The Surplus American: How the 1% is Making Us Redundant

Overview

The Surplus American documents a chilling social unraveling in which the majority of Americans are being rendered jobless and redundant. The book explains the long crisis of “surplus people,” showing that the jobless are the tip of the iceberg. The book identifies a number of primary groups within the category of surplus, including the underemployed, people forcibly removed from or induced to leave the labor force, retirees, people involved in make-work by government or business, those hired to control the ...
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Overview

The Surplus American documents a chilling social unraveling in which the majority of Americans are being rendered jobless and redundant. The book explains the long crisis of “surplus people,” showing that the jobless are the tip of the iceberg. The book identifies a number of primary groups within the category of surplus, including the underemployed, people forcibly removed from or induced to leave the labor force, retirees, people involved in make-work by government or business, those hired to control the unemployed, and those employed to boost consumption and manage unrest. Surplus people are the dirty underside of our capitalist economy, and the authors sketch their story over the past several centuries, as well as the present condition and the future destiny of a “surplus nation.” Offering a timely analysis of social movements such as Occupy Wall Street, and using both narrative and theatrical devices, the authors conclude that new inclusive social justice movements are essential not only to solving the crisis of surplus people but also to redirecting an economy driven by outsourcing, new technology, and a merciless global corporate strategy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612052502
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/15/2012
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Derber is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. His op-eds, essays, and interviews have appeared in Newsday, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, Business Week, Time, and other magazines. He speaks frequently on National Public Radio, on talk radio, and on television. His internationally acclaimed books have been reviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and many other media sources. He recently published Greed to Green: Solving Climate Change and Remaking the Economy (Paradigm 2010).

Yale R. Magrass is a Chancellor Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth, where he teaches social theory, political sociology, and the social impact of science and technology. He is the author of three other books and more than thirty articles, including encyclopedia entries, served on the board of six journals, has been a recipient of several grants, and participated in numerous international forums.

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Table of Contents

Part I You're Fired-The Essay 1

1 Americans as a Surplus People 3

2 Who Are the Surplus People? 7

3 How to Make Money from the Creation of Surplus People 13

4 The Four Roots of Surplus People Production 17

5 How Many Surplus People Are There in the United States? 23

6 Introducing the History of Surplus People 25

7 How Capitalism Created Surplus People Right from the Very Beginning 27

8 How the First Truly Industrial Society, Britain, Used Surplus People 30

9 How American Capitalists Controlled the Surplus Population before World War I 31

10 World War I and the Roaring Twenties 34

11 The Great Depression Begins 37

12 Roosevelt, Keynes, and the New Deal 39

13 America at Its Height 45

14 America Enters Decline 51

15 The Age of Reagan 56

16 Does Our Theory Hold Up? 63

17 What to Do? The Tea Party and the Occupy Movement 71

18 The Tea Party and the Dangerous Politics of Reaction 73

19 The Occupy Movement and the Politics of Hope 77

20 The Past and Future of the Occupy Movement 79

21 Why a Play Is an Effective Way to Discuss Politics and Economics 94

Notes 101

Part II I Like Firing People-The Play 111

Part III I Like Firing People-A Version Performed at Boston College 189

Index 221

About the Authors 227

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