Professor Whaples (economics, Wake Forest Univ.; coauthor, Microeconomics) provides a fascinating analysis of some of the more important issues facing economic policymakers in the United States today and in the years to come. He begins by explaining the economic approach to policymaking, followed by a survey of the recent record of the U.S. economy, which by most measures has performed remarkably well in the past few years, and his densely packed, fast-paced discussion of what should be done about economic problems facing the United States. The issues covered include how to maintain strong productivity growth, low inflation, and low unemployment; the impact of international trade and recent trade deficits on the U.S. economy; and the two most important economic challenges to be faced in the next two generations, the aging of society and escalating health-care costs. Whaples confidently strides into the operations, strengths, and weaknesses of the Social Security system and his plans to overhaul it and less radical changes that are more likely to be implemented. Other hot topics include the impact of immigration, race, gender, and unions on labor markets, changes in the welfare system, debates about the minimum wage, and the impact of children raised in single-parent families. He also discusses greater market competition, the concern regarding the soaring price of higher education, the economics of typical U.S. bad habits, including long automobile commutes, gambling, and poor diets, ending with a resounding analysis of whether changing economic policies really makes us better off. The always lively lectures maintain listener interest in this material that goes beyond thetraditional academic approaches to economics by analyzing the economic factors related to relevant topics of concern to most Americans and certainly politicians. Highly recommended for all university libraries supporting an economics curriculum and larger public libraries.