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Crunch : Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (and Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries) - Jared Bernstein


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


Published: 14th March 2008
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Is Social Security really going bust, and what does that mean to me? If I hire an immigrant, am I hurting a native-born worker? Why does the stock market go up when employment declines? Should I give that homeless guy a buck? What's a "living wage"? How much can presidents really affect economic outcomes? What does the Federal Reserve Bank really do? And even when some pundits say the economy's sound, why do I still feel so squeezed?

If you'd like some straight answers, premier economist Jared Bernstein is here to help. In Crunch he responds to dozens of questions he has fielded from working Americans, questions that directly relate to the bottom-line, dollars-and-cents concerns of real people. Chances are if there's a stumper you've always wanted to ask an economist, it's solved in this book.

it's not an objective scientific discipline. It's a set of decisions about the best way to organize our society to produce and distribute resources and opportunities. And we all can, and must, participate in these decisions. "America is a democracy," he writes. "And in a democracy all of us, not just the elites and their scholarly shock troops, get to weigh in on biggies like this."

To not weigh in, Bernstein insists, is a profoundly political act, one with damaging consequences. Our economy will be only as fair as we can make it. In this lively and irreverent tour through everyday economic mysteries, Bernstein helps us decode economic "analysis," navigate through murky ethical quandaries, and make sound economicdecisions that reflect our deepest aspirations for ourselves, our families, and our country.

Introduction : so what is economics, anyway? -- 1. The big squeeze -- Why do I feel so squeezed? -- Econ-noir -- All is not as it appears : measuring economic outcomes -- Whatever happened to the Cleavers? -- The health care squeeze -- The medical industrial complex -- Health care reform -- Poverty amid plenty : the whats -- Poverty amid plenty : the whys -- Brother, can you spare a dime? -- The ABCs of worker pay -- What's so bad about inequality? -- All education, all the time -- 2. Don't know much about GDP -- Gross domestic product -- Unemployment : Wall Street vs. Main Street -- Underemployment -- Making better doughnuts -- Inflation -- What's a recession? -- Blowing bubbles -- The night of the living wage (and other scary stories) -- Your textbook got it wrong -- 3. Political economy 202 -- Social insecurity -- Economists in chief -- The fed -- The budget deficit (part 1) -- The budget deficit (part 2, in which a Nobelist agrees with me) -- The economy and the military -- Guns or butter -- A new WPA? -- "Please remain on the line" -- 4. The world ain't flat as all that -- What's right and wrong about globalization? -- Outsourcing -- The conscience of a shopper -- World trade -- Globalization and greed -- How the capitalists killed capitalism -- Undocumented workers -- The not-so-great immigration debate -- What's so bad about a labor shortage? -- The mighty dollar -- Can economists save the planet? -- 5. The reconnection agenda -- Easing the squeeze -- Health care -- Immigration -- Education -- Globalization -- What's left? -- Conclusion : the lesson of the rink.

ISBN: 9781576755501
ISBN-10: 1576755509
Format: PDF
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 14th March 2008
Publisher: Greenleaf