What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . and What Other Countries Got Right

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . and What Other Countries Got Right

by George R. Tyler

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937856717
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 07/16/2013
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 866,096
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author


George R. Tyler has a diverse background,drawing on his broad experiences at the highest levels of government, at the World Bank, in the private sector, and in the international nonprofit sector for What Went Wrong. Trained as an economist, Tyler served on the staffs of senators Hubert H. Humphrey and Lloyd Bentsen early in his career and was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 as a deputy assistant treasury secretary. He subsequently served as counselor at the World Bank which marked the beginning of his international career.

Tyler has expansive private sector experience as founder and CEO of a real estate investment and development firm, creating a number of resort residential and residential subdivisions in Virginia, a role he continues to play. He gained international experience from heavy involvement in the global nonprofit sector, where his important familiarity with the European corporate culture occurred. In 1999, Tyler was co-author of the concept paper adopted by Paris-based Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to develop a medical research capability for diseases of the developing world neglected by the global pharmaceutical industry. The not-for-profit entity is called the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. As a founding consultant to MSF, Tyler was a member of the Working Group. He subsequently served on the DNDI Audit Committee overseeing budget and other issues.

Table of Contents

Section 1 The Beginning 1

Chapter 1 Facing Reality 3

Chapter 2 What Is Reaganomics? 14

Chapter 3 The Triumph of Family Capitalism 46

Section 2 The Shift 65

Chapter 4 Regulatory Capture 67

Chapter 5 Shareholder Capitalism 96

Chapter 6 A Culture of Selfishness 122

Chapter 7 Short-Termism 147

Chapter 8 Small Government Hypocrisy 180

Chapter 9 Tax Cut Cultists 189

Chapter 10 "Deficits Don't Matter" 199

Chapter 11 Illusory Prosperity 213

Chapter 12 Economic Mythmaking 224

Section 3 The Results 251

Chapter 13 Wages Rise in Family Capitalism 253

Chapter 14 The Gains from Growth 271

Chapter 15 Income Disparity 281

Chapter 16 The Opportunity Societies of Stakeholder Capitalism 287

Chapter 17 Australian-Style Wage Determination in Family Capitalism 307

Chapter 18 Globalization Can Be a Boon or a Bane 318

Chapter 19 How Family Capitalism Prospered from Globalization 326

Chapter 20 Offshoring and the Apple Problem 344

Chapter 21 Domestic Content and the Apple Problem 354

Chapter 22 Productivity and Investment 365

Chapter 23 Deindustrializing America Marks the Reagan Decline 381

Chapter 24 Poverty 401

Chapter 25 Delayed American Retirement 409

Chapter 26 Incentivizing and Rewarding Work 414

Section 4 Recovery 425

Chapter 27 Rebuilding the American Dream 427

Chapter 28 American Family Capitalism 440

Acknowledgments 469

Endnotes 471

Index 543

About the Author 563

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What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . and What Other Countries Got Right 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely recommend this book. The author has a commanding knowledge of the recent global economic landscape. For anyone who wants to understand where we are financially, and how we got here, this is a welcome entry into the literature. We owe George Tyler thanks for making the subject matter accessible even to the novices among us, not least with diagrams and charts that are clear and to the point. Tyler's bibliography is exhaustive. I've already given this book to three friends in the business world, all of whom praise it for its clarity and comprehensiveness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A MUST read for anyone interested in economics, wages or why family incomes have stagnates. A stunning book. Tyler's book is the most absorbing and best-written review in decades of the current state of American capitalism - as revolutionary for American audiences in some ways as Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. I find myself still returning to the ideas it presents because it has so completely reoriented my perspective on economics. It will almost certainly disturb your sleep and I'm a Washington attorney who needs her sleep. Four distinguishing features: 1. New information about contemporary capitalism models in other affluent nations, including Australia and northern Europe. American firms paying $10-$20 an hour more to European employees than American employees? Australians and northern Europeans love globalization? Productivity in the low countries higher than in America? Everyone gets real wage gains year after year in Australia while 1 percent do in America? European firms routinely out-managing and out-investing American firms? Wal-Mart chased from Germany after losing $5 billion for refusing to pay higher wages. This information is simply startling and until now was only known to a handful of Americans - some scholars plus the management ranks of US multinationals. They know how the Australians and northern Europeans have kept wages rising in step with productivity, most citizens profiting from globalization - unlike America.2. The quality of the writing. Understated and well explained to the nonexpert, but compelling and rich with facts and quotes from the best economic minds of the last half century. I am not an economist and I got it! 2. The quality of the writing. Understated and well explained to the non-expert, but compelling and rich with facts and quotes from the best economic minds of the last half century. I am not an economist and I got it! 3. Perspective shaping. After Tyler's book, you will forever read about economics from a far different perspective than you now do. The real world - where families abroad receive regular real income gains and firms are well-managed for the long term - is revealed to you by Tyler. And it is entirely different from what you think or from America now. 4. How to make things right: its greatest strength is the lessons laid out in detail about how the American economy can be reformed. Those sympathetic to relinking family incomes to productivity growth now come to the fray unarmed. You can't beat something with nothing, and this is the first book to provide practical and realistic solutions drawn from across the globe to redress the laissez faire implosion of the American middle class. You owe it to your children to read Tyler, but be warned: you won't be able to stop thinking about this compelling book afterward.
Azalynn More than 1 year ago
Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What Went Wrong is a shining example of how to explain economics to someone who doesn't really get it. I felt like Tyler was in my living room, talking to me, describing all of the reasons why our economy has devolved. In amazing detail, the shortcomings of national products like Apple and Snapple are outlined. The house bubble - another mystery to me - takes on new meaning. Triple W is well worth the read.
CENY More than 1 year ago
This book is a lengthy diatribe against Ronald Reagan. It's intellectually sloppy since it blames Reagan for everything that has gone wrong with the US economy since 1973. For example, it blames Reagan for allowing CEO pay to rise dramatically...on the same page as a chart showing that the sharpest growth in CEO pay was during the mid- to late-1990s, under the Clinton administration (and the author worked in the Clinton administration). It also describes the years from WWII until 1973 (justifiably) very positively in terms of the economy, and claims that "Voters ended it all in 1980". (The economy was in the tank for years before Ronald Reagan- that's largely why he was elected, and troubles had started in the 1970s.) The book is also full of self-righteous quotes from northern Europeans and others about how their economies are better than ours. This book could be a very useful evaluation of policy choices that other countries have made that led to their middle classes doing better than ours. Perhaps the author will delete the 90% of the book that consists of anti-Reagan diatribes and publish a second edition that will do just that.