Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture is Good for the Economy, the Environment, and Your Soul

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Basic Books, 2011 - Business & Economics - 257 pages
5 Reviews
Since the financial meltdown of 2008, economists, journalists, and politicians have uniformly insisted that to restore the American Dream and renew economic growth, we need to save more and spend less.

In his provocative new book, historian James Livingston—author of the classic Origins of the Federal Reserve System—breaks from the consensus to argue that underconsumption caused the current crisis and will prolong it. By viewing the Great Recession through the prism of the Great Depression, Livingston proves that private investment is not the engine of growth we assume it to be. Tax cuts for business are therefore a recipe for disaster. If our goal is to reproduce the economic growth of the postwar era, we need a redistribution of income that reduces corporate profits, raises wages, and promotes consumer spending.

  

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Review: Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture is Good for the Economy, the Environment, and Your Soul

User Review  - Azriel - Goodreads

A font of annoying straw man arguments. Livingston presents inaccurate, partial, context free straw-man versions of what non-Keynesian economists have said, then "rebuts" them with either single ... Read full review

Review: Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture is Good for the Economy, the Environment, and Your Soul

User Review  - Lisa - Goodreads

A few good ideas cloaked in a lot of waffle. Can't tell if the author is being deliberately provocative, or if he's just spent too much time in academia. (I'm not knocking academia so much as ... Read full review

Contents

Understanding Backward
3
Their Great Depression and Ours
40
Living Forward Economic History as Moral
63
THE MORALITY OF SPENDING
74
Exporting the Black Aesthetic
99
The Wand of Increase Advertising Desire
115
News from Nowhere Advertising Utopia
135
It Beats Working Why Consumer Culture
162
Bataille Made Me Do It
197
Capital in the American Economy
211
Acknowledgments
231
Index
243
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

James Livingston is a Professor of History at Rutgers University. He is the author of four previous books and a regular contributor to the History News Network. He lives in New York City.

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