Summary of Aftershock

The Next Economy and America's Future

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Aftershock book summary
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, but what about the middle class? Find out why they’re the linchpin to US economic recovery.


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Politicians and pundits like to blame Americans’ excessive debt for plunging the economy into recession in 2008. But middle-class earners had a good reason for borrowing: Their incomes have dropped since 1980, during a period when the US economy’s gains increasingly went to the wealthy. According to former US Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich, the only way out of the doldrums now is to redress that imbalance and help the middle class resume its role powering the economy. In this book, Reich explores the dire consequences of failing to get workers back to work. Without seeming particularly worried about stirring controversy, he offers his suggestions for restoring the “basic bargain” of shared prosperity: People work and the government supports good jobs backed by a “safety net” of public services. getAbstract recommends Reich’s sobering review to those studying ideas about what’s broken and how to fix it.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How growing income inequality in the US was responsible for the 2008 recession
  • Why a working middle class fuels everyone’s prosperity
  • How former Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich says policy makers should redress the imbalance


The Rich Got Richer...
Excessive consumer borrowing in the US gets the lion’s share of the blame for the crash and subsequent recession in 2008. True, massive mortgage lending at low rates did contribute to the speculative bubble in real estate, but “high debt is a symptom rather than ...
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About the Author

Robert B. Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, served in three presidential administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton.

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    Ryan Yamane 4 years ago
    This is written from a liberal big government position that focuses on government intervention as the solution to our economic woes. I just can't see the logic in this position.

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