Over the last three decades, debt, bankruptcy, and home foreclosures have risen to epidemic levels. To make matters worse, the personal savings rate is at its lowest point since the Great Depression. Why, in the richest nation on earth, can't Americans hold on to our money?
Winner of the prestigious William James Book Award for Believing in Magic and an authority on irrational behavior, Stuart Vyse offers a unique psychological perspective on the financial behavior of the many Americans today who find they cannot make ends meet, illuminating the causes of our wildly self-destructive spending habits. But unlike other authors, he doesn't entirely blame the victim. Bringing together fascinating studies of consumer behavior, he argues that the mountain of debt burying so many of us is the inevitable byproduct of America's turbo-charged economy and, in particular, of social and technological trends that undermine our self-control. Going Broke illuminates everything from the rise of the credit card, to the increase in state lotteries and casino gambling, to the expansion of new shopping opportunities provided by toll-free numbers, home shopping networks, big-box stores, and the Internet, revealing how vast changes in American society over the last 30 years have greatly complicated our relationship with money. Vyse concludes both with personal advice for the individual who wants to achieve greater financial stability and with pointed recommendations for economic and social change that will help promote the financial health of all Americans.
Engagingly written, with startling insights into modern consumerism and with poignant human-interest stories of people facing financial failure, Going Broke offers a provocative new perspective on American economic behavior that is likely to stir controversy and serious debate.
"Stuart Vyse's brilliant blending of cognitive science and practical economics explains how smart, well-intentioned people so often financially self-destruct. With a mix of compelling research and engaging anecdote, he reveals how we think about money, how modern shopping and payment systems influence consumer behavior, how yesterday's wants become today's needs, and how we can use this knowledge to spend less, save more, and live more happily." -David G. Myers, PhD, Hope College, and author of Intuition: Its Powers and Perils "The responsibility for going broke must ultimately lie with the individual, but that does not mean that there are not psychological, social, and economic reasons why so many people cannot save what they earn. With deep compassion and penetrating insight Stuart Vyse turns the lens of science to uncover those reasons, showing how and why bankruptcy could happen to any of us and that the problem is a national one about which we must all be concerned. Vyse's program on how to avoid debt should be printed on the back of every credit card application form." -Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of Why People Believe Weird Things and The Mind of the Market
|A Note About the Interviews||p. ix|
|The Open Drain||p. 3|
|Making Sense of Financial Failure||p. 23|
|The Story of Bankruptcy||p. 47|
|Self-Control and Money||p. 61|
|A Different Story of Bankruptcy||p. 91|
|New Ways of Wanting||p. 119|
|New Ways of Spending||p. 161|
|Marcia and Joel||p. 212|
|Thinking About Money||p. 215|
|How Not to Go Broke||p. 259|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st February 2008
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.5 x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.685