Mid-twentieth-century capitalism has turned into global capitalism, and global capitalism — turbocharged, Web-based, and able to find and make almost anything just about anywhere — has turned into supercapitalism. But, as Robert Reich makes clear in this eye-opening book, supercapitalism enlarges the economic pie, while democracy — charged with caring for all citizens — is becoming less and less effective under its influence.
Reich explains how widening inequalities of income and wealth, heightened job insecurity, and the spreading effects of global warming are the logical outcomes of supercapitalism. He shows us why companies, fighting harder than ever to maintain their competitive positions, have become even more deeply involved in politics; and how average citizens, seeking great deals and invested in the stock market to an unprecedented degree, are increasingly loath to stand by their values if it means biting the hands that feed them. He makes clear how the tools traditionally used to temper social problems — fair taxation, well-funded public education, trade unions — have withered as supercapitalism has burgeoned.
Reich sets out a clear course to a vibrant capitalism and a concurrent, equally vibrant democracy. He argues forcefully that the spheres of business and politics must be kept distinct. And he calls for an end to the legal fiction that corporations are citizens, as well as the illusion that corporations can be 'socially responsible' until laws define social needs.
This is a hugely important book — timely, impassioned, and persuasive.