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.
A new perspective on capitalism's "sickness";
Inspiration in the Kaufhaus des Westens;
Unreal tax rates;
Inequality and discontent;
Buckling bridges and crumbling mountains;
The United States: stagnation and gridlock;
Japan: bubbles, "lost years" and Abenomics;
Unified Germany: a divided nation;
Four European economies;
Reform to the rescue;
Adapting capitalism and changing politics;
"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
"an accessible and clearly written book for anyone with an interest in economics who is wondering “where next” for government economic policy." Nat O’Connor, Ulster University
"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