Tailspin

Tailspin

The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-year Fall--and Those Fighting to Reverse It

Book - 2018
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"From the award-winning journalist and best-selling author of America's Bitter Pill: a tour de force examination of 1) how and why major American institutions no longer serve us as they should, causing a deep rift between the vulnerable majority and the protected few, and 2) how some individuals and organizations are laying the foundation for real, lasting change. In this revelatory narrative covering the years 1967 to 2017, Steven Brill gives us a stunningly cogent picture of the broken system at the heart of our society. He shows us how, over the last half-century, America's core values--meritocracy, innovation, due process, free speech, and even democracy itself--have somehow managed to power its decline into dysfunction. They have isolated our best and brightest, whose positions at the top have never been more secure or more remote. The result has been an erosion of responsibility and accountability, an epidemic of shortsightedness, an increasingly hollow economic and political center, and millions of Americans gripped by apathy and hopelessness. By examining the people and forces behind the rise of big-money lobbying, legal and financial engineering, the demise of private-sector unions, and a hamstrung bureaucracy, Brill answers the question on everyone's mind: How did we end up this way? Finally, he introduces us to those working quietly and effectively to repair the damages. At once a diagnosis of our national ills, a history of their development, and a prescription for a brighter future, Tailspin is a work of riveting journalism--and a welcome antidote to political despair"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781524731632
1524731633
Characteristics: 441 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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TheresaAJ
Sep 17, 2018

Brill, a journalist with impressive financial and legal credentials, has a written an analysis of why America is broken today. Starting with Nixon's presidency, Brill uses his writing and data analysis skills to detail the dynamics of meritocracy, financial engineering, political money, democratic reforms of the political process, and polarization that contributed to the state of America today. These dynamics created a society where not enough people feel responsible for contributing to the common good and government fails to hold those accountable who are irresponsible. Although some of the dynamics started out with good intentions, the unintended consequences were horrific for the country (e.g. the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case decision which resulted in unlimited corporate money being given to political campaigns). Brill ends each chapter on a hopeful note as he shares examples of those who are fighting back against our "tailspin".

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StarGladiator
Jun 12, 2018

I have never come across any writing by Brill which indicates any grasp of the underlying problems and agendas. I seriously doubt Brill is familiar with Ferndinand Lundberg or Nicholas Shaxson, David Talbott or Harold Weisberg.

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t
TheresaAJ
Sep 17, 2018

"Three elements of the tailspin figure most prominently in this collapse. First, the rise of political money -- which has produced public officials as selfish as their benefactors -- has created an overwhelming anti-tax agenda that has precluded adequate infrastructure investments. Second, the forces of polarization, including political money, have robbed Washington of the capacity to produce bipartisan solutions to most major needs, even the most obvious ones. Third, due process protections have been weaponized to block much of the building and rebuilding that any country must continually pursue to remain vital."

t
TheresaAJ
Sep 17, 2018

"I'd rather stay in banking and be the person who donates money; I didn't come to America at seventeen and struggle like this to end up making $40,000 to $50,000 per year," Jose Talon interjected."

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