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Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry Between Big…

Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Government--and the…

by David Rothkopf

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Great source for understanding the "relationship" between the "private" and "public" sector of the economy. Rothkopf is a distinguished economic historian, a Carnegie Endowment scholar. He shows that Government can go too far, or not far enough, in providing oversight of markets.

Since the 1970's, with the takeover of the GOP by plutocrats behind the "Reagan Revolution", the power of the private monopolist stock companies which Adam Smith warned us about, has grown, and the resources of Government have shrunk to a smaller percentage than ever before in America.

Major corporations, operating "off-shore", now hold bigger reserves than most countries' GDPs. The world's currencies are only a small fraction of the cumulative value of the world's securities and derivatives, most of which are barely "regulated" or even understood. Few can rationally "rate" or valuate a Credit Default Swap marketed secretly by private investment banking houses.

Rothkopf wxpects the disparities in income will grow because they have gained clout worldwide and no Government is big enough to protect the freedom of the markets in which they are traded, and the massive wealth results in a "privatization" of the government or its outright corruption by lobbyists. With income disparity--led by China, and with the fastest "growth" in America--will come a complete collapse of the public sector. The oligarchs despise "government", regarded as "interference" with what is in effect, neofeudalist fiefdoms.

Rothkopf recognizes that a healthy society needs both a public and private sector. He fails to come to grips with the fact that the private sector does not recognize this "need" for the long-term values of a middle-class building infrastructure provided by a robust public sector. ( )
  keylawk | Mar 6, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374151288, Hardcover)

The world’s largest company, Wal-Mart Stores, has revenues higher than the GDP of all but twenty-five of the world’s countries. Its employees outnumber the populations of almost a hundred nations. The world’s largest asset manager, a secretive New York company called Black Rock, controls assets greater than the national reserves of any country on the planet. A private philanthropy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, spends as much worldwide on health care as the World Health Organization.  

The rise of private power may be the most important and least understood trend of our time. David Rothkopf provides a fresh, timely look at how we have reached a point where thousands of companies have greater power than all but a handful of states. Beginning with the story of an inquisitive Swedish goat wandering off from his master and inadvertently triggering the birth of the oldest company still in existence, Power, Inc. follows the rise and fall of kings and empires, the making of great fortunes, and the chaos of bloody revolutions. A fast-paced tale in which champions of liberty are revealed to be paid pamphleteers of moneyed interests and greedy scoundrels trigger changes that lift billions from deprivation, Power, Inc. traces the bruising jockeying for influence right up to today’s financial crises, growing inequality, broken international system, and battles over the proper role of government and markets.

Rothkopf argues that these recent developments, coupled with the rise of powers like China and India, may not lead to the triumph of American capitalism that was celebrated just a few years ago. Instead, he considers an unexpected scenario, a contest among competing capitalisms offering different visions for how the world should work, a global ideological struggle in which European and Asian models may have advantages. An important look at the power struggle that is defining our times, Power, Inc. also offers critical insights into how to navigate the tumultuous years ahead.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:53 -0400)

Traces the rise of private power while explaining that thousands of companies have greater power than all but a handful of states, predicting struggles between major capitalist interests that are introducing new visions about how the world should work.… (more)

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