Steve turns his keen eye to America’s economic system and argues that our thirty-year experiment in unfettered markets has undermined core values required to make capitalism and democracy work. Having written on economics for The Washington Post for decades, Steve is skilled at making big concepts accessible.
Despite the fact that the stock market is currently doing well, many people have a nagging suspicion that something is off. They're not wrong. In his book, Pearlstein contends that our economic system has run off the moral rails, undermining our politics, our trust in each other and our future prosperity. Trust and social capital are at an all-time low due in large part to our free market capitalism that puts "maximizing shareholder value" above all. Pearlstein maintains that the most successful economies are those in which greed and self-interest are tempered by empathy, cooperation, and mutual support—qualities hard-wired into our nature by biology and culture.
Pearlstein offers a set of radical but commonsense ideas that could restore the moral legitimacy of American capitalism and the vitality of American democracy. He proposes we limit special interest money in politics (from both sides of the aisle), institute a universal basic income paired with mandatory national service, encourage companies to share profits with their employees, and equalize educational opportunities.