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The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 4. Oktober 2011

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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 336 Seiten
  • Verlag: Random House (4. Oktober 2011)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 140006841X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400068418
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,2 x 2,3 x 24,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 15.142 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Praise for THE PRICE OF CIVILIZATION

"An important assessment of what ails America, and a must-read for policymakers."--Kirkus Reviews

"Best known for advising postcommunist and impoverished countries on development strategies, economist Sachs (Common Wealth) takes on the cesspool of debt, backwardness, and corruption that is the United States in this hard-hitting brief for a humane economy... a must-read for every concerned citizen."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

“There is no shortage of books on why laissez-faire is bad theory and dangerous practice. For a succinct, humane, and politically astute tour of the horizon, it’s hard to improve on Sachs’s The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity.”--The American Prospect

"Jeffrey Sachs’s new book is a landmark in this great and essentially American tradition, setting out with luminous clarity the narrative and the analysis of how the US and the wider world has been traduced and seduced by debased ideology, racist reflexes and huge vested interests from its liberal and enlightened roots. Indeed, Sachs by his life and his writing goes far to restore one’s wavering faith in the informing inspiration of the post-1945 new dawn, faith in economics, faith in America and faith in humanity."--The Spectator

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THE PRICE OF CIVILIZATION reveals why we must - and how we can - change our entire economic culture in this time of crisis. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Dr. F. Piribauer am 14. Juni 2012
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Comprehensive, very knowledgable and experienced. Stemming the decline of the US encopasses change of morals, minds, political institutions and tax codes at the same time. A gargantuan task is conceptualized in this timely book by one of the great of Harvard University.
Living in Boston since some years, he also sees the limits of US type of health care, which is more cleptocracy than anything befor in mankind. He knows also what can be the cure, married to a leading physician, he realized how important an exact diagnosis is, before cure can begin, the patient is early 21st century US society.
May this great country not be squandered by stupidity and ideological blindness. Hope is, that many read this great book and start to understand what is at stake.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Siegfried Sutterlin am 25. Mai 2012
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Among prominent scholars Sachs ranks among the top. He is a highly accomplished and humane economist whose sincerity and civilized bearing are disarming and admirable.

He appreciates some of the more successful European economies where gov't guarantees a minimum living standard and regulates far more effectively than in the U.S. He laments the current economic and social conditions of the U.S. with its coarse and uncivilized political patterns and its dilapidated education, infrastructure, etc. He correctly faults Wall Street's giant corruption and theft and views socialist European economies as the models to cure America's socio-economic problems.

He admits and expresses surprise that he missed the deterioration and substantial discontent that now pulsate throughout the U.S. economy. Perhaps he missed it while focusing on emerging economies though that cannot be a total excuse. America's relative economic decline has been evolving for many decades and what could be called slumerica in the medium and smaller towns all across the U.S. should have given him overwhelming visual economic evidence if he traveled at all through their equivalents in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Scandinavian economies, etc. So where has he been for decades?

Sachs unfortunately commits a major conceptual error when he bases his whole book on the concept that there is a price to be paid for civilization. That is going into the totally wrong direction. There are ONLY benefits from civilization and the cost or price of an absence or lack of civilization are horrible as the U.S. economy in effect is experiencing.
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Jeffrey Sachs, Hochschulprofessor, Buchautor und umtriebiger Multifunktionär, erhebt in diesem Werk, wie schon zuvor in "The End of Poverty", nicht nur die Forderung nach einer besseren Welt, sondern liefert zum Glück auch gleich das Rezept mit, wie diese zu schaffen wäre.

Schon auf den ersten Seiten erklärt er dem Leser, worin die drei Hauptaufgaben einer Wirtschaft nach seiner Meinung bestehen, nämlich in Effizienz, Fairness und Nachhaltigkeit". Von Produktion und Innovation, der Schumpeter'schen kreativen Zerstörung": kein Wort.

Seine sich durch den gesamten Text ziehende Begeisterung für demokratische Entscheidungsprozesse, erinnert an Publikationen linker Autoren aus Europa, wie Christian Felber, Sahra Wagenknecht oder Margrit Kennedy, deren Analysen allerdings von keinerlei von ökonomischem Sachverstand getrübt sind. Daß Sachs in den USA eine Mehrheit für eine stärkere Besteuerung der Reichen" ortet, ist keine besonders originelle Enthüllung, die zudem weder über Rechtmäßigkeit, noch Zweckmäßigkeit einer solchen Maßnahme etwas aussagt. "Eat the rich" scheint übrigens eine der fixen Ideen des engagierten Weltverbesserers zu sein...

Sachs konstatiert eine "Rechtsdrift" - sowohl bei Demokraten wie Republikanern - die sich in der Realverfassung einer Corporatocracy" manifestiere. Darunter versteht der Autor, daß nicht das Volk, sondern die Konzerne die großen Linien der Politik bestimmen. Barack Obama sei - trotz seiner vollmundig angekündigten Sozialinitiativen im Zuge des Präsidentschaftswahlkampfs - ebenso eine Kreatur des "Big Business", wie sein republikanischer Gegenspieler.
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Amazon.com: 136 Rezensionen
245 von 259 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An Eloquent Plea for Meaningful Change 4. Oktober 2011
Von Tiger CK - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In the Price of Civilization Jeffrey Sachs makes a powerful call for significant changes in the way the U.S. government manages the economy. According to Sachs, an economics professor at Columbia University, Washington has not devised policies that meet the challenge of globalization. Rather than investing in education and infrastructure, as many Asian countries have during the last twenty years, they have resorted to popular short-term stimulus measures such as cutting taxes and reducing interest rates. These problems have been exacerbated by lobbyists whose influence over Republicans and Democrats has made meaningful change impossible.

Sachs argues that the best solution for these problems is for Washington to move toward a "mixed economy" in which a more effective government plays a larger role in regulating businesses. He believes that the current problems in the American economy are structural and not short-term. With the Republicans and Democrats both seeking solutions that will prop up the economy for a year or two rather than address the structural issues, the United States is on the wrong course and not likely to return to the levels of prosperity it previously enjoyed. These problems can only be solved if the government makes a long-term commitment to investing in industry in part by raising taxes on the wealthy and reducing the growing gap between the rich and poor.

The Price of Civilization is divided into two sections. The first section covers The Great Crash and gives a thoroughly detailed description of the mistakes made by American elected officials. He critiques free market capitalism as well as those politicians who have blamed big government for the United States' difficulties in meeting the challenges of globalization. Sachs devotes the second part of the book to laying out his solutions for the economic woes that have beset the United States. His chapter on "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Government" was especially powerful. Here, he calls for policy makers in Washington to pay more attention to planning and to stop ignoring long-term considerations. Sachs demonstrates very convincingly in this book that Washington's inability to focus on the long-term during the last thirty years has been one of major contributing factors to the nation's current economic malaise.

Sachs's bold argument is not likely to be welcomed by either Democrats or Republicans. One Republican congressman (Paul Ryan) has already published a scathing review of the book in the Wall Street Journal more or less equating Sachs's proposals with socialism. But I think Americans fed up with Washington and its inability to solve the current crisis will find many of Sachs's arguments very compelling. The majority of Americans do wish that the government could be reclaimed form corporate lobbyists and the people empowered. They do recognize that politicians on both sides of the spectrum are part of the problem.

Is Sachs right? I don't agree with him on everything but I do think he makes many valid points especially on the shortsightedness of our politicians and the methods that they are now using to attack our economic problems. I am not completely sold on Sachs's mixed economy solutions, however. I believe the key to economic policy is not whether we lean toward laissez-fair or a mixed economy. In fact, both of these have been successful in certain situations and may be part of the solution. The key is that our economic policy be smart and farsighted. In this sense, Sachs's book is at least a step in the right direction.
92 von 99 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Important Ideas for the Future of America 5. Oktober 2011
Von R. Sampson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In "The Price of Civilization" Jeffrey Sachs, one of the top economists specializing in poor and developing countries, turns his attention to the problems facing the United States, a task that he finds himself "deeply surprised and unnerved" to have to undertake.

Sachs is a strong proponent of the "mixed economy" and argues that while the free market works in most cases, it cannot be expected to solve all problems by itself. Government has a crucial role, and Sachs lists three primary goals: efficiency, fairness, and sustainability. In order to achieve these things, government must provide services like regulation, redistribution of income to protect the most vulnerable, and investment in public goods like infrastructure and basic scientific research.

Sachs argues that, beginning with the Reagan administration, the U.S. government has increasingly abandoned this role, and has been more and more subject to capture by corporations and the wealthy elite. As a result of this, and of a distracted consumption-focused population, policy makers have underestimated the impact of globalization and failed to make the necessary investments and adaptations to insure the country's success in the future.

Sachs' prescriptions include increased public investment, especially in education, and a dramatic reduction in military expenditure. He also argues convincingly throughout the book that marginal taxes on the wealthy should be increased, as the rich are not paying their fair share of the "price of civilization."
122 von 134 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The most COURAGEOUS Economist in the World tells you the Truth - Will We Listen ????? - 5 STARS 8. Oktober 2011
Von Richard of Connecticut - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Whether you are from the left or the right, Democrat or Republican, this is the book you must read to understand America. It is extraordinary because it is completely understandable. There is no jargon. This is a totally understandable narrative of what America is facing today and what we as concerned citizens can do about it.
Any undergraduate in college can tell you that economics is more about advanced mathematics than anything else. Warren Buffett, America's most famous investor will tell you that if he needed calculus to make investments, he'd still be delivering newspapers in Omaha. What Sachs has done is come at us with the truth, the unvarnished, unfiltered, objective truth as he sees it.

He pulls no punches and makes no pretense at protecting anyone else's feelings and reputation. He admits voting for Obama, and then tells us why the President has failed us miserably. He will vote for Obama next time as well, but he doesn't mind making point after point why the current programs in effect and proposed can't possibly work. His analysis and conclusions are impeccable. There's no bias here. This is the information you and I as citizens of the Great Republic desperately need and we are not getting it anywhere else.

Mass media wastes our time with the same old recycled nonsense from both sides of the aisle, but not Harvard trained Jeffery Sachs. He comes right at us and tells us that Washington gives us gimmicks after gimmicks when we need long term planning that makes sense. He is absolutely straight forward when he informs us that the millions of jobs lost to China through globalization are GONE FOREVER. The problem is structural unemployment and nobody in the government has attacked it.

The answer is to RE-TRAIN the workforce and we haven't spent one penny doing it. We give people unemployment and then they sit and watch television for 98 weeks, when for $4000 per year we can put them through community college and get them ready for the 2 million jobs that desperately need filling in our economy for which there are no takers. Is anybody listening to Sachs in Washington? The answer is no one, and when you ask the author why they aren't listening. He has a simple answer.

The President spends his time at fund raisers when only elite well-off voters write checks for almost $40,000 per plate. He is surrounded by the rich and powerful who fill his ears with what THEY WANT, not what is good for America, but what is good for THEM. According to Sachs, the Congress is bought, sold, and paid for by lobbyists representing the wealthiest people, families, corporations in America. WE as citizens vote for them, and THEY the SPECIAL INTERESTS then own them.

The lobbyists take the Congressmen to lavish dinners at the finest restaurants in Washington. They give them access to whatever they need to sustain their Washington existence. They put the word out on the street that this elected official plays ball, and campaign contributions come rolling in. We know that 95% of all elections are won by the guy with more money, and the lobbyists know how to take advantage of this reality. As a society we are the poorer for this reprehensible behavior.

The Price of Civilization is divided into two parts:

PART I - The Great Crash - Chapters 1 - 8

PART II - The Path to Prosperity - Chapters 9 - 13

There are 265 pages of riveting narrative. Its seat of your pants type writing, it is simply that interesting. If you are a concerned citizen, if you are a policy wonk, if you simply care about your country, you cannot put this book down.

In the first part of the book, Sachs gives us the details about how America's prosperity was lost, no blame here, just the facts. This author is not concerned about fixing the blame; he wants to fix the problems. He has devoted his life to fixing economic problems around the world, especially in lesser developed countries. He has now realized that America, a country of such enormous wealth and power has squandered its resources in a misguided fashion, and that he is worried about his own country. He has given us this book as a roadmap for what we must do.

This is a book he did not want to write. He takes us through the decline of civic virtue which has led to a severe lack of social responsibility among those of us who should know better. Unless the rich and powerful do what they should be doing which is lead society instead of running off with a bigger and bigger share of the national income each year, we will continue our decline as an affluent society. This is covered thoroughly in Chapter 5 - The Divided Nation.

Chapter 7 is the chapter that begs to be read. It is entitled the RIGGED GAME, and the game is indeed rigged. The tax code is written by and for the rich and the corporations. Normally 10,000 long, there are 70,000 pages of exemptions for the powerful, taking a 10,000 page code to 70,000 pages. More than 70,000 pages were written to cut down on the tax burden of the powerful who are simply the top 1% with the money and ability to write the checks.

Throughout the entire first half of the book the author could not have made it clearer that we live in a bifurcated society. We have two different countries living simultaneously side by side. For the rich, it has never been better. There has been a disproportionate amount of the income in our country going to the very rich. No society in history has lasted very long with this behavior - that's what history says.

Sach's lays out the facts and some of the facts are brutal:

* Short-term measures don't generate long term results

* Massive corporations keep and book profits abroad and pay no taxes - it's just wrong

* The 35% corporate tax rate is a fraud. No Fortune 500 company in America pays 35%. It's there to humor the masses.

* President Obama's 800 billion stimulus program was just a gimmick as is his current stimulus proposal. It's a one year, one trick pony.

* Lobbyists dominate and CONTROL the United States Congress.

* The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have achieved nothing for us in spite of more than a trillion dollars being spent, and a trillion more will be spent before they are over.

Part II Blows you away

It is in the second part of this book that we can find optimism and hope. The book is full of prescriptions and BOLD ideas. These are concepts that our politicians will never implement until a new crisis appears and it will appear. The author quotes President Obama's former Chief of Staff, Ram Emanuel that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, and the President did waste it.

The author tells us we must get people back into schools that can give them the training for the jobs exist now and will exist in the next few years. Jobs that the Chinese and India cannot take from us because of their slave wages -18 cents to a dollar per hour.

For two years we have given unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and never forced them to go back to school to continue their benefits. We should have created the equivalent of the next GI Bill. For $4000 per year, they could have gone to community colleges and gotten the training, but no Democrat and no Republican proposed this. You could put one million people into community colleges for $8 billion per and yet the President is proposing near $500 billion to stimulate the economy and the bill won't work. For $80 billion, still a fraction of the President's stimulus proposal you could put 10 million Americans through community colleges that are now only 40% filled to capacity. There room and there's talent, why aren't we doing it?

Sachs implores us that we must increase taxes on the rich. They can afford it. He points out that all the benefits of the last 20 years, of globalization have gone to the rich and then the Congress gave them the benefits of tax cuts too. They got a double whammy on the upside. What's going on here? Oh and by the way, The Price of Civilization according to Oliver Wendell Holmes the Supreme Court Justice is TAXES. Thank you for reading this review.

Richard Stoyeck
22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good identification of problems, questionable solution paths presented 19. Januar 2012
Von A. Menon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The Price of Civilization is an attempt to describe the problems Jeffrey Sachs sees in the US economy and how to fix them. It is very readable and insightful giving much food for thought. It reads well though its tone oscillates between being a dispassionate observer to an angry bystander in which emotional outbursts are included. The problems facing the US are vast and politics are more polarized than anytime in the post world war era (with the measure being party voting overlap for example). At the same time there are deep issues to be solved in which paralysis compound the process with the result being much larger costs to society. The Price of Civilization is an attempt by an author who really cares about people to describe and offer guidance on how to fix these issues.

The book is split into 2 parts, the first called The Great Crash, the second The Path to prosperity. The titles make apparant the first half of the books purpose of describing our situation and problems and the second to solving them. I will start with the first part. There are many themes in the authors analysis of the problems in the US, most economic and well cited elsewhere- including wage growth and stagnation as a function of education, the divergence in incomes resulting in rising inequality. The changing diversity of society in demographics and ethnicity and resulting issues are covered in a few examples. The issues arising from globalization are discussed as well. The author makes a strong point of discussing how corporate interests seem to control politics to a degree never seen before. There is much philosophy intertwined about the degradation of society and values and how people have lost their civic duty (citing putnam's bowling alone for example).

The path to prosperity is an attempt to give a plan to set us back on the path to a well balanced life. The first step, which is casually described as what we have lost that needs to be regained is a participation in society. Aristotilian ethics and buddhism are given as examples of what leads to a good life (interesting to hear aristotle brought up here as well as in Justice by Sandel). After a description of the qualities of people that are desirable, to be knowledeable and considerate etc the author sets out his concrete goals which are then listed- he has 8. The author gives guidance on his 8 goals in general terms and this is the core of the chapter. The essentially contain raising emplyment improving education, reducing poverty, consider ecology, budget discipline, improve corporate ethics, revert to softpower national security, consider new measures of progress like gross national happiness.

There are lots I like about the book but there is much that is frustrating. The author comes off as looking to allocate blame instead of building consensus despite making a point to say he is not doing that. He seems to argue that what we need is money to fix our problems (which is true) without focusing on the need for major reform to precede it. He uses economic examples that in other places he articulates as causes of stress - Sweden is constantly brought up as a happy place with high taxes, which is true but it is a homogenous ethnic population. Diversity is the source of discontent when kin dont subsidise each other - the subject of one of the author's own sections... See Tanzi if one actually wants to do the right case analysis. The book is riddled with socializing arguments masked as obvious necessity, he makes mistakes about income taxes on super rich, ie hf managers getting taxed @ 15%, i think he means private equity (at least that is what the news is talking about because their income is capital gains not income). He argues we should all work less to increase employment citing Germany as an example- he fails to mention that in Asia (Korea, Japan, China etc) the work hours are 15% higher than in the US. There are aspects of truth to what he says- if skills atrophy then having more flexible hours instead of labour force participation volatility creates better social cohesion but its argued poorly. Look at Spain Italy and Greece where inflexible labour participation in many industries has helped create mass youth unemployment. The author uses data selectively and unconvincingly- this is a common theme. In another example he discusses how low US taxes are at the federal level relative to elsewhere with the next section giving figures including state level taxation that blows the argument out of the water! Anyway, i do believe in much of what he says- higher taxes are needed, lower spending is needed, i would like people to be more civic minded so we could form consensus but the author is too preachy. The author is disillusioned and fed up with the direction, as are many in the country for good reason. The discussion of what we have in common is well needed, the analysis of what to do though has elements of insight, but much is too clouded in anger and lack of objectivity. At times its a fun to read and at times it can be pretty tough, I do recommend it all in all.
42 von 51 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Reality at last 5. Oktober 2011
Von Brenda B. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book was able to simply explain that it's the entaglement of politicians, policy, and business greed that has caused the collapse of our economy. Mr. Sachs did a great job of helping me understand, and I'm no economist. Very well written, no matter your ideals.
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