The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century

The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New CenturyNo One Has Authority To Call The Shots The Way They Really Are Than Paul Krugman, Whose Provocative New York Times Columns Are Keenly Followed By Millions One Of The World S Most Respected Economists, Krugman Has Been Named America S Most Important Columnist By The Washington Monthly And Columnist Of The Year By Editor And Publisher MagazineIn This Long Awaited Work Containing Krugman S Most Influential Columns Along With New Commentary, He Chronicles How The Boom Economy Unraveled How Exuberance Gave Way To Pessimism, How The Age Of Corporate Heroes Gave Way To Corporate Scandals, How Fiscal Responsibility Collapsed From His Account Of The Secret History Of The California Energy Crisis To His Devastating Dissections Of Dishonesty In The Bush Administration, Krugman Tells The Uncomfortable Truth About How The United States Lost Its Way And He Gives Us The Road Map We Will Need To Follow If We Are To Get The Country Back On Track An economic view of the imperial presidencyIf you think things are bad in Iraq, you might want to check out how things are going on the home front, economically speaking, that is What is unraveling is the nation s economic health What we are looking at, according to Princeton economist and New York Times Op Ed columnist Paul Krugman, is not only an emperor without any clothes, but a nation being burdened with so much debt that it is ready to crash upon the rocks of a hard economic reality to come There are about a hundred and fourteen columns, the earliest of which is dated December 29, 1997, the latest March 25, 2003, organized into sixteen chapters comprising five parts The columns, almost all of which first appeared in the New York Times, are arranged or less chronologically within each of the sixteen thematic chapters For each of the five parts Krugman has written an introduction especially for this volume What Krugman attempts to do is Part I account for and assign blame for the economic bubble and its collapse Parts II and III document the redistribution of the nation s wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich by the Bush administration Parts IV and V assign responsibility for the negative aspects of globalization and for the frequent collapse of markets in foreign countries, and speculate on where we might be headed By the way, Is that Lincoln County Road or Armageddon Seems like I ve been down that way before Bob Dylan His targets are Bush, Bush and Bush, of course, but also Alan Greenspan for acquiescing in Bush s Rob the Future Economics, but most pointedly he goes after the mass media, especially broadcast journalists for their failure to report candidly on what Bush and his cronies are up to Krugman feels, as I do, that the failure of the Fourth Estate is one of the reasons that Bush s attack on the environment, our pocket books, and our civil liberties is succeeding Bush has bullied the media into presenting the news in a way that obscures his attack on America and what America has always stood for This is no exaggeration Krugman s indictment likens the Bush leadership to that in so called banana republics see page 187 , and I have to say, he makes a good case Krugman is thorough he is incisive and, for an economist, welds a most colorful pen.I would recommend in reading this book that you skip the first part and turn directly to the chapter Crony Capitalism, USA on page 101 and learn about the insider stock trading and other shady deals of one George W Bush, now president of the United States, and how a failed businessman might became rich Krugman makes the point that Bush got away with insider trading and other shady dealings because nobody would prosecute him since the potential prosecutors were all friends of his father who was then president of the United States Or better yet don t read any of this it will destroy any illusions about free market capitalism in the United States you may have You will be offended You will be outraged.Krugman even goes so far as to characterize Bush s faith based economics as a deliberate Ponzi scheme in progress in which he takes money from the future and gives it to the present in the hope that things will remain rosy enough so that he will be reelected Even to the point is the transfer of funds from the poor and the middle class to the rich Krugman identifies them as people making over about 300,000 per year to be doled out for many years to come in the form of a supply side tax break costing hundreds of billions, perhaps even a couple trillion dollars.So who s minding the store Not Bush and his administration They feel that the store is a public commons that they need to exploit as much and as fast as possible before another administration gets in The purpose of the Bush administration as revealed in these pages is really nothing and nothing less that this redistribution of wealth Bush apparently believes that this is God s will and he is God s instrument in bringing about this massive stealth In a sense, the folksy George W is actually a Robin Hood in reverse His technique for handling a docile public is to lie to them and manipulate them, pretend to be a populist while constantly pushing an economic agenda that siphons off as much of America s wealth as he can get his hands on into the big gas tanks of his elite circle of relatives, friends and cronies In a nice summation of the George W technique, Krugman writes Mr Bush has made an important political discovery Really big misstatementscannot be effectively challenged, because voters can t believe that a man who seems so likable would do that sort of thing p 196 Until I read this book I was among those voters It seemed incredible that the President would just lie to us and carrying on as if there were nothing amiss and then lie to us again, and again Amazing, but such tactics work However, as someone once said you can fool some of the people some of the timebut eventually you get found out I hope Bush gets found out before November, 2004 Four years, if Krugman s prognosis is anything close to correct, could be than this venerable republic can afford Dennis Littrell, author of The World Is Not as We Think It Is I tend to be very cautious when reading anything current about politics especially when it comes from a writer who shares my feelings and views e.g Dick Cheney eats babies for breakfast Krugman is an economist and Op Ed columnist for The New York Times who approaches the state of our country without the hysteria of a Fox News host or any number of Vanity Fair contributors Occasionally confessing where his theories and forecasts on the economy have gone wrong, he earns points for an open mind and humility That being said, his portrait of the Bush administration including the inheretance of eight years of Clinton is terrifying The greater evil that has taken place may not be the misguided war abroad, but the total disregard for the law here in this country George Bush may be the figurehead, but his cronies in government and corporate America are just as terrifying as any terrorist with a pilots license and a sack of cash. For those of you who don t believe that history repeats itself, I defy you to read this book and not draw parallels between the current administration and the last Republican presidential shenanigans, which is when this collection of Paul Krugman s columns was originally written At certain points, I m sure that Krugman could easily change the names of the players and simply submit the column again This, of course, makes this a somewhat depressing, though eye opening read, particularly if you share my particular political bent Frustrating to say the least as we live through this nonsense. I like Paul Krugman, and this collection of his op ed pieces for the NY Times written between 2000 and 2003 has stimulated me to follow him closer at his blog There is no doubt that he makes a strong case in this book for his contention with which I agree that there is a right wing movement in this country that is taking control of our politics and our economy This was his contention in 2003, and I don t think it has changed since then As much as I agree with and commiserate with Paul Krugman and his arguments, I found this book to be repetitive this is probably because it is a collection of previously written op ed pieces as opposed to a new book It would be interesting to read a similar collection of Krugman s commentaries now in 2015 to get his current views on the last several years of the Obama Administration and the Republicans avowed efforts to thwart everything the President wants to do and accomplish simply for the sake of thwarting him.

Paul Robin Krugman is an American economist, liberal columnist and author He is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op ed columnist for The New York Times In 2008, Krugman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his contributions

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  • Hardcover
  • 426 pages
  • The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century
  • Paul Krugman
  • English
  • 12 August 2017
  • 9780393058505

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