Review: The Disposable American–Layoffs and Their Consequences (Hardcover)

4 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect but Riveting and Essential,

April 30, 2006
Louis Uchitelle
Some of the criticisms ofThe Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead this book are valid, but I completely disagree with those who sound more and more like a corporate fascist every day, equating the “social contract” with socialism. If they would take the time to read William Greider's book The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy or Herman Daly's Ecological Economics: Principles And Applications or John Perkins Confessions of an Economic Hit Man or any of a wide variety of books that I have reviewed for Amazon readers, they might realize that the concept of the corporation as a legal entity that absolves its managers and stock-holders from immoral, predatory and even illegal behavior, is one that we can do without. I will go further–I have coined the term “Communal Capitalism” to describe that condition where the people retain ownership of the factors of production, and the managers are well-paid employees but not war profiteers or out and out thieves against the commonwealth.”

Hans Morganthau clearly identified the people–the demography of a nation–as a major sources of national power, and Thomas Jefferson was among the first to say that “A Nation's best defense is an educated citizenry.” Most recently I have reviewed the new book by Alvin and Heidi Toffler on Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives and there is much agreement between the two books, both of which address the dysfunctionality of our educational, health, energy, and transportation systems.

I am especially taken by the author's tracing of how a series of Presidents, but most terribly, President Clinton, essentially left the American worker to the wolves at the door, and made them disposable. Perhaps Clinton sold out to Wall Street and to bribes from corporations, a standard practice in our (see my review of the book by that title). Whatever the case, what this book clearly documents, albeit with more personal vignettes than I really cared to deal with, is that we are killing not just our middle class, but our worker class as well. This is nothing short of economic and social suicide.

There is one thing and one thing only that we can do to address this unhealthy economic situation that is exhacerbated by the double deficits (trade and debt): this book should be a call to arms for the public, which should demand that both its legislative candidates its presidential candidates in 2008, restore their integrity by once again serving as the champions of the worker-people rather than the corporate special interests.

There is a great deal that is wrong with our predatory form of capitalism, one reason why I champion communal capitalism (my term, not to be confused with socialism or communism but rather with capitalism of, by, and for the people). This author has very capably summarized the real costs to the people, and to the country, of irresponsible lay-offs from which we do not recover.

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