How Are You Going to Pay for That?: Smart Answers to the Dumbest Question in Politics

How Are You Going to Pay for That?: Smart Answers to the Dumbest Question in Politics

by Ryan Cooper


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A compelling alternative view of the relationship between our politics and our economy.

Throughout America, structural problems are getting worse. Economic inequality is near Gilded Age heights, the healthcare system is a mess, and the climate crisis continues to grow. Yet most ambitious policy proposals that might fix these calamities are dismissed as wastefully expensive by default. From the kitchen table to Congress, debates are punctuated with a familiar refrain: “How are you going to pay for that?”

This question is designed to shut down policy pushes up front, minimizing any interference with the free market. It comes from neoliberalism, an economic ideology that has overtaken both parties. Proponents insist that markets are naturally-occurring and apolitical—and that too much manipulation of the economy will make our society fall apart. Ryan Cooper argues that our society already is falling apart, and the logically preposterous views of neoliberalism are to blame. Most progressives understand this instinctively, but many lack the background knowledge to make effective economic counterarguments.

How Are You Going To Pay For That? is filled with engaging discussions and detailed strategies that policymakers and citizens alike can use to assail even the most entrenched lines of neoliberal logic, and start to undo these long-held misconceptions. Equal parts economic theory, history, and political polemic, this is an essential roadmap for winning the key battles to come.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250272348
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/25/2022
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 486,519
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

RYAN COOPER is a National Correspondent for The Week, and is widely considered one of the most thoughtful and clear-eyed leftist commentators in America. His work has appeared in The Washington Monthly, The Nation, Washington Post, Mother Jones, The New Republic, and others. He received his bachelor's in chemistry from Reed College in 2008, and served in the Peace Corps in South Africa from 2009-2011. He is a co-host and producer of the Left Anchor podcast. He lives in Philadelphia with his cat.

Table of Contents

Part I: How A Wildly False Economic Ideology Conquered American Politics
Chapter 1: A History of a Self-Immolating Idea
Chapter 2: Collective Economics
Chapter 3: How Neo-Propertarianism Conquered the World
Chapter 4: Casting The False Prophets of Growth Out of the Economic Temple
Chapter 5: Social Growth

Part II: Making America Great for the First Time
Chapter 6: The Broken American Labor System
Chapter 7: The Hell of American Healthcare
Chapter 8: The Social Climate
Chapter 9: Inequality, Explained
Chapter 10: A New Collective American Freedom
Chapter 11: How to Argue with Propertarians

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