Free Market Not Free, Ills of the 21st Century, Brilliant,
The table of contents of this book is extraordinarily details and brilliant in its organization. Although the book is mostly case studies that one can read through rapidly if accepting of the author's key points, this may well be one of the finest itemizations of the ills of the 21st century: corporate power run amok, privatization and concentration of wealth (which is, incidentally, one of the precondition for revolution), the collapse of national and local economies (e.g. Wal-Mart), the dismantling of the welfare safety net in most countries, and the outbreak and spread of famine and civil war.
The author is probably the foremost scholar and commentator on how the “free” market is not so free, and how the existing capitalist system is predatory, aided by locked in privileges that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank impose on nations foolish enough to accept their intervention. In this the author is consistent with Jeffrey Sachs (The End of Poverty) who has put forward the need for a complete make-over of developmental economics, to include an end of the normal business practices of the IMF and the World Bank.
I was tempted to remove one star for lack of sufficient reference to the works of others, but the personal insights and comprehensive review caused me to leave the ranking at five stars. I see a clear pattern emerging in the literature (see my other 700+ reviews) and what I am waiting for is for someone to cut the spines off all these books and “make sense” of the total picture in a manner comprehensible to the indivdual voter.
If we are to restore informed democracy and moral capitalism, this book is one of the foundation stones.
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil
The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back
War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War onthe American Dream and How to Fight Back
Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class – And What We Can Do about It (BK Currents)
The Working Poor: Invisible in America
Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America