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About the Book

From the MIT Press catalog:

Full employment used to be an explicit goal of economic policy in most of the industrialized world. Some countries even achieved it. In Back to Full Employment, economist Robert Pollin argues that the United States–today faced with its highest level of unemployment since the Great Depression–should put full employment back on the agenda.

There are good reasons to seek full employment, Pollin writes. Full employment will help individuals, families, and the economy as a whole, while promoting equality and social stability. Equally important, creating a full-employment economy can be joined effectively with another fundamental policy aim: creating an economy powered by clean energy.

Explaining views on full employment in macroeconomic theory from Marx to Keynes to Friedman, Pollin argues that the policy was abandoned in the United States in the 1970s for the wrong reasons, and he shows how it can be achieved today despite the serious challenges of inflation and globalization. Pollin believes the biggest obstacle to creating a full-employment economy is politics. Putting an end to the prevailing neoliberal opposition to full employment will require nothing less than an epoch-defining reallocation of political power away from the interests of big business and Wall Street and toward the middle class, working people, and the poor, while mounting a strong defense of the environment. In the end, achieving full employment will be a matter of political will: Can the United States make having a decent job a fundamental right?

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
The Centrality of Full Employment

Chapter 2
Is Full Employment Possible Under Capitalism?

Chapter 3
Globalization, Immigration, and Trade

Chapter 4
Digging Out of Recession

Chapter 5
Building a Sustainable Full Employment Economy

Chapter 6
If Not Now, When?

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2 Responses to “About the Book”

  1. Doug Korty

    Hello Bob,

    Congratulations on your book, I look forward to reading it. I hope you stress the idea that we don’t all have to work full time, if we don’t want to or need to, as long as we can make a decent living. The consumer society vs. the environment and quality of life thing.

    I read an article that showed that the level of unemployment correlates with average wages, inversely, of course. I’m sure you noted that. Also union membership, bargaining power. The reserve army thing.

    Best,

    Doug Korty

    Reply

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