26. The End of Loser Liberalism by Dean Baker

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26. The End of Loser Liberalism by Dean Baker

Post  wmeisel on Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:26 pm

This is an economic book by Dean Baker that was on sale in Kindle format for 99 cents. It is interesting reading.

Baker attempts to explain to progressives what economic issues they should and should not care about. In particular, he compares the savings we would get from certain policies over and over to the money saved by not renewing the Bush Tax cuts, a progressive priority. There was much interesting information in this book:

1) He talks about differences between the banking industry in American vs. Japan to argue that we will NOT see a "lost decade" a la Japan in the 90s.

2) He argues that the action of the Fed and Treasury was NOT what prevented the country from falling into a second great depression.

3) He claims that Bill Clinton should not get as much credit as he does for the "booming" economy of the 90s.

4) He argues that progressives should be interested in a devalued dollar, in particular because of the effects it will have on decreasing unemployment.

5) He argues that we should import doctors and lawyers from other countries who will work for less in the same way we use cheap immigrant labor for the jobs Americans "don't want to do."

6) He talks about a (shocking) policy where Wal-Mart purchased life insurance policies on 350,000 workers which they and their families did not even know about.

7) Most countries have an independent civil service that regulates the financial industry; we do not. This is a problem.

Cool He argues that the repeal of Glass-Steagall did not have a lot to do with inflating the housing bubble.

9) He makes a good argument that home ownership is not the best plan for everyone.

10) Progressives, he argue, should be against some of the trademark and copyright laws in the U.S. because they increase the price of drugs to many many times their prices in other countries.

As is usually the case with economics books, I do not feel the bullet points I listed above summarize the entire book that well. Baker's book included much food for thought and points that go against some of my previously held beliefs. Though not always easy reading, this definitely kept my interest.

Recommended.

(That emoticon should be #8, but I can't seem to get rid of it.)

wmeisel
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