Thursday, August 14, 2008

James K. Galbraith's The Predator State

The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too goes on the Amazon wish list. I located it via TPM Cafe's Book Club. (I especially appreciated Max Sawicky reminding us that The Clenis promised much and delivered little.) I've long been a John Kenneth Galbraith fan and love how this son is carrying on the good fight. The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs is lucky to have him. In the product description I found the following:

The real economy is not a free-market economy. It is a complex combination of private and public institutions, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, higher education, the housing finance system, and a vast federal research establishment. The real problems and challenges -- inequality, climate change, the infrastructure deficit, the subprime crisis, and the future of the dollar -- are problems that cannot be solved by incantations about the market. They will be solved only with planning, with standards and other policies that transcend and even transform markets.

A timely, provocative work whose message will endure beyond this election season, The Predator State will appeal to the broad audience of thoughtful Americans who wish to understand the forces at work in our economy and culture and who seek to live in a nation that is both prosperous and progressive.

I doubt this will be a best seller if it is targeted towards "the broad audience of thoughtful Americans". Nevertheless, the book looks like a gem. For a sneak preview you can step back in time for this 2005 article in MoJo. John Gunn

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