A brief but refreshingly broad-minded take on global economics that is invigorated by the tension between capitalism and...

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GLOBAL ECONOMICS

THE AGE OF BALANCED CAPITALISM

Levine, a medical doctor and Ph.D. who studies global trends in medicine and economics, explains how the destiny of capitalism means embracing what some mistakenly see as its mortal enemy: government regulation.

Capitalism and government need not be at odds, argues Levine. In stark contrast to proponents of laissez-faire economics, Levine contends the future of capitalism actually requires government intervention. He advocates “balanced capitalism”—a system in which a capitalistic economy is counterweighted with some socialistic legislation. “Such balancing leads to both the stability and prosperity of a society,” he writes. The role of government, in Levine’s view, should be that of an “arbiter” seeking equilibrium between the interests of business and labor. Balanced capitalism is the result of evolutionary process unfolding worldwide—and not just in democratic nations: At the moment, Levine says, it’s “working better for dictatorial China than for democratic America [mainly because] China is able to better regulate the balance between capital and labor.” In the most controversial of the book’s claims, Levine contends that China’s rise to the world’s second-largest economy offers lessons to the United States: “Government regulation is a part of [China’s] dictatorial regime, whereas over the last several decades America erroneously abandoned constant regulation of economics and embraced self-regulation.” The book’s straight-laced prose lacks vigor, but Levine skillfully articulates his views in basic terms, making his arguments graspable to those with just an undergraduate understanding of economics. Instead of supply-demand charts and statistical data, he relies on big-picture theories and historical perspective. The best chapters flow like well-polished précis, while the less substantive ones read more like CliffsNotes. In particular, students of economist Milton Friedman, the Nobel laureate, will find much to take issue with. Levine believes that embracing Friedman’s ideas of limited government involvement in free markets has resulted in dangerous levels of inequality and various other problems. Instead, Levine argues, America should return to the philosophy championed by Lewis Henry Morgan and John Maynard Keynes to restore widespread prosperity. Levine envisions a mutually accommodative approach, with Uncle Sam as a referee ensuring a level playing field for both Main Street and Wall Street.

A brief but refreshingly broad-minded take on global economics that is invigorated by the tension between capitalism and government.

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692017814

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Victor Levine

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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