
View: 5500

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Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens--in fact, he argues, many people owe it to the rest of us not to vote. Bad choices at the polls can result in unjust laws, needless wars, and calamitous economic policies. Brennan shows why voters have duties to make informed decisions in the voting booth, to base their decisions on sound evidence for what will create the best possible policies, and to promote the common good rather than their own self-interest. They must vote well--or not vote at all. Brennan explains why voting is not necessarily the best way for citizens to exercise their civic duty, and why some citizens need to stay away from the polls to protect the democratic process from their uninformed, irrational, or immoral votes. In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote. This book reveals why sometimes it's best if they don't. In a new afterword, "How to Vote Well," Brennan provides a practical guidebook for making well-informed, well-reasoned choices at the polls.

Sports, Jobs, and Taxes

The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums
Author: Roger G. Noll,Andrew Zimbalist
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815720409
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 525
View: 698

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America is in the midst of a sports building boom. Professional sports teams are demanding and receiving fancy new playing facilities that are heavily subsidized by government. In many cases, the rationale given for these subsidies is that attracting or retaining a professional sports franchise—even a minor league baseball team or a major league pre-season training facility--more than pays for itself in increased tax revenues, local economic development, and job creation. But are these claims true? To assess the case for subsidies, this book examines the economic impact of new stadiums and the presence of a sports franchise on the local economy. It first explores such general issues as the appropriate method for measuring economic benefits and costs, the source of the bargaining power of teams in obtaining subsidies from local government, the local politics of attracting and retaining teams, the relationship between sports and local employment, and the importance of stadium design in influencing the economic impact of a facility. The second part of the book contains case studies of major league sports facilities in Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities, and of minor league stadiums and spring training facilities in baseball. The primary conclusions are: first, sports teams and facilities are not a source of local economic growth and employment; second, the magnitude of the net subsidy exceeds the financial benefit of a new stadium to a team; and, third, the most plausible reasons that cities are willing to subsidize sports teams are the intense popularity of sports among a substantial proportion of voters and businesses and the leverage that teams enjoy from the monopoly position of professional sports leagues.