What Went Wrong

What Went Wrong

How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class...and What Other Countries Got Right

Book - 2013
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Something has gone seriously wrong with the American economy.

The American economy has experienced considerable growth in the last 30 years. But virtually none of this growth has trickled down to the average American. Incomes have been flat since 1985. Inequality has grown, and social mobility has dropped dramatically. Equally troubling, these policies have been devastating to both American productivity and our long-term competitiveness.

Many reasons for these failures have been proposed. Globalization. Union greed. Outsourcing.

But none of these explanations can address the harsh truth that many countries around the world are dramatically outperforming the U.S. in delivering broad middle-class prosperity. And this is despite the fact that these countries are more exposed than America to outsourcing and globalization and have much higher levels of union membership.

In What Went Wrong , George R. Tyler, a veteran of the World Bank and the Treasury Department, takes the reader through an objective and data-rich examination of the American experience over the last 30 years. He provides a fascinating comparison between the America and the experience of the "family capitalism" countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Over the last 30 years, they have outperformed the U.S. economy by the only metric that really matters--delivering better lives for their citizens. The policies adopted by the family capitalist countries aren't socialist or foreign. They are the same policies that made the U.S. economy of the 1950s and 1960s the strongest in the world.

What Went Wrong describes exactly what went wrong with the American economy, how countries around the world have avoided these problems, and what we need to do to get back on the right track.
Publisher: Dallas, Texas :, BenBella Books, Inc.,, 2013, ©2013.
ISBN: 9781937856717
Branch Call Number: 330. 973 TYL
Characteristics: viii, 563 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.


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Nov 10, 2019

Love it! A great indepth and common sense breakdown and explanation. LOVED IT!

Sep 15, 2017

This is a re-comment given the less than informed comments which followed my original one.
It is not a matter of liking or disliking neocon Bill Clinton, it is a matter of his record:
Signed the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which allowed super-monopoly Amazon.
Set the stage for the Global Economic Meltdown by signing, the REIT Modernization Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act [the Glass-Steagall killer], the Commodity Futures Modernization Act [allowing for the use of Credit Default Swaps for illegal global insurance swindles], the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which allowed the final consolidation of American media and the reconstitution of AT&T into a larger and more powerful telecom entity. The book's cover chart is highly accurate, although I would even argue whether .47 percent was too high a number!
The author throws far too much against the wall, hoping something will stick. Negative, certain items were involved in the lowering of American wages: offshoring massive numbers of jobs, importing foreign visa replacement workers, replacing American workers with undocumented workers, et cetera, and tilting to shareholders' value to further destroy real wages, but it was far more well designed than happenstance. You needed MERS, or the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, incorporated in 1995, and using Covington & Burling as legal advisors, to provide the foundation for their credit derivatives churning machine. When multiple mortgages are sold on the same houses, when everything is leveraged from 1 to 1,000 to 1 to 100,000, fraud is more than rampant - - and LIBOR fixing occurring simultaneously!!! Et cetera!
Would much more recommend books by Prof. Michael Hudson, E. Ray Canterbery [Wall Street Capitalism], David Dayen [Chain of Title] and others.

WillyPete Oct 02, 2013

Okay, StarGladiator, we get it... you don't like Bill Clinton. However, since Mr. Tyler lumps the Clinton Administration in with the "Reagan Era" that he poses as being the problem, I don't think it's exactly fair to paint Mr. Tyler's entire work with THAT brush... Especially since he ALSO worked for Hubert Humphrey and Lloyd Bentsen! Not saying the book is perfect... It brushes a lot of things under the rug, such as Germany's apprentice system. But it DOES make the point that neither Adam Smith, nor Henry Ford, were quite the "Laissez Faire" capitalists that we're supposed to think they are, and it does a very good job of pointing out why we're headed off the cliff, and why we don't HAVE to go there! Yes, he's fond of the way Europe does things, but that's mostly because they're doing things the way we USED to, before Reagan, and because what they're doing is working better!

Sep 06, 2013

An excellent book, despite the ad hominem attack on its author (which makes no mention at all of the book's content). Tyler's book and Alan Linder's "When the Music Stopped" are historically thorough and technically accurate descriptions of the financial meltdown and its causes. Highly recommended; both are good writers who deal with complex issues in a manner that intelligent lay people can follow and absorb. "What Went Wrong" deals with a much broader historic period, but does a very good job of covering the 2008 cratering of the financial world.

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