Where has capitalism gone wrong? Why are advanced capitalist economies so sick and why do conventional policy solutions, such as reduced taxes and increased money supply, produce only wider income disparity and inequality?
We now live in a new world in which we enjoy the highest living standard in history, acquiring ever more goods and services as necessary luxuries. Yet current policies only serve to expand public debt and exacerbate socio-economic inequality.
In Too much stuff, Yamamura upends conventional capitalist wisdom to provide a new approach. He suggests the only way for capitalism and democracy to thrive is to increase investment to meet societal needs such as improving social safety nets, infrastructure, and better education and health care for all, but this means raising taxes. Both solutions-orientated and accessibly written, this book argues that this will help reduce the growing wealth gap which threatens global democracy.
With fascinating examples from the US, Japan and Germany, as well as convincing evidence from across the Western world, this bold book challenges the economic orthodoxy and offers practical steps forward that we can all support.
Kozo Yamamura was until recently the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor of Asian Studies and Economics at the University of Washington, Seattle. He also worked at universities in the US, Japan, Germany and France. He published or edited 25 books from in the US, UK and Japan, many focused on the Japanese economy and economic history, in addition to several books on Comparative Economic Institutions and Policy.
The Need to Reinvigorate Capitalism and Democracy;
The New World of “Necessary Luxuries”;
The Failure of Pro-investment Fiscal Policies;
The Failure of the Pro-Investment Monetary Policy;
Economic Inequality Threatens Democracy;
The Failure to Invest to Meet Societal Needs;
Political Paralysis and Economic Injustice in the United States;
From the “Bubble” to Delusional Economic Policies in Japan;
Germany: From “The Sick man of Europe” to Merkel’s “Small Government”;
More Examples of Developed Economies in A Systemic Crisis;
Two Examples of Past Systemic Changes;
Suggestions on How to Make a Third Systemic Change;
"In our world of “necessary luxuries”, incorrect investment incentives, disparate and worsening income distribution, this cogent, important, skeptical, provocative analysis proposes what must change in the US, Japan, Germany, and elsewhere." Hugh Patrick, Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School
"A timely and urgent read given that western economies are at a political and environmental tipping point." Ann Pettifor, Policy Research in Macroeconomics
"A bold and heterodox diagnosis of capitalism's illness, and a bracing prescription: It's time for government to invest in basic needs, rather than encouraging us to make and buy growing mounds of junk. We will be talking about this book for years." Walter Hatch, Oak Institute for Human Rights, Colby College
"A compelling argument for a fairer, smarter form of capitalism which prioritises spending on public goods like health, infrastructure, education, and the environment. At a time of sharpening political end economic divides, this book is a must read." Miranda Schreurs, Bavarian School of Public Policy, Technical University of Munich
"This book is right on time: the leading post-WWII economies are losing economic momentum and facing threats to their democratic institutions. Kozo Yamamura demands a prompt systemic change of the capitalist system in order to revitalize growth and secure democracy." Guenter Heiduk, World Economy Research Institute, Warsaw School of Economics