[OPE-L] The Confiscation of American Prosperity

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Tue Oct 02 2007 - 08:26:35 EDT

Michael P's latest book is described below. Message was sent to
urpe-announcement list but, no doubt by oversight, was not also sent to

In solidarity, Jerry


My new book, The Confiscation of American Prosperity, will appear tomorrow.

This book resembles a crime story in four parts. The first part, The
Plunder, uses the example of the regressive redistribution of income in
the United States since 1970 -- a redistribution that quantitatively
dwarfs the Russian or the Chinese Revolutions -- to give a sense of the
extent of the right wing revolution, which has remade all branches of
government, the legal system, and perhaps most of all, the way people
understand their condition in society. In the process, I show how the
official statistics fail to capture the scope of this revolution, using
examples such as corporate jets for executives and excessive fees and
interest rates charged to the poor.

The second part, The Plot, tells the story of the right wing takeover in
the United States from the perspective of political economy.

The third and most extensive part, Retribution, explains how this right
wing revolution is laying the foundation for the next Great Depression, a
cataclysm that will cost everyone dearly, even intended beneficiaries of
the revolution.

        The final part, The Impotence of the Economics Profession, tells
the story of the missing cop on the beat the economics profession --
showing how we economists have nurtured a trained incapacity for doing
what should be our most important work, warning about dangerous tendencies
in the economy and pointing to a better way.


"The Confiscation of American Prosperity is a highly readable work that
offers equal servings of serious economics and controlled anger. Michael
Perelman is outraged by 30 years of deepening disparities in the U.S.
economy, and by the fact most economists either ignore the reality before
them or worse, provide academic firepower on behalf of a more unequal and
unstable society. Read Perelman, and prepare to be challenged, both
intellectually and morally."
--Robert Pollin, Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Political
Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts-Amherst

"This book gives an original perspective on the changes in the country
over the last three decades. It documents how the wealthy have managed to
structure the economy so that they could monopolize the gains from growth
over this period. It shows how the resulting growth in inequality is
undermining economic stability and productivity growth, creating an
economy and society that will not be sustainable in the long-run."
--Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

"Michael Perelman is author of a long series of important works on the
history and theory of capitalism. In his latest book The Confiscation of
American Prosperity, he offers an integrated account of economic and
political developments in the postwar period that could not be more
timely. Going beyond moral denunciation of the ever-worsening distribution
of income and wealth, he shows the way in which an ascendant far right
used the levers of power to counter declining profitability, but, in the
process of assaulting American living standards and further enriching the
wealthy, ended up weakening the mainsprings of the economy and preparing
the ground for devastating crisis. This is a story that economic orthodoxy
cannot tell but one that everyone needs to hear."
--Robert Brenner, Director, Center for Social Theory and Comparative
History, UCLA

"In this age of ever-increasing concentrations of power and wealth,
economists have been quick to attribute changes in inequality to factors
such as globalization and technological change, while paying much less
attention to the social and political forces that have shaped the outcome.
With its analysis of the political, economic, and social forces behind
recent changes in the distribution of power, wealth, and income, this book
takes important steps to fill this void. Beginning with its analysis of
the right wing's exploitation of the discontent from the unraveling of the
Golden Age as a means to promote free-market ideology, continuing with its
analysis of later efforts to further free-market ideology in the political
and public arenas, and ending with its characterization of where we are
now, this book helps us understand how we attained the level of inequality
we have today, and where we might be headed next."
--Mark Thoma, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Oregon

Rather than bother you more details, in case you are not interested, I
provided more information about the book on my blog:


Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Chico, CA 95929
fax 530-898-5901


Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Chico, CA 95929
fax 530-898-5901

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