This book, first published in 2007, describes the sharp right turn the United States has taken following the election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980. The treatment details how the policies pursued by the Reagan administration were a break from both the policies pursued by prior administrations and those pursued in other wealthy countries. The Reagan administration policies had the effect of redistributing both before- and after-tax income upward, creating a situation in which the bulk of the economic gains over the last quarter century were directed to a small segment of the population. The analysis explains how both political parties have come largely to accept the main tenets of Reaganism, putting the United States on a path that is at odds with most of the rest of the world and is not sustainable.
• The first compact economic social, and political history of the US of the last quarter century • Author is a leading Washington liberal analyst of American economic policy • Places political changes in the United States in a world context, showing the unsustainability of the US role over the long-term
1. Turning away: the United States breaks ranks; 2. Setting the scene: the United States in 1980; 3. The Reagan revolution I - running to the right; 4. The Reagan revolution becomes institutionalized; 5. The Republican tidal wave and the Clinton Boom; 6. The Bush Administration and the war on terrorism; 7. The United States in 2005: the impact of the last quarter century.
'Dean Baker is one of our most cogent economic thinkers. This is must reading.' Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect
'This concise, extremely readable, and insightful book is now the one best account of just how dramatically the United States has turned right in the past 25 years compared to other industrialized democracies. In particular, it provides an incisive analysis of the cascading series of cutbacks and policy changes that have led to increasing income inequality and job insecurity for the overwhelming majority of Americans.' G. William Domhoff, author of Who Rules America
'Dean Baker superbly narrates the great right turn in American politics over the past 25 years and explains the profound economic consequences with clarity. The conservative era has generated enormous vulnerabilities and inequalities that are now bearing down on American life.' William Greider, national affairs correspondent for The Nation and author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy
'In a vividly written, remarkably inclusive narrative, Dean Baker makes sense of contemporary history. He is particularly insightful about America's changing political economy in global context. There is no better book on this vital topic.' Michael Kazin, Georgetown University
'… a highly readable and concise overview of economic and political developments in the US in the last quarter century.' Transfer