Americans have fallen for the ticker tape. We watch our portfolios, happily or nervously. We know there were a few bad apples at Enron and World Com, but we also know:
* The advent of mutual funds, low-cost brokerages, and the Internet has meant that the stock market is now more transparent, honest, and accessible to the small investor than ever before;
* 401(k)s give the individual responsibility and control over their retirement savings, and that makes us more responsible citizens;
* Federal deficits are bad for the economy, especially, somehow, when they're linked to social spending; and
* Controlling inflation is the most important task of our economic policy.
But as economist Ellen Frank shows us, what we know is wrong. Over the past twenty years, Americans have been fed a mash of confusing financial and economic information. This information has distorted popular understanding of how the economy really operates and camouflaged the transformation of economic policy from a tool for improving the living standards of all to a tool for securing the perquisites of those with financial wealth.
About the Author
Ellen Frank, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1979. Dr. Frank's work focuses on the treatment of mood disorders, with particular emphasis on the prevention of recurrence. She is the author of over 350 journal articles, books, and book chapters.
Ellen Frank has put her finger on a serious problem: the deliberate use of economic jargon to confuse and mislead. In The Raw Deal she shows how concepts such as inflation, deficits, saving and productivity have come to serve as weapons of mass distraction, obstructing debate over vital concerns such as full employment and high wages. This lucid, accessible book is a great corrective; everyone should read it.--James K. Galbraith, author of Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay
"Ellen Frank is a dangerous character: a serious economist who writes clearly and cares about social justice. The Raw Deal is an engaging and passionate attack on the right-wing nostrums that have passed for economic wisdom in the U.S. over the past generation."--Robert Pollin, author of Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity and codirector of the Political Economy Research Institure (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst