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The Case for Big Government (New in Paper)

The Case for Big Government (New in Paper)

Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    The Case for Big Government (New in Paper)
    Book Description:

    Political conservatives have long believed that the best government is a small government. But if this were true, noted economist Jeff Madrick argues, the nation would not be experiencing stagnant wages, rising health care costs, increasing unemployment, and concentrations of wealth for a narrow elite. In this perceptive and eye-opening book, Madrick proves that an engaged government--a big government of high taxes and wise regulations--is necessary for the social and economic answers that Americans desperately need in changing times. He shows that the big governments of past eras fostered greatness and prosperity, while weak, laissez-faire governments marked periods of corruption and exploitation.The Case for Big Governmentconsiders whether the government can adjust its current policies and set the country right.

    Madrick explains why politics and economics should go hand in hand; why America benefits when the government actively nourishes economic growth; and why America must reject free market orthodoxy and adopt ambitious government-centered programs. He looks critically at today's politicians--at Republicans seeking to revive nineteenth-century principles, and at Democrats who are abandoning the pioneering efforts of the Great Society. Madrick paints a devastating portrait of the nation's declining social opportunities and how the economy has failed its workers. He looks critically at today's politicians and demonstrates that the government must correct itself to address these serious issues.

    A practical call to arms,The Case for Big Governmentasks for innovation, experimentation, and a willingness to fail. The book sets aside ideology and proposes bold steps to ensure the nation's vitality.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3480-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Law, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Ruth O’Brien

    Some books resonate. Some books profit from, and help instill, “a political time” to be heard. These same books, published in such a significant moment, wake us up—they jolt us with the realization that, had they been published a tad earlier, they might not have been well heard. They could have been passed over or ignored. Conceived in the depths of the second Bush administration, when the oracle on the rock was Wall Street high-risk speculative capitalism, Jeff Madrick’s timely bookThe Case for Big Governmentoffered us a different narrative about our present, our past, and our future...

    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. PART I Goverment and Change in America
    (pp. 1-64)

    It is conventional wisdom in America today that high levels of taxes and government spending diminish America’s prosperity. The claim strikes a deep intuitive chord, not only among those on the Right, but also among many on today’s Left. It has become so obvious to so many over the last thirty years, it hardly seems to require demonstration any longer. It is apparently so widely accepted by the public and rolls off the tongues of policymakers from both parties with such fluency that one would think the evidence needn’t even be gathered. Republican followers of Ronald Reagan remain the most...

  6. PART II How Much We Have Changed
    (pp. 65-124)

    Books likeFuture Shockor magazines likeWired, which claim that change is now faster than ever before, are misleading. The evidence does not at all support the snappy conclusions. To the contrary, rapid change confronted America time and again over two hundred and fifty years, usually arriving in explosive spurts. Many conditions were necessary to produce rapid change, including: large and growing markets and increasing exchange of goods and services; the innovativeness of capitalism; a literate, skilled, and increasingly educated population; financial markets to encourage savings and channel it towards investment; the expansion of international trade; scientific discovery and...

  7. PART III What to Do
    (pp. 125-176)

    How did America become a nation that does not believe it can afford to do what it once did and to do what has to be done today? How did the wealthiest nation in history come to believe it is not wealthy? Part of the nation’s new agenda must be to rid itself of a deep-seated pessimism that it does not acknowledge. Ronald Reagan, promising a “new morning in America,” ironically ushered in the age of limits he accused Jimmy Carter of creating. With Reagan, slow wage growth and high levels of unemployment became accepted. Pundits like Robert Samuelson of...

  8. NOTES
    (pp. 177-194)
  9. INDEX
    (pp. 195-205)