With breathtaking clarity, renowned University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Richard Wolff breaks down the root causes of today's economic crisis, showing how it was decades in the making and in fact reflects seismic failures within the structures of American-style capitalism itself. Wolff traces the source of the economic crisis to the 1970s, when wages began to stagnate and American workers were forced into a dysfunctional spiral of borrowing and debt that ultimately exploded in the mortgage meltdown. By placing the crisis within this larger historical and systemic frame, Wolff argues convincingly that the proposed government "bailouts," stimulus packages, and calls for increased market regulation will not be enough to address the real causes of the crisis, in the end suggesting that far more fundamental change will be necessary to avoid future catastrophes.
Richly illustrated with graphics and charts, this is a superb introduction that allows ordinary citizens to comprehend, and react to, the unraveling crisis.
Sections: Introduction | Three Things the Economic Crisis is Not | How We Got Here: American Exceptionalism | History Interrupted: The Trauma of Flat Wages | Coping With Trauma: The People's Response | The Meaning of the "Trauma" for Business | Bust and No Boom In Sight | What Won't Work: Re-Regulation | So What Might Work? | Beyond Free Markets and Regulation