Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn't Work without a Strong by David Madland

By David Madland

For the previous a number of a long time, politicians and economists suggestion that prime degrees of inequality have been reliable for the financial system. yet simply because the United States s center classification is now so susceptible, the united states financial system suffers from the categories of difficulties that plague less-developed nations. As Hollowed Out explains, to have robust, sustainable development, the financial system must paintings for everybody and extend from the center out. This new considering has the capability to supplant trickle-down economics—the concept that was once so unsuitable approximately inequality and our economy—and form financial policymaking for generations.

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Extra info for Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn't Work without a Strong Middle Class

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68 The decline in trust provides such an explanation, and certainly a better one than the alternatives. The increase in the share of lawyers in the workforce has done great harm to the US economy. One way to think about the cost is that if lawyers were the same percentage of workers in the economy as they were in 1970, there would be 614,000 fewer lawyers today. 69 That’s a lot of money. It represents not only an additional cost of doing business, but money that could be used for other purposes.

And on occasion, lawyers can even prevent business transactions that would otherwise occur from happening. The costs of hiring a lawyer, for example, can completely block some business deals. Even worse, lawyers can sometimes do less admirable work. Frivolous lawsuits, for example, impose costs, and fear of them can shrink business opportunities. Trust / 45 An economy requires fewer lawyers when participants trust one another. When there is a degree of trust in society, people can spend less time and money monitoring the performance of others and expend less effort protecting themselves from being exploited.

Despite this postcard-perfect setting, life is bleak, as Harvard political scientist Edward Banfield explained in his classic book The Moral Basis of a Backward Society. Most residents are quite poor and have little chance to get ahead. Employees live in fear of being cheated by their employers. There are no banks in town or other sources of credit to help famers purchase fertilizer or irrigation equipment. Farmers refuse to seek out unused land to rent—even though doing so would be profitable—because they are afraid that the landowners would somehow gain an unfair advantage.

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