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American Amnesia : How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper

Walmart # 557401107
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"A spirited examination of why what's good for American business elites and what's good for Americans have become misaligned"--Front jacket flap.

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"A spirited examination of why what's good for American business elites and what's good for Americans have become misaligned"--Front jacket flap. A “provocative” ( Kirkus Reviews), timely, and topical work that examines what’s good for American business and what’s good for Americans—and why those interests are misaligned.

In American Amnesia, bestselling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson trace the economic and political history of the United States over the last century and show how a viable mixed economy has long been the dominant engine of America’s prosperity. We have largely forgotten this reliance, as many political circles and corporate actors have come to mistakenly see government as a hindrance rather than the propeller it once was. “American Amnesia” is more than a rhetorical phrase; elites have literally forgotten, or at least forgotten to talk about, the essential role of public authority in achieving big positive-sum bargains in advanced societies.

The mixed economy was the most important social innovation of the twentieth century. It spread a previously unimaginable level of broad prosperity. It enabled steep increases in education, health, longevity, and economic security. And yet, extraordinarily, it is anathema to many current economic and political elites. Looking at this record of remarkable accomplishment, they recoil in horror. And as the advocates of anti-government free market fundamentalist have gained power, they are hell-bent on scrapping the instrument of nearly a century of unprecedented economic and social progress. In the American Amnesia, Hacker and Pierson explain the full “story of how government helped make America great, how the enthusiasm for bashing government is behind its current malaise, and how a return to effective government is the answer the nation is looking for” ( The New York Times).

Specifications

Publisher
Simon & Schuster
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
464
Author
Paul Pierson, Jacob S. Hacker
ISBN-13
9781451667837
Publication Date
February, 2017
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.38 x 5.50 x 1.10 Inches
ISBN-10
1451667833

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Two political scientis...

Two political scientists discuss the history of the "mixed economy" in the United States, how it was dismantled, and why our current political and economic malaise is due to it's absence.  The mixed economy was ascendant in the United States from roughly the 1910s to the 1970s and at it's height received wide bipartisan support and was recognized as unchallengable norm by even the most right-wing Republicans.  Mixed economy is defined as one in which corporations have wide ranging freedom to control the means of production and accumulate capital but the government has strong powers of regulation while also providing extensive public services. During the long progressive period when the US was under a mixed economy, government was generally looked upon in a positive light.  The "American amnesia" is the state we are in today where most Americans are anti-government and have completely forgotten our ancestors' admiration for government.  This is due to a five decade campaign spearheaded by individuals such as the Koch Brothers and corporate interests like the Business Round Table and the Chamber of Commerce whose Randian ideology of free market libertarianism required debasing and then dismantling the government and the mixed economy.  These views soon were adopted as the Republican Party platform and by the 1990s, even Democrats echoed anti-government sentiments. This book is important work of political science, economics, and history that shows where Americans once were in a time of more generally widespread prosperity, how we lost that, and what we can do to regain it.

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