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: 7608

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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: 1960

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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: 2294

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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: 6866

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

It's Better Than It Looks

Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear
Author: Gregg Easterbrook
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1610397428
Category: History
Page: 352
View: 2671

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Is civilization teetering on the edge of a cliff? Or are we just climbing higher than ever? Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more. Yet this narrative misses something important: by almost every meaningful measure, the modern world is better than it ever has been. In the United States, disease, crime, discrimination, and most forms of pollution are in long-term decline, while longevity and education keep rising and economic indicators are better than in any past generation. Worldwide, malnutrition and extreme poverty are at historic lows, and the risk of dying by war or violence is the lowest in human history. It's not a coincidence that we're confused--our perspectives on the world are blurred by the rise of social media, the machinations of politicians, and our own biases. Meanwhile, political reforms like the Clean Air Act and technological innovations like the hybridization of wheat have saved huge numbers of lives. In that optimistic spirit, Easterbrook offers specific policy reforms to address climate change, inequality, and other problems, and reminds us that there is real hope in conquering such challenges. In an age of discord and fear-mongering, It's Better Than It Looks will profoundly change your perspective on who we are, where we're headed, and what we're capable of.

How to Spend $50 Billion to Make the World a Better Place


Author: Bjørn Lomborg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139457209
Category: Business & Economics
Page: N.A
View: 2201

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Edited by Bjørn Lomborg, this abridged version of the highly acclaimed Global Crises, Global Solutions provides a serious yet accessible springboard for debate and discussion on the world's most serious problems, and what we can do to solve them. In a world fraught with problems and challenges, we need to gauge how to achieve the greatest good with our money. This unique book provides a rich set of dialogs examining ten of the most serious challenges facing the world today: climate change, the spread of communicable diseases, conflicts and arms proliferation, access to education, financial instability, governance and corruption, malnutrition and hunger, migration, sanitation and access to clean water, and subsidies and trade barriers. Each problem is introduced by a world-renowned expert who defines the scale of the issue and examines a range of policy options.

The People Vs. Democracy

Why Our Freedom is in Danger and how to Save it
Author: Yascha Mounk
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674976827
Category: Authoritarianism
Page: 400
View: 664

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From India to Turkey, from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. Two core components of liberal democracy--individual rights and the popular will--are at war, putting democracy itself at risk. In plain language, Yascha Mounk describes how we got here, where we need to go, and why there is little time left to waste.

How Do You Kill 11 Million People?

Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think
Author: Andy Andrews
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 0849949904
Category: Self-Help
Page: 96
View: 5565

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In this compact, nonpartisan book, Andrews urges readers to be “careful students” of the past, seeking accurate, factual accounts of events and decisions that illuminate choices we face now. By considering how the Nazi German regime was able to carry out over eleven million institutional killings between 1933 and 1945, Andrews advocates for an informed population that demands honesty and integrity from its leaders and from each other. Andy Andrews believes that good answers come only from asking the right questions. Through the powerful, provocative question, “How do you kill eleven million people?”—the number of people killed by the Nazi German regime between 1933 and 1945—he explores a number of other questions relevant to our lives today: Does it matter that millions of ordinary citizens have checked out of participating in the decisions that shape the future of our country? Which is more dangerous: politicians with ill intent, or the too-trusting population that allows such people to lead them? How are we supposed to tell the difference between the “good guys" and the “bad guys”? How does the answer to this question affect not only our country but our families, our faith, and our values? What happens to a society in which truth is absent? Andrews issues a wake-up call: become informed, passionate citizens who demand honesty and integrity from our leaders, or suffer the consequences of our own ignorance and apathy. Furthermore, we can no longer measure a leader’s worth by the yardsticks provided by the left or the right. Instead, we must use an unchanging standard: the pure, unvarnished truth.

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: 9923

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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.

Free Lunch

How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)
Author: David Cay Johnston
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101216514
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 336
View: 3985

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The bestselling author of Perfectly Legal returns with a powerful new exposé How does a strong and growing economy lend itself to job uncertainty, debt, bankruptcy, and economic fear for a vast number of Americans? Free Lunch provides answers to this great economic mystery of our time, revealing how today's government policies and spending reach deep into the wallets of the many for the benefit of the wealthy few. Johnston cuts through the official version of events and shows how, under the guise of deregulation, a whole new set of regulations quietly went into effect-- regulations that thwart competition, depress wages, and reward misconduct. From how George W. Bush got rich off a tax increase to a $100 million taxpayer gift to Warren Buffett, Johnston puts a face on all of the dirty little tricks that business and government pull. A lot of people appear to be getting free lunches, but of course there's no such thing as a free lunch, and someone (you, the taxpayer) is picking up the bill. Johnston's many revelations include: How we ended up with the most expensive yet inefficient health-care system in the world How homeowners title insurance became a costly, deceitful, yet almost invisible oligopoly How our government gives hidden subsidies for posh golf courses How Paris Hilton's grandfather schemed to retake the family fortune from a charity for poor children How the Yankees and Mets owners will collect more than $1.3 billion in public funds In these instances and many more, Free Lunch shows how the lobbyists and lawyers representing the most powerful 0.1 percent of Americans manipulated our government at the expense of the other 99.9 percent. With his extraordinary reporting, vivid stories, and sharp analysis, Johnston reveals the forces that shape our everyday economic lives and shows us how we can finally make things better. From the Hardcover edition.

What They Do With Your Money

How the Financial System Fails Us and How to Fix It
Author: Stephen Davis,Jon Lukomnik,David Pitt-Watson
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300223811
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 296
View: 6181

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Each year we pay billions in fees to those who run our financial system. The money comes from our bank accounts, our pensions, our borrowing, and often we aren’t told that the money has been taken. These billions may be justified if the finance industry does a good job, but as this book shows, it too often fails us. Financial institutions regularly place their business interests first, charging for advice that does nothing to improve performance, employing short-term buying strategies that are corrosive to building long-term value, and sometimes even concealing both their practices and their investment strategies from investors. In their previous prizewinning book, The New Capitalists, the authors demonstrated how ordinary people are working together to demand accountability from even the most powerful corporations. Here they explain how a tyranny of errant expertise, naive regulation, and a misreading of economics combine to impose a huge stealth tax on our savings and our economies. More important, the trio lay out an agenda for curtailing the misalignments that allow the financial industry to profit at our expense. With our financial future at stake, this is a book that analysts, economists, policy makers, and anyone with a retirement nest egg can’t afford to ignore.

The End of Money

Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers--and the Coming Cashless Society
Author: David Wolman
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0306822695
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 240
View: 4496

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For ages, money has meant little metal disks and rectangular slips of paper. Yet the usefulness of physical money--to say nothing of its value--is coming under fire as never before. Intrigued by the distinct possibility that cash will soon disappear, author and Wired contributing editor David Wolman sets out to investigate the future of money...and how it will affect your wallet. Wolman begins his journey by deciding to shun cash for an entire year--a surprisingly successful experiment (with a couple of notable exceptions). He then ventures forth to find people and technologies that illuminate the road ahead. In Honolulu, he drinks Mai Tais with Bernard von NotHaus, a convicted counterfeiter and alternative-currency evangelist whom government prosecutors have labeled a domestic terrorist. In Tokyo, he sneaks a peek at the latest anti-counterfeiting wizardry, while puzzling over the fact that banknote forgers depend on society's addiction to cash. In a downtrodden Oregon town, he mingles with obsessive coin collectors--the people who are supposed to love cash the most, yet don't. And in rural Georgia, he examines why some people feel the end of cash is Armageddon's warm-up act. After stops at the Digital Money Forum in London and Iceland's central bank, Wolman flies to Delhi, where he sees first-hand how cash penalizes the poor more than anyone--and how mobile technologies promise to change that. Told with verve and wit, The End of Money explores an aspect of our daily lives so fundamental that we rarely stop to think about it. You'll never look at a dollar bill the same again.

Dark Money

The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
Author: Jane Mayer
Publisher: Anchor Books
ISBN: 0307947904
Category: History
Page: 547
View: 1381

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Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? --Publisher.

Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can Do About It

How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy - and What We Can Do About It
Author: Steve Forbes,Elizabeth Ames
Publisher: McGraw Hill Professional
ISBN: 0071823719
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 272
View: 4811

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Why a return to sound money is our only hope for a true recovery and a healthy global economy “Money clearly illustrates that sound money is an essential foundation for a free and prosperous society and that the Federal Reserve’s current policies are a greater threat to the economic future of the U.S. than government deficit spending. This is an important book well worth reading.” -- John A. Allison, President and CEO, Cato Institute, and author of the New York Times bestselling The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure “Few topics today are as misunderstood as the subject of money. Steve Forbes understands money better than most heads of state do, and in this provocative book he shares his vast knowledge and gives us sensible and time-tested recommendations for stopping future financial meltdowns.” -- Lawrence Kudlow, CNBC Senior Contributor “Economic and monetary policies can be difficult to master for even the savviest politicians. Money effectively communicates these complexities into a cohesive argument for economic recovery and preventing a new financial crisis. Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames deliver a gripping read and an intriguing viewpoint on how to get our economy back on track.” --Greta Van Susteren, host of On the Record, Fox News Channel Few topics are as misunderstood today as the subject of money. Since the U.S. abandoned a gold-linked dollar more than four decades ago, the world’s governments have slid into a dangerous ignorance of the fundamental monetary principles that guided the world’s most successful economies for centuries. Today’s wrong-headed monetary policies are now setting the stage for a new global economic and social catastrophe that could rival the recent financial crisis and even the horrors of the 1930s. Coauthored by Steve Forbes, one of the world’s leading experts on finance, Money shows you why that doesn’t need to happen--and how to prevent it. After reading this entertaining and hugely well-informed book, you will know more about money than most people in the highest government positions today. Money explains why a return to sound money is absolutely essential if the U.S. and other nations are ever to overcome today’s problems. Stable money, Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames argue, is the only way to a true recovery and a stable and prosperous economy. Today’s system of fluctuating “fiat” money, in which governments manipulate the value of the dollar and other currencies, has been responsible for the biggest economic failures of recent decades, including the 2008 financial crisis, from whose effects we continue to suffer. The Obama/Bernanke/Yellen Federal Reserve and its unstable dollar policies are accelerating our course toward disaster, the authors show, in numerous convincing examples. In Money, Forbes and Ames answer these crucial questions: What is the difference between money and value? What is real wealth? How does sound money contribute to a well-functioning society? How have our money policy errors led to the current problems in global financial markets? What can we do now to reestablish the strength of the dollar and other currencies? The authors argue that the most effective way to return to a sound money policy and a healthy economy is to put the dollar back on a gold standard, and they outline the several different forms a gold standard could take. They also share invaluable suggestions for how to preserve our wealth and where to invest our money. Money is essential reading for anyone interested in this crucially important subject.

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: 4385

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Happy Money

The Science of Happier Spending
Author: Elizabeth Dunn,Michael Norton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451665083
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 224
View: 2950

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Two professors combine their fascinating and cutting-edge research in behavioral science to explain how money can buy happiness—if you follow five core principles of smart 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 offers a tour of research on the science of spending, explaining how you can get more happiness for your money. Authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton have outlined five principles—from choosing experiences over stuff to spending money on others—to guide not only individuals looking for financial security, but also companies seeking to create happier employees and provide “happier products” to their customers. Dunn and Norton show how companies from Google to Pepsi to Charmin have put these ideas into action. Along the way, Dunn and Norton explore fascinating 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 “lively and engaging book” (Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness), you’ll be asking yourself one simple question every time you reach for your wallet: Am I getting the biggest happiness bang for my buck?

Crime and Punishment in America


Author: Elliott Currie
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250024218
Category: Political Science
Page: 288
View: 3051

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An acclaimed criminologist examines America's ongoing war against violent crime, arguing that ever-increasing rates of imprisonment have not reduced--and will not reduce--crime rates and offering a range of tested alternatives based on deterrence. Tour.

This Changes Everything

Capitalism Vs. The Climate
Author: Naomi Klein
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451697384
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 576
View: 5392

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Explains why the environmental crisis should lead to an abandonment of "free market" ideologies and current political systems, arguing that a massive reduction of greenhouse emissions may offer a best chance for correcting problems.

Web of Debt

The Shocking Truth about Our Money System and how We Can Break Free
Author: Ellen Hodgson Brown
Publisher: Third Millennium Media
ISBN: 9780979560880
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 544
View: 8350

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WEB OF DEBT unravels the deceptions in our money scheme and gives a clear picture of the financial abyss into which we are plunging. Then it explores a tested, workable alternative endorsed by the best of America's thinkers, including Franklin, Jefferson and Lincoln. If you care about financial security, your own or the nation's, you should read this book.

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: 691

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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.