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A top economist explains the mess Americans have made

One of the world’s smartest economists, Dean Baker has new book out. It’s called “The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive.” You can read a summary and download the book for free by clicking here.

I have only begun to read it, but this seems to be the main thesis:

The political system and the “free market” are rigged (and increasingly so) to the advantage of the rich and powerful, but progressives continually make the mistake of accepting the right’s spin that this rigging is somehow “natural.”

This is from Baker’s website:

“Progressives need a fundamentally new approach to politics. They have been losing not just because conservatives have so much more money and power, but also because they have accepted the conservatives’ framing of political debates. They have accepted a framing where conservatives want market outcomes whereas liberals want the government to intervene to bring about outcomes that they consider fair.

This is not true. Conservatives rely on the government all the time, most importantly in structuring the market in ways that ensure that income flows upwards. The framing that conservatives like the market while liberals like the government puts liberals in the position of seeming to want to tax the winners to help the losers. 

This “loser liberalism” is bad policy and horrible politics. Progressives would be better off fighting battles over the structure of markets so that they don’t redistribute income upward. This book describes some of the key areas where progressives can focus their efforts in restructuring market so that more income flows to the bulk of the working population rather than just a small elite.”

It looks to be a fast and enjoyable read. Enjoy and spread the word.

9 Comments

  1. Jimmy

    September 23, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Perhaps Dean should move to Europe . The socialist welfare states are doing just great aren’t they ?

  2. Ed McLenaghan

    September 23, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I’ve read the whole thing, and it’s a must-read for progressives who want to work towards an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest.

    And, as a side note, can we please stop referring to Europe as if it’s a single country? The political systems of European countries are incredibly diverse. Anyone who puts the political economies of the UK, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, etc. in the same category hasn’t done their homework. (Doing the same thing for Africa, the Middle East, and Asia would be a nice bonus, too.)

  3. JeffS

    September 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    In what ways Jimmy?

    When my corporation laid off thousands of workers, they were almost exclusively in the US, not because of wages or quality of staff, but simply because labor laws in Europe made it more difficult to fire those workers.

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t use GDP or stock prices to determine my overall quality of life.

  4. Alex O'Connor

    September 25, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Rob I will read this. I was impressed with what he had to say recently.

  5. Eunice

    September 26, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Let’s face it ! Dean is probably a closet Communist ! He hates capitalism.

  6. jlp75

    September 26, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Republican debating 101: If you can’t debate an argument just scream communism, or socialism or whatever ism Rush told you to say this week. You people are pathetic. Either refute the points with FACTS of your own or shut up and go home. But I know facts are like kryptonite to you guys.

  7. gregflynn

    September 26, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Dean Baker is an excellent Capitalist in theory and practice. He correctly predicted the real estate bubble, so he sold his family’s DC condo at peak in 2004, making a handsome profit, and rented a similar condo for less than the cost of ownership.

  8. Eunice

    September 26, 2011 at 10:15 am

    It didn’t take a genius to see the real estate bubble coming. Everyone but the idiots in Washington saw it many years before.

  9. david esmay

    September 26, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I think Eunice and Alex are one in the same person, either that, or she is his cosmic doppleganger. Thomas Hoenig, the retiring president of the Kansas City federal reserve has called for a complete restructuring of investment banks because they are to large and complex, so complex in fact, that the ceo’s who operate them don’t understand them, he wants to bust them up. Does that make him a communist? Anyone who has read anything recently about SEC whislteblower Darcy Flynn’s revelations that the SEC has been covering up Wall St. crimes for over two decades, cannot refute the fact that the markets and the system has been corrupted When companies like Goldman-Sachs, Deutsche Bank, AIG, and UBS-Swiss become the subject of an investigation they simply hire away the lead SEC investigator, paying them many more times what they were making, and the investigation goes away.