America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy

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by Gar Alperovitz

Type: Book [title]
Published November, 2004
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* The top 5% of Americans own just under 70% of all financial wealth.
* The top 1% of Americans now claim more income per year than the bottom 100 million Americans taken together.
* The top 2/10th of 1% makes more on the sale of stocks and bonds in one year than everyone else combined.

The distribution of wealth ownership in America is truly feudal--and deeply corrosive of our democracy. Is the growing concentration of wealth inevitable, or are there innovative models and policies that begin to point the way toward more equitable ownership of wealth by individuals, workers, communities?

The coming November election could become a truly fundamental turning point for Democrats and progressives.

But new ideas and a new long term strategy are obviously needed if we are ever to regain serious positive momentum. This requires the kind of profound reassessment of first principles and broad vision which conservatives undertook when they were sidelined and out of power in the 1950s and 1960s.

In America Beyond Capitalism, noted political economist and historian Gar Alperovitz argues that the first decade of the 21st Century is producing conditions that will force the United States to undergo historic changes. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have until now had coherent responses to these challenges.

America Beyond Capitalism is not simply another indictment of our national ills. It builds upon the latest scholarship, theoretical and empirical as well as practical developments at the state and local level to produce systematic proposals for the progressive rebuilding of a democratic America.

Though times may get worse before they get better, major political realignments are the rule, not the exception, in American history, Alperovitz argues.