Only a Nobel Prize-winning economist could disguise a political broadside against conservatives and the George W. Bush administration inside a Trojan horse mea culpa of the Bill Clinton White House. No one could argue with Joseph Stiglitz’s assertion that an effective modern economy must strike a reasonable balance between free markets and government oversight - but what is reasonable? Stiglitz regrets what is arguably the shining achievement of the Clinton Administration, namely, its success in balancing the U.S. budget. Credit him for consistency: he opposed Clinton’s tax cut, just as he opposed George W. Bush’s. Stiglitz’s academic and professional chops are beyond question, and his insights into corporate welfare and inefficient markets are quite valuable if somewhat short of profound. getAbstract.com finds that this volume provides strong insights into the inner workings of the American economic juggernaut. Your reaction will depend whether you agree or disagree with the author’s contentions that the Clinton Administration was not liberal enough and that the present Bush Administration believes in small government.
In this summary, you will learn
- How President Bill Clinton’s focus on cutting budget deficits diluted other aspects of his administration’s social agenda;
- How deregulation helped inflate the bubble that later burst;
- How flawed accounting standards encouraged corporate malfeasance; and
- Why the U.S. government must address free market inefficiencies.
About the Author
Winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote the international bestseller Globalization and its Discontents. From 1993 to 1997, he was a member and then the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. From 1997 to 2000, he was senior vice-president and chief economist of the World Bank.