Bill’s Must-Read Money & Politics Book List

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Much has been said and written about the corrupting effect of money on politics. Here, Bill shares the books he considers “must reads” in any effort to learn what’s really going on under the hood of our imperfect democracy… and what we can do about it. The book choices are Bill’s.  The descriptions are excerpted from those distributed by the books’ publishers.  Feel free to add your own recommendations by leaving a comment below.

The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences (January 1, 2009)
John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff

In this book, John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff offer a bold analysis of the 2008 financial meltdown, how it developed, and the implications for the future. They examine the specifics of the housing bubble and the credit crunch as well as situate current events within a broader crisis of monopoly-finance capitalism — one that has been gestating for several decades. It is the “real” productive economy’s tendency toward stagnation, they argue, that creates a need for capital to find ways to profitably invest its surplus. But rather than invest in socially useful projects that would benefit the vast majority, capital has constructed a financialized “casino” economy that neglects social needs and, as has become increasingly clear, is fatally unstable. Written over a two-year period immediately prior to the onset of the crisis, this timely and illuminating book is necessary reading for all those who wish to understand the current situation, how we got here, and where we are heading.

Corporations Are Not People (January 9, 2012)
Jeffrey D. Clements
Read Bill Moyers’ Foreword on AlterNet

This is the first practical guide for every citizen on the problem of corporate personhood and the tools we have to overturn it. Jeff Clements explains why the Citizen’s United case is the final win in a campaign for corporate domination of the state that began in the 1970s under Richard Nixon. More than this, Clements shows how unfettered corporate rights will impact public health, energy policy, the environment, and the justice system. Corporations Are Not People answers the reader’s question: “What does Citizens United mean to me?” And, even more important, it provides a solution: a Constitutional amendment, included in the book, which would reverse Citizens United. The book’s ultimate goal is to give every citizen the tools and talking points to overturn corporate personhood state by state, community by community with petitions, house party kits, draft letters, shareholder resolutions, and much more.

Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (March 15, 2011)
Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson
Watch Bill Moyers’ January 2012 interview with Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson for Moyers & Company

We all know that the very rich have gotten a lot richer these past few decades while most Americans haven’t. Why do the “have-it-alls” have so much more? In their lively and provocative Winner-Take-All Politics, political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson indict an unlikely suspect — American politics — and take us on an entertaining tour of the mountain of evidence against the culprit. Part revelatory history, part political analysis, part intellectual journey, Winner-Take-All Politics shows how a political system that traditionally has been responsive to the interests of the middle class has been hijacked by the super-rich. In doing so, it not only changes how we think about American politics, but also points the way to rebuilding a democracy that serves the interests of the many rather than just those of the wealthy few.

This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement (November 17, 2011)
Sarah van Gelder and the staff of YES! Magazine

The Occupy Wall Street movement identified the core issue of our time: the overwhelming power of Wall Street and large corporations— something the political establishment and most media have long ignored. But the movement goes far beyond this critique. This Changes Everything shows how the movement is shifting the way people view themselves and the world, the kind of society they believe is possible, and their own involvement in creating a society that works for the 99% rather than just the 1%. Attempts to pigeonhole this decentralized, fast-evolving movement have led to confusion and misperception. In this volume, the editors of YES! Magazine bring together voices from inside and outside the protests to convey the issues, possibilities, and personalities associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics (January 10, 2012)
Thomas Byrne Edsall

One of our most prescient political observers, Edsall provides a sobering account of how pitched battles over scarce resources will increasingly define American politics in the coming years — —and how we might avoid, or at least mitigate, the damage from these ideological and economic battles. In a matter of just three years, a bitter struggle over limited resources has enveloped political discourse at every level in the United States. Fights between haves and have-nots over health care, unemployment benefits, funding for mortgage write-downs, economic stimulus legislation — and, at the local level, over cuts in police protection, garbage collection, and in the number of teachers — have dominated the debate. Resource competition between Democrats and Republicans has left each side determined to protect what it has at the expense of the other. The major issues of the next few years — long-term deficit reduction, entitlement reform, cuts in defense spending, and financing a continuation of American international involvement — suggest that your-gain-is-my-loss politics will inevitably intensify.

A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression (May 31, 2011)
Richard Posner

The financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 is the most alarming of our lifetime because of the warp-speed at which it is occurring. How could it have happened,  and what can be done to reverse a slide into a full-blown depression? Richard Posner presents a concise and non-technical examination of this mother of all financial disasters and of the, as yet, stumbling efforts to cope with it. No previous acquaintance on the part of the reader with macroeconomics or the theory of finance is presupposed. This is a book for intelligent generalists that will interest specialists as well. Among the facts and causes Posner identifies are: excess savings flowing in from Asia and the reckless lowering of interest rates by the Federal Reserve Board; the relation between executive compensation, short-term profit goals, and risky lending; the housing bubble fueled by low interest rates, aggressive mortgage marketing, and loose regulations; the low savings rate of American people; and the highly leveraged balance sheets of large financial institutions.

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present (May 31, 2011)
Jeff Madrick

As Jeff Madrick makes clear in Age of Greed, the single-minded pursuit of huge personal wealth has been on the rise in the United States since the 1970s, led by a few individuals who have argued that self-interest guides society more effectively than community concerns. These stewards of American capitalism have insisted on the central and essential place of accumulated wealth through the booms, busts, and recessions of the last half century, giving rise to our current woes. In telling the stories of these politicians, economists, and financiers who declared a moral battle for freedom but instead gave rise to an age of greed, Madrick traces the lineage of some of our nation’s most pressing economic problems. He begins with Walter Wriston, head of what would become Citicorp, who led the battle against government regulation. He examines the ideas of economist Milton Friedman, who created the plan for an anti-Rooseveltian America; the politically expedient decisions of Richard Nixon that fueled inflation; the philosophy of Alan Greenspan, on whose libertarian ideology a house of cards was built on Wall Street; and the actions of Sandy Weill, who constructed the largest financial institution in the world, which would have gone bankrupt in 2008 without a federal bailout of $45 billion.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (June 24, 2008)
Naomi Klein

In this groundbreaking alternative history of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman’s free-market economic revolution, Naomi Klein challenges the popular myth of this movement’s peaceful global victory. From Chile in 1973 to Iraq today, Klein shows how Friedman and his followers have repeatedly harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their radical policies. As John Gray wrote in The Guardian, “There are very few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books.”

 

Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (February 1, 2010)
Sheldon S. Wolin
Democracy is struggling in America — by now this statement is almost cliché. But what if the country is no longer a democracy at all? In Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin considers the unthinkable: has America unwittingly morphed into a new and strange kind of political hybrid, one where economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled? Can the nation check its descent into what the author terms “inverted totalitarianism”? Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive–and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a “managed democracy” where the public is shepherded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies, and argues passionately that democracy’s best hope lies in citizens themselves learning anew to exercise power at the local level.

 

Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison.
Peter Schweizer
Written by a research fellow at the Stanford University’s conservative Hoover Institution, Peter Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out covers the full story of the inside game in Washington — how the permanent political class enriches itself at the expense of the rest of us. Schweizer researched mountains of financial records, votes on bills, complicated deals and stock trades back to the timing of briefings, and every other point of leverage for politicians in Washington. The result is his manifesto for revolution: the Permanent Political Class must go.

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  • Anonymous

    Thumbs up to Shock Doctrine. I’d also suggest Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber – an anthropologist talking about the history of money, debt, currency, and how much of it has been mischaracterized by traditional economists.

  • Anonymous

    Enjoyed your new program very much. But one thing that confuses me is that no one I know has changed their political point of few. I know right wingers are are immensely unhappy and struggling to almost make ends meet but when it comes to voting they will once again vote for the Republicans. I know both parties on in the pockets of corporations but they are not equally guilty. The Republicans make no pretense about who they favor and these life time Republicans who have been very hurt by their party continue to back them and worse vote for them. I sometimes think choice of political party must be genetic. How else to explain poor people voting for the benefits of the top .1 of percent. No sign of them changing. When I point out that the Republican party they were loyal to in the sixties has no relation to the Republican party of today they don’t see it. And yet we know not even Ronald Reagan could be elected today not to even mention Eisenhower, Nixon and even George H W Bush. Of course there are Republicans who criticize the current Republic party policies like David Frum and David Stockman but they are exceptions. 

    Who do so many Americans vote to hurt themselves?

    Excellent recommendations on books. 

  • KJ

    THANKS FOR THE NEW SHOW !  LOVE YOUR THOUGHFULLNESS,

  • evilpenguin

    I would also recommend “Republic, Lost” by Lawrence Lessig. I see it as a natural successor to “Winner Take All Politics” and a very good book to give to people with little background in law, politics, or finance. Lessig has a tremendous gift for teaching complex subjects to people meeting them for the first time. Most of Lessig’s writing has been on intellectual property law and the Internet. (He is a Harvard Law professor). He has come to elections,and more specifically, campaign financing because he sees it as the source of the disconnect between what the public wants (from both the left and the right) and what Congress does.

  • db

    The Horror never ends… how about the Insurance Industry, hogging the bed with Finance, throwing us onto the floor?  “Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers” by Ellen E. Schultz  2011 (investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal) is my most recent nightmare.
    (Yikes: any chance of future ACLU regs limiting who can take out a policy on my life?)
    I cried, I was so happy to see Mr. Moyers again: Long Life to you, Sir.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.heller Thomas A. Heller

    I’d offer ‘Juggernaut’ by Eric Robert Morse, the grandson of Samuel FB Morse (the inventor of the code by the same name) for a sweeping -and I *do* mean sweeping- perspective on the evolution of the American economy, tracing from the discovery of the continent.  

    It provides context for what the other authors write on.  Ignore its recommendations in the latter chapters, but treasure this work for its diagnosis.

    I didn’t care for Naomi Klein’s ‘Shock Doctrine’ at all — she bends over backwards to indict everyone she has disagreed with since -apparently- her childhood. She has little to offer readers.

    I would second your listing of Richard Posner’s book, though I have not read it. I am, however,  familiar with his superior insight and thoughtful observation on matters in the world of economics and the law.

  • Byron Derrick

    I would also recommend Joseph E. Stiglitz’s Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of
    the World Economy (Oct 4, 2010).  While Stiglitz is very pessimistic, he does say what needs to be done in order to put things more nearly right.

  • leftofcenter

    Maybe I’m giving away a future bestseller idea. But I’ll say it anyway. Here’s something that none of the above authors mentioned.

    Let everyone who needs to go bankrupt fail. Nationalize the banks and write off the total debt. Give everyone the same amount of money. First priority is to pay your mortgage/rent. If that’s not a problem, then use it for anything you want. Recapitalize the banks and then start over.

    Now, if you accept that the debt can never be repaid and that politicians will never publically admit that, then why can’t this plan work?

    It’s “socialism”. So what if it is? Our current bailout system isn’t working. Rewarding CEO’s for incompetence isn’t. Yet, the govt. keeps doing it. We’re also bailing out the EU as well.

    How much is the total global debt? How many times has Greece been bailed out? It’s amazing to me that no “expert” on this has dared to talk about this. Internationally, this is constantly discussed. Yet here,  just because of a serious hangup about certain words, it’s forbidden?

  • cynicalinutah

    I don’t understand why the people who perpetrated this assault on our economy still have jobs.  Is there anything that can be done to correct this?  I’m sure these Wall Street rogues have fired a number of people who didn’t perform to expectations, so why can’t we fire them?  It all seems so hopeless.  The people with money use their money to make more money and the rest of us clean up the messes they create.  John Reed said the people we elect to Congress are “listeners” and they listen to the lobbyists.  How do we get rid of the lobbyists?  The only way would be a law, which Congress would have to pass, but won’t because the lobbyists won’t allow it.  Everyone worries so much about who is going to be the President.  The President has very little power, it’s the people in the Congress who have the power – look at what they’ve been able to prevent during the last few years.  Yet most people couldn’t tell you the name of their senator or representative.  Even as secretive and good vs evil (Manachean I think the term is) as G W Bush was, and he sure made a HUGE mess, could only do it with the help of the legislature, and only for 8 years, thank God!!!  The power in our country is in the hands of listeners who listen to those with handouts.  I wish I could have some hope that this will be fixed, but I don’t see how without “throwing them all out,” and starting over.  There is no willingness to compromise on Capitol Hill and until there is the 1% will run the show.

  • Jerry-Middletown

    I really enjoy the “new” Bill Moyers.  His program is not grounded on the side of the democrats, but fertilized with “Charlie Rose”-flavored discouse from knowledgeable folks meant to enlighten the public, not to lead them down the former “Moyer’s Alley.”  Your disussion with John S. Reed, formerly one of Citibank generals, and Senator Dorgan was on-target and elightening.  I particularly found it intellectually revealng that Reed supports brnging back the finacial barriers of Glass-Segall.  Are any politicians in Washington listening to this type of discourse — or are they too buzy preparing for their next fund-raiser sponsored by Dodd and his cohorts in the banking and financial industry?    

  • c baker

    I share your frustration over this.  I have read that some folks who continue to vote this way have bought into the story that one day they will be rich.  I think it is also easier for some folks to accept the ” black & white family values” of the Republican Party.  After all it is easier than seeing all the shades of gray.  And the Republicans have always been better at sound bites and simple slogans.  Just hope the independents go to the polls to vote for the President, that and rallying Democrats to vote is probably the best strategy for winning in November

  • Rfgraap

    Excellent series of programs and very happy that you are back.  The first question one should ask any aspiring or current politician up for re-election is:    “Do you support the re-institution of Glass-Steagal?   If not, why not? ”   And hold them until they give a definitive answer……we know that Dodd-Frank is not the answer.

  • Lshafer88

    Greatly enjoy this show and Bill’s thoughtful questioning of his guests.  I am concerned, however, that only the already similarly thoughtful and open minded of citizens will listen to and learn from this program.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X3G7WF2LOUGLQOAVOXHTU4U7SY HHH

    Unfortunately it seems like X number of people are not capably of reasoning things for themselves. They will believe what they are told, especially if you offer them something they can relate to.  The republicans realized this and have very effectively tapped into it. If you think about it, even figures in the bible referred to their followers as sheep, or their flock. I use to think people were hard to figure out because our minds are so complicated but then I realized the most confusing thing about the human mind is it’s simplicity. It seems many of our leaders see us as sheep and to an extent they are right, but if your going to use every advantage available, psychology, mental programming through mass media, etc, to herd people like sheep then you need to be a moral and just Shepard. In our times it seems the wolves have taken control of the shepherds. and that’s not good for us sheep.

  • Dale

    We really appreciate the “must-read” section Bill.  These reads are the least we can do to help educate ourselves about the government we deserve.

  • Dale

    Excellent question.  It’s difficult to say of course just what motivates many people in this country to behave the way they do and I too have found bewilderment  when looking at their choices.   I found some understanding in a book written by Mr. Thomas Frank in 2004 called “What’s the matter with Kansas?”

  • Ginkoboyd

    I’m very pleased to have Mr. Moyers back on the air, and even more pleased to see the primary focus on how the middle class in this country are being robbed by the very rich 1%  of the population, which includes those in control of our government.  I appreciate the simple, easy to understand, fact based manner in which the material is being delivered, which Bill Moyers has a talent for.  This simple delivery will allow many Americans to grasp this material and bring about positive changes.  As stated in the show, those people who have been manipulated by corporate owned media into thinking that regulation is the cause of their poverty and deregulation is the cure desperately need to be educated on the facts.  As reported by corporate media, the US is divided roughly 50/50 between conservatives and progressives.  Are we really that divided?  Is there a 99% that wants to see real change?  I do believe so.  Keep it up Mr. Moyers and thank you for the work you do!

  • Petebartelt

    Because they are ignorant, politically disinterested, have it too good, and as JFK noted can have the luxury of having an opinion without the pain of having to think.

  • Anonymous

    Functional Finance is a doctrine that favors national currencies based on future essential output — not on past credit-worthy debt. It follows the ideas of Keynes and others who believe a purposeful monetary system of production can maximize both  individual freedom and national security IF managed by competent fair and honest people.

    Toward these ends, it suggests focus on full shelves in the stores and ample individual income to buy all essentials and pay all bills for a roof overhead and car in the garage, etc. These material products, and the jobs to make them, can be understood and tracked in a political economy to serve the people not the bosses who rule with votes, money, law and guns to steal far more than their share of the system’s output.

    Quantitative easing is a shortcut to debt-free and tax-free financing (or “money”)  that ordinary voters can learn to discuss and appreciate in the time they can give to politics. 

    The University of Missouri at Kansas City, Bard University, and the New School in NYC, are academic sources to help voters to make sense of money systems that can avoid gridlock caused by advocates of austerity who disagree with advocates for Keynesian spending. 

    We must abandon taxes that require filing forms or onerous effects (sales taxes and the like, especially if they are not counter-productive relative to jobs and output, are to be preferred; inflation-protected savings rather than taxes should be used to absorb excess money supply.)

    WW II contracts and money-spending to motivate their workers gave us the know-how to “afford” all we could “produce”.  We do better to update this know-how and associated financial tools, than to burden voters with more detail today than they have time to consume. 

    Inequality is not as good a measure as a minimum income (standard of living). Such a guaranteed minimum income (standard of living) will allow voters to directly aim at jobs and production ample to protect democracy — economic as well  as political.

  • Anonymous

    WHY is a good question. Mostly because the “literature” behind the opposing RIGHT and LEFT is too much to read. So voters stay with “slogans”.

    The right believes the poor are lazy. The left believes the rich are lucky and often selfish or afraid of losing what luck bestowed on them.

    All my friends and neighbors are middle class and recently no longer “better off on account of owning their home and 401 K and not afraid of losing their job”.  So many are lower middle class compared to a few years ago.

    Yet, as you say, all are politically unchanged. Half blame the poor for being poor.  Half see no solutions because they are unaware of how we went from poor to rich overnight in WW II when government contracts put everyone to work. 

  • Keyser5632

    Regarding your wish to get rid of lobbyists, please read the First Amendment.  There is one good, knowledge, and there is one evil, ignorance.

  • Anonymous

    STARTING OVER, I believe, would make no difference. Money talks — and talk dissipates into unorganized discontent.

    But IF people in this discussion could condense their discontent and put some money behind a very brief agenda I think we could eventually run the show.

    Of course the OCCUPY parks and TEA PARTY movements are trying this. The OCCUPIERS Have too wide a scope of complaint. I wish they would focus on “WW II – like” all out “war on poverty” financial tools.

     ”Bill’s Must Read Books” and “$20 DVD’s of his shows” are, themselves,  money-raising tools that will not narrowly focus on a solution.  They will perpetuate the fragmentation of the middle class. 

    Extremes on the right and left want narrow agendas that easily tend to need police-state enforcement. In the middle, we want so wide an agenda it is not much of a match for the status quo.  

    So wealth, that speaks louder as it is concentrated, seems to have an advantage over common sense which does not raise its voice.

    If we could narrow our goals to (1) the GOLDEN RULE and (2) the PREAMBLE’S more perfect union, common defense, general welfare, and blessings of liberty, and (3) guaranteed full EMPLOYMENT and fair INCOME, we might be able to avoid dogmatic ignorance and intolerant tyranny. It would require, however, a competent monetary system of production that could be understood almost at first glance. 

  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness that Bill is around, and  able to put into words for all of us who have not been able to yet.  We have witnessed the greatest theft of our lifetimes, and no one has been put behind bars! I appreciate Bill being courageous enough to keep this crime in the open, so that someday soon it will take a life of it’s own to cause true change.

  • Margivarnum

    A book to add to must read: Capitalism Hits The Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It by Richard Wolff. 

     He would be a great guest also.

  • Timtruett

    For a thorough and readable analysis of the 2007 financial crisis I recommend “All the Devils are Here” by Joe Nocera of the N.Y. Times.  It details the crisis resulted from the actions, business practices and sheer greed of many people, firms and agencies, private and governmental.  It’s analysis of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac appear to me to be far for realistic (albeit still damning) than Ms. Morgenson.  For what it’s worth, Take All Politics is a great read, fascinating history & analysis, possibly the most important book in a decade.

  • http://www.billmoyers.com/ AnneLBS

    Hi Timtruett,

    You might like this interview if you haven’t seen it already; http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11212008/watch.html

  • Janegn5

    I am reading Mike Mayo’s recent book “Exile on Wall Street: One Analyst’s Fight to Save the Big
    Banks from Themselves”and hope you add his book to your must read list.  Mr. Mayo saw the failure of the banking system coming and downgraded them in 1999.  He was derided on Wall Street and was even fired for sticking to his guns.  I think Mr. Mayo is an unsung hero.  Everyone should read his book to find out how Congress, Wall Street, the banksters and the Federal Treasury  with Alan Greenspan at the helm all colluded to gut our economy and what we can do to prevent it from happening again.  Bring back the Glass-Steagal Act now!

  • Philbeyman

    glad yr back ,Bill…we NEED you….

  • Wishlady2

    Thank you for being a man of good conscious – we need more men willing to stand up and be positive roll models for our male population…

  • Ron Engel

    Mr. Moyers,   

      I just “happened” to catch your show as I was flipping through channels on TV, and was captivated by the objective and refreshing flavor of your report on the economic/ political climate that resulted in the current financial situation that our country has found itself in. It is clear that this was no accident, but rather a well orchistrated deception by the influential few to seize power and control over the true American idea.
     
         I am appalled that our own elected “representatives” have perverted the very covenent of the office that they were entrusted to steward. I try to resist lumping all of our politicians into this narrow scope, but am dishartened at the current climate that is unfolding during this electoral cycle. I cannot accurately distinguish the philisophical and idealogical dialog that is being presented by either party; my frustration and disappointment flows equally across party lines.

        I find myself “ashamed” at the example that we, as the one governmental and societal experiment that is supposed to be the model of equality and opportunity for the rest of the world to aspire and emulate, casts such a disillusioned pall of greed and insensitivity among its own citizens.

         Mr. Moyers, thank you for providing a glimpse of clarity in an otherwise murky and deceptive event that continues to erode that, the greatest and noblest of ideas that this once great country was founded on; if one works and dreams hard enough, the opportunities for success, freedom and happiness are within reach for all.

    Ron R. Engel
    engelron@yahoo.com
    Tampa, Fla..com

  • jesuslizard

    No Chomsky? Manufacturing Consent anyone?

  • Carole H

    I suggest that you add to your books a very essential tutorial, “All the Devils Are Here”, Subtittled “The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis” which is essentially an historical look at what has happened,  written by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera.  
    Personally I am so pleased to know that Bill Moyers is back on air and presenting wise thoughts and incredible interviews which  help us all get to the essential truths.

  • CaroleH

    Yeah!  I agree wholeheartedly!

  • Drew Hunkins

    Four books everyone should read pronto!  ‘Death of the Liberal Class’ by Chris Hedges; ‘Why America Failed’ by Morris Berman; ‘The Culture Struggle’ by Michael Parenti; ‘Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of U.S. Power’ by James Petras

  • jondaw

    “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One,” By William K. Black

    “It Takes a Pillage,” by Nomi Prins

    “The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too,” by James K. Galbraith

  • Wra26Portland

    Thank goodness you’re back, Bill Moyers.

  • Cecilia Vargas

    See Francis Fukuyama’s  list of 5 books on same topic.  He is interviewed in “The Browser”:
    http://m.thebrowser.com/interviews/francis-fukuyama-on-financial-crisis
    This is a regular feature in “The Browser” in which prominent people discuss 5 books they regard as important.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elisaclayton Elisa Christina Clayton

    Hi Bill,

    I am so pleased that you have returned to the airwaves! And after reading the article “10 Things That Every American Should Know About The Federal Reserve” http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/10-things-that-every-american-should-know-about-the-federal-reserve I would really appreciate it if you would focus your journalistic expertise on this topic.

    Many thanks,
    Elisa Clayton

  • Tony Bill

    I wish Moyer’s researchers would look into the Financial Services Roundtable, which is the country’s main lobbyist for over 100 of the largest financial service firms.  Those guys take credit for the 1999 law that broke down barriers between insurance, securities, and banking interests……..named the Gramm-Leach- Bliley Act.

  • Hamilton Richards

    I second the recommendation of “Republic, Lost”.  As Lessig analyzes the problem, it’s not that legislators are essentially evil (most of them, anyway), but that they’re caught in a system that leaves them few options: If they want to be (re)elected, they have to accept massive campaign contributions to fund their campaigns, and they have to fear massive spending aimed at defeating them. Naturally, the funders have the inside track in influencing the legislators’ votes.

    The solution has to be some form of public campaign financing, so that the funders are no longer the wealthiest 0.01% but the People. What that system should look like, and how it can be brought into existence, is an exercise for the citizenry.

  • Luanetodd

    I haven’t read Graeber’s book yet but I have found many of his writings on line and am impressed. This one goes on the ‘to get’ list.

    What to say about “Shock Doctrine”…it should be a required text book in both economics and history classes, in my opinion. Add Confessions of an Economic Hitman and Hoodwinked, both by John Perkins, and things get very clear quickly.

  • Luanetodd

    For an excellent discussion about the permanent underclass in America I would also recommend Joe Bageant’s “Deerhunting with Jesus” and “Rainbow Pie”. Brings a new understanding of this problem and its ramifications for all of us.

  • gh

    Wondering if anyone can remember a book Bill Moyer taled about, written by a universith professor and Democracy is in the title?