The Predator State

How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too

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About The Book

Now available in paperback, this timely book challenges the cult of the free market that has dominated all political and economic discussion since the Reagan revolution.

Even many liberals have felt the need to genuflect before the altar of free markets, but in The Predator State, progressive economist James K. Galbraith suggests that, under the Bush administration, conservatives have clearly abandoned the Reagan dogma and replaced it with crony capitalism. Tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation, and such schemes as privatizing Social Security would divert the national treasury into private hands and give rise to "The Predator State." The real economy, Galbraith argues, has never been entirely free of government support. Indeed, he says, much of our prosperity over the decades has been the result of a mix of private enterprise and public institutions, dating back to the New Deal. While conservatives have paid lip service to free markets as the solution to everything from health care to global warming, it is clear from the current banking and Wall Street upheavals that a lack of federal regulation has led to disaster.

With witty insight, Galbraith makes it clear that we live in the age of predation. He sounds the warning bell, but also points the way to a more prosperous and progressive future.

About The Author

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James K. Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Austin, Texas. The End of Normal is his first book.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Free Press (May 2009)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416576211

Raves and Reviews

"Shows how to break the spell that conservatives have cast over the minds of liberals (and everyone else) for many years." -- Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2001)

"James Galbraith elegantly and effectively counters the economic fundamentalism that has captured public discourse in recent years, and offers a cogent guide to the real political economy. Myth-busting, far-ranging, and eye-opening." -- Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley

"With a combination of erudition, insight, and wit worthy of John Kenneth Galbraith, Thorstein Veblen, and John Maynard Keynes, James K. Galbraith offers a critique of the conventional unwisdom about the economy that is as compelling as it is provocative." -- Michael Lind, Whitehead Senior Fellow at The New America Foundation and author of The American Way of Strategy

"James Galbraith has written an extremely challenging book. Although its principal target is conservative economics, it is no less critical of conventional liberalism. Galbraith correctly recognizes that today both approaches are intellectually bankrupt and incapable of addressing the nation's pressing economic problems. I hope The Predator State stimulates needed debate among both liberals and conservatives on the mistakes both sides have made that have gotten us to where we are now." -- Bruce Bartlett, author of Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy

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