“Deep, informed, and reeks of common sense.”
“It is now beyond debate that rising inequality is not only leaving millions of Americans living on a sharp edge but also is threatening our democracy…For activists and scholars alike who are struggling to create a more equitable society, this is an essential read.”
We are in an age of crisis. That much we can agree on. But a crisis of what, exactly? And how do we get out of it?
In a follow up to their influential and much debated Death by a Thousand Cuts, Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro focus on what really worries people: not what the rich are making or the government is taking from them but their own insecurity. Americans are worried about losing their jobs, their status, and the safety of their communities. They fear the wolf at the door. The solution is not protectionism or class warfare but better jobs, higher wages, greater protection for families suffering from unemployment, better health insurance, and higher quality childcare. And it turns out those goals are more achievable than you might think. The Wolf at the Door is one of those rare books that doesn’t just diagnose our problems, it shows how to address them.
“This is a terrific book, original, erudite, and superbly well-informed, and full of new wisdom about what might and what might not help the majority of Americans who have not shared in our growing prosperity, but are left facing the wolf at the door…Everyone interested in public policy should read this book.”
—Angus Deaton, Princeton University
“Graetz and Shapiro wrestle with a fundamental question of our day: How do we address a system that makes too many Americans anxious that economic security is slipping out of reach? Their cogent call for sensible and achievable policies…should be read by progressives and conservatives alike.”
—Jacob J. Lew, former Secretary of the Treasury
Graetz and Shapiro wrestle with a fundamental question of our day: How do we address a system that makes too many Americans anxious that economic security is slipping out of reach? Their cogent call for sensible and achievable policies offers a pathway back to functional governance and should be read by progressives and conservatives alike.
In The Wolf at the Door, Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro trace masterfully the sources of insecurity increasingly haunting millions of Americans. Not content to tell the tale or just focus on politicians’ desire to exploit that insecurity, they consider important policy ideas to reward work and bolster individuals’ ability to cope with economic shifts beyond their control. The thesis of the book and its recommendations are a must-read for any serious observer of what is happening to the American economy and body politic today.
Smart, interesting, and important, The Wolf at the Door tackles the topic of policy and political responses to economic insecurity and political dysfunction with concrete recommendations and evidentiary backing. Graetz and Shapiro write with vigor and clarity, telling readers directly what policies and politics are empirically supportable, feasible, and normatively desirable, and what are not.
Two books in one! A concise, trenchant, and very readable history of how economic insecurity produced today’s American populism—and a thoughtful, politically realistic, economically sound set of remedies for those who know both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are onto something, but who also know their answers to American economic insecurity won’t succeed.
Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro take a hard and pragmatic look at how America can ameliorate its inequality, focusing especially on ‘bottom-up’ approaches. Their work is deep, informed, and reeks of common sense. This book should be read by every presidential candidate and every lawmaker.
It is now beyond debate that rising inequality is not only leaving millions of Americans living on a sharp edge but also is threatening our democracy. Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro provide a fresh, insightful look at how we got here and, more to the point, how we might work our way out. For activists and scholars alike who are struggling to create a more equitable society, this is an essential read.
This is a terrific book, original, erudite, and superbly well-informed, and full of new wisdom about what might and what might not help the majority of Americans who have not shared in our growing prosperity, but are left facing the wolf at the door. Graetz and Shapiro use coalition building as their organizing principle, explaining the coalitions behind previous policy successes, and suggesting what sort of new coalitions could get us out of the current mess. They have a brilliantly startling suggestion for Medicare for all, by extending it first, not to the near old, but to the young. They make a powerful case for a value added tax, and against the idea that the wolf can be seen off only by taxing the rich. Everyone interested in public policy should read this book.
[An] eye-opener for anyone interested in tracing the origins of economic insecurity in the U.S.
- 368 pages
- 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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