*****BOOK #1: ["The Servant Economy: Where America's Elite is Sending the Middle Class"]
"Renowned economist Jeff Faux explains why neither party's leaders have a plan to remedy America's unemployment, inequality, or long economic slide
America's political and economic elite spent so long making such terrible decisions that they caused the collapse of 2008. So how can they continue down the same road? The simple answer, that no in charge one wants to publicly acknowledge: because things are still pretty great for the people who run America. It was an accident of history, Jeff Faux explains, that after World War II the U.S. could afford a prosperous middle class, a dominant military, and a booming economic elite at the same time. For the past three decades, all three have been competing, with the middle class always losing. Soon the military will decline as well. The most plausible projections Faux explores foresee a future economy nearly devoid of production and exports, with the most profitable industries existing to solely to serve the wealthiest 1%. The author's last book, The Global Class War, sold over 20,000 copies by correctly predicting the permanent decline of our debt-burdened middle class at the hands of our off-shoring executives, out of control financiers, and their friends in Washington
Since his last book, Faux is repeatedly asked what either party will do to face these mounting crises. After looking over actual policies, proposed plans, non-partisan reports, and think tank papers, his astonishing conclusion: more of the same."
*****BOOK #2: ["Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else."]
A groundbreaking examination of wealth disparity, income inequality, and the new global elite
There has always been some gap between rich and poor in this country, but in the last few decades what it means to be rich has changed dramatically. Alarmingly, the greatest income gap is not between the 1 percent and the 99 percent, but within the wealthiest 1 percent of our nation--as the merely wealthy are left behind by the rapidly expanding fortunes of the new global super-rich. Forget the 1 percent; Plutocrats proves that it is the wealthiest 0.1 percent who are outpacing the rest of us at break-neck speed.
What’s changed is more than numbers. Today, most colossal fortunes are new, not inherited--amassed by perceptive businessmen who see themselves as deserving victors in a cut-throat international competition. As a transglobal class of successful professionals, today’s self-made oligarchs often feel they have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home. Bringing together the economics and psychology of these new super-rich, Plutocrats puts us inside a league very much of its own, with its own rules.
The closest mirror to our own time is the late nineteenth century Gilded Age--the era of powerful ‘robber barons’ like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Then as now, emerging markets and innovative technologies collided to produce unprecedented wealth for more people than ever in human history. Yet those at the very top benefited far more than others--and from this pinnacle they exercised immense and unchecked power in their countries. Today’s closest analogue to these robber barons can be found in the turbulent economies of India, Brazil, and China, all home to ferocious market competition and political turmoil. But wealth, corruption, and populism are no longer constrained by national borders, so this new Gilded Age is already transforming the economics of the West as well. Plutocrats demonstrates how social upheavals generated by the first Gilded Age may pale in comparison to what is in store for us, as the wealth of the entire globalized world is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Cracking open the tight-knit world of the new global super-rich is Chrystia Freeland, an acclaimed business journalist who has spent nearly two decades reporting on the new transglobal elite. She parses an internal Citigroup memo that urges clients to design portfolios around the international “Plutonomy” and not the national “rest”; follows Russian, Mexican, and Indian oligarchs during the privatization boom as they manipulate the levers of power to commandeer their local economies; breaks down the gender divide between the vast female-managed ‘middle class’ and the world’s one thousand billionaires; shows how, by controlling both the economic and political institutions of their nation, the richest members of China’s National People’s Congress have amassed more wealth than every branch of American government combined--the president, his cabinet, the justices of the Supreme Court, and both houses of Congress. Though the results can be shocking, Freeland dissects the lives of the world’s wealthiest individuals with empathy, intelligence, and deep insight. Brightly written, powerfully researched, and propelled by fascinating original interviews with the plutocrats themselves, Plutocrats is a tour-de-force of social and economic history, and the definitive examination of inequality in our time." ENDQUOTE.