Summary of Crunch

Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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Crunch book summary
Vice President Biden’s economic adviser answers all your questions about the economy.


9 Overall

8 Importance

7 Innovation

9 Style


At last someone has written a lucid explanation of the American middle class’s financial stagnation. Economist Jared Bernstein – chief economic adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden – provides a tremendous service to millions of Americans who wonder why so many two-income households remain financially insecure. Bernstein understands that most economics writing is impenetrable. He explains in lively prose why financial inequality is alive and well in 21st-century America. It’s an issue the mainstream media rarely covers. The book is structured around the gimmick of answering American’s most common questions about economics, and some of the miniessays don’t connect, but getAbstract recommends it to working people who want to know why they are entrenched in the proverbial rat race despite political promises that they are on the verge of financial security – a state, Bernstein emphasizes, that will remain elusive for most Americans.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why millions of hard-working Americans are under financial stress,
  • What some common misconceptions about economics are and
  • How political power determines economic benefits.


The Income Gap Widens
The greatest challenge the U.S. faces today is finding a way to organize the economy so that it provides the goods and services that people both want and need. That noble goal is also political, since governments determine the distribution of wealth, power, opportunity...
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About the Author

Jared Bernstein is senior economist and director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. He wrote All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy and is the co-author of eight editions of The State of Working America.

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