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Debtors' prison: the politics of austerity versus possibility

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One of our foremost economic thinkers challenges a cherished tenet of today's financial orthodoxy: that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government--"austerity"--is the solution to a persisting economic crisis like ours or Europe's, now in its fifth year. Since the collapse of September 2008, the conversation about economic recovery has centered on the question of debt: whether we have too much of it, whose debt to forgive, and how to cut the deficit. These questions dominated the sound bites of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, the fiscal-cliff debates, and the perverse policies of the European Union. Robert Kuttner makes the most powerful argument to date that these are the wrong questions and that austerity is the wrong answer. Blending economics with historical contrasts of effective debt relief and punitive debt enforcement, he makes clear that universal belt-tightening, as a prescription for recession, defies economic logic. And while the public debt gets most of the attention, it is private debts that crashed the economy and are sandbagging the recovery--mortgages, student loans, consumer borrowing to make up for lagging wages, speculative shortfalls incurred by banks. As Kuttner observes, corporations get to use bankruptcy to walk away from debts. Homeowners and small nations don't. Thus, we need more public borrowing and investment to revive a depressed economy, and more forgiveness and reform of the overhang of past debts. In making his case, Kuttner uncovers the double standards in the politics of debt, from Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe's campaign for debt forgiveness in the seventeenth century to the two world wars and Bretton Woods. Just as debtors' prisons once prevented individuals from surmounting their debts and resuming productive life, austerity measures shackle, rather than restore, economic growth--as the weight of past debt crushes the economy's future potential. Above all, Kuttner shows how austerity serves only the interest of creditors--the very bankers and financial elites whose actions precipitated the collapse. Lucid, authoritative, provocative--a book that will shape the economic conversation and the search for new solutions.  

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID b26cc6fe-cb1e-c055-db88-b8f9e48f3bfc
Grouping Title debtors prison the politics of austerity versus possibility
Grouping Author kuttner robert
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-06-23 22:43:27PM
Last Indexed 2019-06-23 23:26:05PM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Kuttner, Robert.
author_display Kuttner, Robert
available_at_catalog Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description "A timely, broadly revisionist, essential book by one of our foremost economic observers takes down one of the most cherished tenets of contemporary financial thinking: that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government--"austerity"--is a solution to the current economic crisis"--
format_catalog Book, eBook
format_category_catalog Books, eBook
id b26cc6fe-cb1e-c055-db88-b8f9e48f3bfc
isbn 9780307959805, 9780307959812
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last_indexed 2019-06-24T04:26:05.311Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 339.52 K975d
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9780307959805
publishDate 2013
record_details ils:CARL0000410660|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Knopf,|2013.|331 p. ; 25 cm., overdrive:099940c2-5347-404e-a327-af135e8646ba|eBook|eBook||English|Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|2013|
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
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overdrive:099940c2-5347-404e-a327-af135e8646ba -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
subject_facet Budget deficits, Consumption (Economics), Debt, Government spending policy
title_display Debtors' prison : the politics of austerity versus possibility
title_full Debtors' Prison The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility, Debtors' prison : the politics of austerity versus possibility / Robert Kuttner
title_short Debtors' prison :
title_sub the politics of austerity versus possibility
topic_facet Budget deficits, Business, Consumption (Economics), Debt, Government spending policy, Nonfiction, Politics