Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries) / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (56) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $1.99   
  • Used (43) from $1.99   

Overview

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? 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.

Bernstein is fed up with "Darth Vaders with PhDs" who use their supposed expertise to intimidate average citizens and turn economics into a tool for the rich and powerful. In the pages of Crunch, Bernstein lays bare the dark secret of economics: 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."

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 economic decisions that reflect our deepest aspirations for ourselves,our families, and our country.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

According to economist and author Bernstein (All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy), the endless parade of economic legislation and corporate criminality that keep the rich getting richer are all a direct product of economic knowledge being monopolized and manipulated by the rich, keeping the middle and lower classes woefully unprepared to understand, much less stand up to, the economic forces aligned against them. Fortunately, this accessible overview should clear things up for even the most befogged reader. Answering questions from an average American perspective-"the ones in the vise grip of the crunch"-Bernstein explains murky topics like health care reform, minimum wage laws, the Federal Reserve, immigration and budget deficits with a clear, friendly manner that sidesteps any scholarly (and/or sinister) obfuscation. His progressive "we're all in this togther" philosophy, though seemingly familiar, is backed up with enough data and savvy to illuminate what's wrong in the dominant "self-reliance" narrative of American political discourse. This down-to-earth, populist guide to the pressing economic issues of our time is a clarifying, useful and empowering resource.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal

Economist Bernstein (All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy) has done the American electorate an enormous service by writing this witty and perceptive primer on economics-and just in time for the presidential election. He covers virtually all aspects of economic activity and candidly notes and responds to the basic concerns of ordinary Americans. Espousing his concept of "progressive economics," Bernstein largely succeeds in cutting through the fog of typical economic mumbo jumbo with refreshingly straight talk, making indicators like "gross domestic product" (GDP) easy to understand. Wondering if those tax cuts for the rich really are necessary? Bernstein convincingly argues they're not. Is the country in a recession? He shares some invaluable insight showing that, if we aren't already in a recession, we might soon be facing one. Unfortunately, his discussion predates the economic stimulus package recently passed by Congress. The bottom line for Bernstein is that economics should provide solutions, not create problems, for consumers. To that end, his book is a clarion call to remind us that the political slogan "It's the economy, stupid!" is just as timely as ever. Highly recommended for all business/economics collections.
—Richard Drezen

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576754771
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: BK Currents (Hardcover) Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Jared Bernstein is senior economist and director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC. He is the author of All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy and is the coauthor of eight editions of The State of Working America. His work has been published in The American Prospect, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the New York Daily News. As well as being a featured weekly commentator on a variety of CNBC programs such as Kudlow & Company and The Call, he makes regular appearances on various NPR programs, including Morning Edition and Marketplace.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface     iv
Introduction: So What Is Economics, Anyway?     1
The Big Squeeze
Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?     6
Econ-Noir     12
All Is Not As It Appears: Measuring Economic Outcomes     16
Whatever Happened to the Cleavers?     20
The Health Care Squeeze     25
The Medical Industrial Complex     29
Health Care Reform     34
Poverty Amid Plenty: The Whats     38
Poverty Amid Plenty: The Whys     41
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?     44
The ABCs of Worker Pay     47
What's So Bad About Inequality?     50
All Education, All the Time     54
Don't Know Much About GDP
Gross Domestic Product     61
Unemployment: Wall Street vs. Main Street     64
Underemployment     68
Making Better Doughnuts     71
Inflation     74
What's a Recession?     77
Blowing Bubbles     83
The Night of the Living Wage (and Other Scary Stories)     87
Your Textbook Got It Wrong     91
Political Economy 202
Social Insecurity     99
Economists in Chief     104
The Fed     109
The Budget Deficit (Part 1)     114
The Budget Deficit (Part 2, in Which a Nobelist Agrees with Me     118
The Economy and the Military     121
Guns or Butter     124
A New WPA?     128
"Please Remain on the Line"     130
The World Ain't Flat As All That
What's Right and Wrong About Globalization?     135
Outsourcing     141
The Conscience of a Shopper     144
World Trade     148
Globalization and Greed     151
How the Capitalists Killed Capitalism     152
Undocumented Workers     154
The Not-So-Great Immigration Debate     156
What's So Bad About a Labor Shortage?     159
The Mighty Dollar     161
Can Economists Save the Planet?     164
The Reconnection Agenda
Easing the Squeeze     169
Health Care     173
Immigration     178
Education     180
Globalization     183
What's Left?     186
Conclusion: The Lesson of the Rink     191
Notes     199
Acknowledgments     219
Index     221
About the Author     226

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2013

    Training and Hunting Grounds

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Blahhhhh blahhhhhh blahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    STUPID!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Why income in equality is growing in America

    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.

    To learn more about this book, check out the following Web page: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/11597/crunch.html

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2008

    It's the super-rich versus the rest of us!

    This is a fabulous, humorous book. Jared's approach allows readers to see things they never really saw before. I highly recommend this book, but I also warn that it may depress many readers. I recommend that in addition to Crunch, readers should look into books that teach them how to compete with the rich at their own game (rather than feeling sorry for themselves).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)