"Freakonomics, meet Fubarnomics
. A hilarious book that defines an era only minds like Wright's can get us out of."
—Amity Shlaes, author, The Forgotten Man and
senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Ever wonder why we allow six guys in hardhats to stand around doing nothing while traffic snarls? Why you can’t refinance your home mortgage because other people stopped paying on theirs? Why young people in poor-paying jobs with small children are forced to pay a large percentage of their incomes to people who had decades to work and save? How healthcare and health insurance got so expensive? If you’ve asked yourself any of these or similar questions, or gotten queasy contemplating what passes for economic analysis in the media, this book is for you.
FUBAR, an acronym stemming from World War II GI slang, means “fouled up (or some other “F” word) beyond all recognition.” To economic historian Robert E. Wright, “fubarnomics” perfectly captures the sorry state of our economy today.
In this witty, informative, and nonpartisan overview of contemporary economic ills, Wright takes a fresh approach to public policy by finding fault with both the government and the market, and with both Democrats and Republicans. Wright convincingly shows that major economic trouble has almost always been the result of a hybrid failure, a combination of both bad policy making and marketplace deficiencies.
Wright examines contemporary and historical examples of FUBAR across a wide spectrum, from mainstay social institutions such as higher education to cataclysmic national upheavals such as the Great Depression. In analyzing our most current crises, he offers unique insights into the recent crippling recession, including the subprime mortgage meltdown, as well as the looming healthcare crisis, and the perennial problem of social security.
Beyond identifying the major problem areas, Wright also offers practical solutions. From creating combined life-healthcare insurance policies and divorcing healthcare from employers, to government education subsidies for students only, and using long-term bonds to pay for private insurance that mimics social security, his suggestions are provocative and creative, and may just solve some of the thorniest problems facing us today.
Binding: Hardcover333 pages
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
Robert E. Wright (Sioux Falls, SD) is the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. For many years he taught business, economic, and financial history at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is also a curator for the Museum of American Finance. He is the coauthor (with David Cowen) of Financial Founding Fathers: The Men who Made America Rich and One Nation under Debt: Hamilton, Jefferson, and the History of What We Owe. His articles have appeared in Barron’s, the Los Angles Times, Forbes.com, Moody’s Economy.com, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Reason, among others. He has been a guest on NPR, C-SPAN, The Lou Dobbs Show, the BBC, and Larry Kane: Voice of Reason.