BN.com Gift Guide

Plenty of Nothing: The Downsizing of the American Dream and the Case for Structural Keynesianism

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$27.00
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $19.98   
  • Used (7) from $1.99   

Overview

Business papers today are in a triumphant mood, buoyed by a conviction that the economic stagnation of the last quarter century has vanished in favor of a new age of robust growth. But if we are doing so well, many ask, why does it feel like we are working harder for less? Why, despite economic growth, does inequality between rich and poor keep rising? In this wide-ranging and provocative book, Thomas Palley pulls together many threads of "new liberal" economic thought to offer detailed answers to these pressing questions. And he proposes a new economic model—structural Keynesianism—that he argues would return America to sustainable, fairly shared prosperity. The key, he writes, is to abandon the myth of a natural competitive economy, which has justified unleashing capital and attacking unions. This has resulted in an economy dominated by business.

Palley's book, which began as a cover article for The Atlantic Monthly in 1996, challenges the economic orthodoxies of the political right and center, popularized by such economists as Milton Friedman and Paul Krugman. He marshals a powerful array of economic facts and arguments to show that the interests of working families have gradually been sacrificed to those of corporations. Expanding on traditional Keynesian economics, he argues that, although capitalism is the most productive system ever devised, it also tends to generate deep economic inequalities and encourage the pursuit of profit at the expense of all else. He challenges fatalists who say we can do nothing about this—that economic insecurity and stagnant wages are the inevitable results of irresistible globalization. Palley argues that capitalism comes in a range of forms and that government can and should shape it from a "mean street" system into a "main street" system through monetary, fiscal, trade, and regulatory policies that promote widespread prosperity.

Plenty of Nothing offers a compelling alternative to conventional economic wisdom. The book is clearly and powerfully written and will provoke debate among economists and the general public about the most stubborn problems in the American economy.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Dissent
This is a good and useful book. At a time when mediocre economic performance is celebrated as though it were excellent . . . Plenty of Nothing is for people who are tired of being treated like fools. . . . The revolutionary thought that policy does matter, for good or evil, is a prime contribution of this book, though it is a mark of the degraded state of economic discourse that it is needed at all.
— James K. Galbraith
Review of Political Economy
Thomas Palley has presented us with a timely book . . . a necessary book. . . . It reminds us that we do not have to accept Wall Street's version of the choices we face.
— Robert E. Prasch
Science & Society
A useful and often insightful treatise on policy debates and recent economic debates in the United States. He ably documents and explains 'the downsizing of the American dream.'
— James Devine
Review of Social Economy
Thomas I. Palley has written an important book in a clear and persuasive style. He understands the economic plight of working American families. He explains what caused that plight and what can be done about it. . . . His analysis is rigorous. His conclusions are correct. His policies are the right stiff. He discusses the kind of family policy we need for the next millennium.
— William M. Dugger
Dissent - James K. Galbraith
This is a good and useful book. At a time when mediocre economic performance is celebrated as though it were excellent . . . Plenty of Nothing is for people who are tired of being treated like fools. . . . The revolutionary thought that policy does matter, for good or evil, is a prime contribution of this book, though it is a mark of the degraded state of economic discourse that it is needed at all.
Review of Political Economy - Robert E. Prasch
Thomas Palley has presented us with a timely book . . . a necessary book. . . . It reminds us that we do not have to accept Wall Street's version of the choices we face.
Science & Society - James Devine
A useful and often insightful treatise on policy debates and recent economic debates in the United States. He ably documents and explains 'the downsizing of the American dream.'
Review of Social Economy - William M. Dugger
Thomas I. Palley has written an important book in a clear and persuasive style. He understands the economic plight of working American families. He explains what caused that plight and what can be done about it. . . . His analysis is rigorous. His conclusions are correct. His policies are the right stiff. He discusses the kind of family policy we need for the next millennium.
From the Publisher
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1998

"This is a good and useful book. At a time when mediocre economic performance is celebrated as though it were excellent . . . Plenty of Nothing is for people who are tired of being treated like fools. . . . The revolutionary thought that policy does matter, for good or evil, is a prime contribution of this book, though it is a mark of the degraded state of economic discourse that it is needed at all."—James K. Galbraith, Dissent

"Thomas Palley has presented us with a timely book . . . a necessary book. . . . It reminds us that we do not have to accept Wall Street's version of the choices we face."—Robert E. Prasch, Review of Political Economy

"A useful and often insightful treatise on policy debates and recent economic debates in the United States. He ably documents and explains 'the downsizing of the American dream.'"—James Devine, Science & Society

"Thomas I. Palley has written an important book in a clear and persuasive style. He understands the economic plight of working American families. He explains what caused that plight and what can be done about it. . . . His analysis is rigorous. His conclusions are correct. His policies are the right stiff. He discusses the kind of family policy we need for the next millennium."—William M. Dugger, Review of Social Economy

Dissent
This is a good and useful book. At a time when mediocre economic performance is celebrated as though it were excellent . . . Plenty of Nothing is for people who are tired of being treated like fools. . . . The revolutionary thought that policy does matter, for good or evil, is a prime contribution of this book, though it is a mark of the degraded state of economic discourse that it is needed at all.
— James K. Galbraith
Library Journal
Palley (Post-Keynesian Economics: Debt, Distribution, and the Macro Economy, St. Martin's, 1996) presents this remarkable text that attempts to dispel many of the myths associated with economic naturalism. He investigates why the rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, and the middle class has shrunk, introducing an economic evaluation of the U.S. economy from the "main street capitalism" of the past and the "mean streets capitalism" of the present. The argument for structural Keynesianism compels a reassessment of current policies and attitudes toward labor and stresses that increasing employment must take precedence over decreasing inflation when formulating fiscal policies. According to Palley, a prosperous and equitable economy can be sustained by increasing real income for workers and allowing everyone to share the wealth. This well-organized work is extensively supported by statistics, charts, and graphs. With its timely appeal, it warrants a place on the shelves beside other master works of economic theory. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.Robert L. Balliot Jr., East Greenwich Free Lib., RI
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691050317
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 6/26/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Ch. 1 Debunking Economic Naturalism 3
Ch. 2 Making Sense of the Economy and Economics 14
Ch. 3 Plenty of Nothing: An Overview 24
Ch. 4 The State of the American Dream 49
Ch. 5 The Logic of Economic Power, Part I: Diagnosing the Problem 70
Ch. 6 The Logic of Economic Power, Part II: Policies for Prosperity 87
Ch. 7 The Triumph of Wall Street: Finance and the Federal Reserve 104
Ch. 8 From New Deal to Raw Deal: The Attack on Government 126
Ch. 9 Free Trade and the Race to the Bottom 156
Ch. 10 International Money: Who Governs? 176
Ch. 11 Structural Keynesianism and Globalization 194
Ch. 12 Recipe for a Depression 202
Epilogue: Ending Economic Fatalism 214
Notes 215
References 223
Index 229
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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

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