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Illusions of Prosperity: America's Working Families in an Age of Economic Insecurity

Title Illusions of Prosperity: America's Working Families in an Age of Economic Insecurity
ISBN 0195089936
Author Blau, Joel
Binding Hardcover
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publisher Year 1999
Condition Fine
Description 0195089936 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.0 inches From Library Journal Blau's uneven polemic asserts that the current "market" approach to social ills helps only the top 20 percent of society while the rest suffer. He proposes increased federal government intervention as the solution, championing national healthcare, vastly expanded day care, stronger unions, and worker participation. Blau (social work, SUNY at Stony Brook), who looks at America through a Western European Socialist lens, feels that as long as business controls hiring and investments, education will not help most Americans. He acknowledges that his views are not in the majority but notes correctly that the pendulum could swing. Liberals may like his ideas; conservatives will cringe. Both will find this a tedious, occasionally condescending readAa lonely call for a return to big-government liberalism that most libraries will find more effectively argued in periodicals like the New Republic or the Nation. Neither lively enough to be called a screed nor convincing enough to be recommended.APatrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical Coll. Lib., La Crosse Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Booklist For the last quarter century, Americans (and much of the Western world) have had a passionate love affair with an old flame: the market. Blau, a professor at the State University of New York at Stonybrook, examines the consequences of this indulgence for the four-fifths of the population who gained little from this boom; explores the potential of market approaches in areas such as education, job training, and poverty and welfare; and suggests that, when we begin to see the market's flaws at some future date, we should recognize democratic accountability and economic security as the touchstones of a progressive response. The problem with reforms that rely on the market, Blau urges, is they can't compensate for market deficiencies (indeed, the most vociferous market advocates deny the market has any deficiencies!). Blau calls for thorough accountability in the workplace as well as government, recognizing that employees are stakeholders--in fact, vital partners--in producing the "value added" that is the corporation's ultimate product. Mary Carroll

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