Economic Collapse, Economic Change

Getting to the Roots of the Crisis

By Arthur MacEwan and John A. Miller

Economic Collapse, Economic Change cover
M.E. Sharpe
Date of publication:
June 2011

This thoughtful book, by D&S columnists Arthur MacEwan and John Miller, offers a widely accessible account of the recent economic collapse and crisis, emphasizing the deep nexus of economic inequality, undemocratic power, and leave-it-to-the-market ideology at its root.

The authors develop this theory in detail, including clear analysis of the data, terms, and policies that dominate discussion of the crash. Based on their understanding of the origins of the crisis, they propose a program for reform that is equally dependent on popular action and changes in government policy.

The book’s engaging prose makes it appealing both to students and to general readers seeking an understanding of the crisis that moves beyond recent headlines to address the underlying systems and conditions that continue to make the American economy vulnerable.

Praise for Economic Collapse, Economic Change:

“The question we have to answer in this country is not what went wrong with the economy—that story has been told—but why things went so wrong, and why our safety mechanisms failed so badly. This book answers those questions persuasively and offers the kinds of structural solutions we need to get back on track. If you want to understand the issues behind the headlines, make this your guide.”
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus

“What caused the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2008-09? What needs to be done to prevent a recurrence? Can we rebuild the economy on foundations of fairness and stability as opposed to the Wall Street casino? Arthur MacEwan and John Miller take on all of these burning questions, and manage to answer them with both depth and clarity. Economic Collapse, Economic Change is an important new book that economic sophisticates and newcomers will be able to appreciate equally.”
Robert Pollin, professor of economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute

“MacEwan and Miller uncover long-simmering problems in the U.S. and global economies. This deftly written and jargon-free account is accessible for a variety of readers, yet it explores multiple dimensions of the crisis—from Wall Street to Main Street to the streets of Shanghai. Their account takes us from the post-World War II era through the current, tepid recovery. Critiquing half-hearted measures that fail to address the underlying structural causes of the ‘Great Recession,’ the authors propose alternative solutions to redress the power imbalances at the root of the crisis.”
Ellen Mutari, professor of economics, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

“MacEwan and Miller don’t just dissect the nature of our current economic crisis; they diagnose its roots in decades of policy foibles produced by a political system corrupted by gross inequality. And they do more than that. They outline a strategy for changing politics and policy that flows logically from their diagnosis. Anyone interested in keeping our country from going over an economic and social cliff should buy this book, read it carefully, and get their friends and colleagues to do the same.”
Peter B. Evans, professor of sociology, University of California, Berkeley