Book Review: Supercapitalism

I’m not usually a person who reads books, but I managed to squeeze in Robert Reich’s Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy and Everyday Life, published in 2007. Professor Robert Reich teaches at the University of California, Berkeley and was the previous United States of America’s  Secretary of Labor. The highlight of reading the book was gaining a historical perspective of the business that I did not have before. There were tidbits that were astonishing, such as banks weren’t allowed to set their own interest rates on deposits and loans until 1980. It was almost like finding out what was life like before the civil rights movement.

The book covers the interplay between democracy and capitalism as time progressed and how capitalism ate away at democracy. In the beginning, there was a large middle class and people stayed at the same company until they retired and lived on pension. Now there is great income/wealth inequality with decreased job security. People move from job to job for greater opportunities and are laid off to boost the company’s bottom line. Another part of the book covers how people are conflicted about doing social good and benefiting as a consumer/investor. Walmart was an big example in his book. He also goes into a little about how to better society.

What I gained from the book was a better understanding of why things are the way they are now. I would recommend this book to a friend.

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