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Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?

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April 2008 | A Berrett-Koehler Publishers Book

Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?

(And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)

By Jared Bernstein

ISBN-10: 1576754774
ISBN-13: 978-1576754771
Hardcover, 225 pages, $26.95, 9.3″ x 6.3″
From Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1st edition (April 1, 2008)

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Comments About the Book

“Jared Bernstein’s new book is a must-read for everyone who cares about restoring economic fairness in an America with the greatest income inequality since the Great Depression. Drawing on everyday examples, Crunch is an accessible explanation of economic principles presented with equal parts of insight, humor, and stimulation. In the process, Bernstein explains how we got to where we are, what to do to fix it, and why fighting for a fair society is so important.”
— Senator John Edwards

“Jared Bernstein‹the rare economist who writes lucid English‹has a gift for making difficult topics easy to grasp without dumbing them down. Bernstein’s latest superbly timed book, Crunch, is a must-read guide to the economy’s current slide and its effect on us all.”
Robert Kuttner, Founding Co-Editor, The American Prospect

Crunch is a dangerous book. Anyone who reads it will be armed with new ideas to start kicking back at the false economic theories that have ensnared this country. The book is witty, irreverent, and easy to read, but don’t let that fool you. It’s powerful.”
— Elizabeth Warren, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

“Jared Bernstein has written a fun, user-friendly primer that tells you everything you need to know about the economy. I liked it, you’ll like it, and if you read it you can stop feeling guilty that you forgot everything you learned in that freshman econ course.”
Jonathan Chait, Senior Editor, The New Republic

Book Reviews

“According to economist and author Bernstein (All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy), the endless parade of economic legislation and corporate criminality that keep the rich getting richer are all a direct product of economic knowledge being monopolized and manipulated by the rich, keeping the middle and lower classes woefully unprepared to understand, much less stand up to, the economic forces aligned against them. Fortunately, this accessible overview should clear things up for even the most befogged reader. Answering questions from an average American perspective-“the ones in the vise grip of the crunch”-Bernstein explains murky topics like health care reform, minimum wage laws, the Federal Reserve, immigration and budget deficits with a clear, friendly manner that sidesteps any scholarly (and/or sinister) obfuscation. His progressive “we’re all in this together” philosophy, though seemingly familiar, is backed up with enough data and savvy to illuminate what’s wrong in the dominant “self-reliance” narrative of American political discourse. This down-to-earth, populist guide to the pressing economic issues of our time is a clarifying, useful and empowering resource.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Economist Bernstein (All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy) has done the American electorate an enormous service by writing this witty and perceptive primer on economics-and just in time for the presidential election. He covers virtually all aspects of economic activity and candidly notes and responds to the basic concerns of ordinary Americans. Espousing his concept of “progressive economics,” Bernstein largely succeeds in cutting through the fog of typical economic mumbo jumbo with refreshingly straight talk, making indicators like “gross domestic product” (GDP) easy to understand. Wondering if those tax cuts for the rich really are necessary? Bernstein convincingly argues they’re not. Is the country in a recession? He shares some invaluable insight showing that, if we aren’t already in a recession, we might soon be facing one. Unfortunately, his discussion predates the economic stimulus package recently passed by Congress. The bottom line for Bernstein is that economics should provide solutions, not create problems, for consumers. To that end, his book is a clarion call to remind us that the political slogan “It’s the economy, stupid!” is just as timely as ever. Highly recommended for all business/economics collections.
— Richard Drezen, Library Journal

“No mere populist rant, Crunch is organized as a broad primer on U.S. economics that uses inequality as a starting point for understanding this wider subject. Bernstein’s concise explanations of issues like unemployment and health care expenses are meaty and engaging, offering laypeople tangible insight into how the economy functions and what it takes to ensure that those who make it work also share its rewards.”
Utne, Book Review, May-June 2008

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