Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street from Wall Street : a Populist Vision for the Twenty-First Century

Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street from Wall Street : a Populist Vision for the Twenty-First Century

Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street from Wall Street : a Populist Vision for the Twenty-First Century

Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street from Wall Street : a Populist Vision for the Twenty-First Century

Synopsis

Citing alarming statistics, Jeff Gates convincingly argues that the current economic boom is largely a mirage, buoyed by policies that continue to reward the wealthy and punish the poor. With equal measures of passion and incisive reasoning, he proposes an ambitious yet practical program of financial, political, and economic reform.

Excerpt

We can have a democratic society or we can have great concentrated wealth in the hands of a few. We cannot have both.

-- SUPREME COURT JUSTICE LOUIS BRANDEIS

We live in the best of times and we live in the worst of times. At an ever-accelerating pace, things are getting both better and better and worse and worse. Contradiction and paradox confront us at every turn. The end of the Cold War and worldwide conflict. Capitalism triumphant yet the environment in trouble. Global integration and ethnic division. Great wealth amid widespread human misery. Longer lives but less wellness. More information but less communication. Greater possessions but fewer values. Larger houses but more broken homes. A knowledge economy and failing public schools. A common deficiency unites them all. If properly remedied, that one element alone could trigger an extended period of widespread well-being. That missing ingredient is a genuinely vibrant democracy. Although many of our triumphs are traceable to its spread, our many travails suggest that our democracy is under siege.

If you could step twenty years into the future and look back, what would you want to see? There lies the genius of democracy: It empowers us to choose our own future. With predictable uniformity, people choose peace and prosperity -- in the same way that refugees "vote with their feet" by fleeing to countries that are stable and free because there lies their best chance for happiness. As I will show, the limits to human prosperity are now our own. Those limits lie in the realm of political choice. That makes them eminently solvable. The only thing keeping us from a peaceful, post-scarcity world is a lack of . . .

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