The Clash of Generations

The Clash of Generations

Saving Ourselves, Our Kids, and Our Economy

Book - 2012
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The United States is bankrupt, flat broke. Thanks to accounting that would make Enron blush, America's insolvency goes far beyond what our leaders are disclosing. The United States is a fiscal basket case, in worse shape than the notoriously bailed-out countries of Greece, Ireland, and others. How did this happen? In The Clash of Generations, experts Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns document our six-decade, off-balance-sheet, unsustainable financing scheme. They explain how we have balanced our longer lives on the backs of our (relatively few) children. At the same time, we've been on a consumption spree, saving and investing less than nothing. And that's not to mention the evisceration of the middle class and a financial system that has proven it can't be trusted. Kotlikoff and Burns outline grassroots strategies for saving ourselves--and especially our children--from what could be a truly catastrophic financial collapse. Kotlikoff and Burns sounded the alarm in their widely acclaimed The Coming Generational Storm, but politicians didn't listen. Now the need for action is even more urgent. It's up to us to demand radical reform of our tax system, our healthcare system, and our Social Security system, and to insist on better paths to investment return than those provided by Wall Street (mis)managers. Kotlikoff and Burns's "Purple Plans" (so called because they will appeal to both Republicans and Democrats) have been endorsed by a who's who of economists and offer a new way forward; and their revolutionary investment strategy for individuals replaces the idea of financial capital with "life decision capital." Of course, we won't be doing all this just for ourselves. We need to fix America's fiscal mess before our kids inherit it.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA : MIT Press, c2012
ISBN: 9780262016728
Branch Call Number: 330.973 Kotlikof 2012
Characteristics: 275 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Burns, Scott


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Jul 19, 2015

This book is written from and for an American audience. This book looks at the fiscal gap in the USA versus the debt. ( approximately 232 trillion versus 18 trillion ) and how today's current elderly are (unknowingly) passing the burden to their children and grandchildren. The author's provide thoughts on their solutions both for the public at large and individuals. Though interesting and written well enough the applicability of this book worldwide varies with your government's fiscal situation. Probably worth it for Americans.

Mar 23, 2014

This is one of those books, which supports predatory capitalism, but attacks predatory capitalism, without really mentioning. . . .predatory capitalism! Feeling that cognitive dissonance yet? In other words, first the real enemies of the people must be identified (the banksters and the super-rich who want complete return on their phantom investments (credit derivatives, securitizations and rehypothications and repos) while refusing to pay any taxes! Is the book meant to be confusing, or are the authors simply confused? (This reminds me of George Will, who in a 1990 column stated that "a job is the best anti-poverty program" (which I quite agree with, about the only thing I've ever agreed w/that neocon on) and a few years later, after dumping his first wife and marrying a lobbyist for a foreign manufacturing association, supports the offshoring of all American jobs?!?!) [The authors need to study Michael Hudson, Michael Perelman, books by Nomi Prins, Mark Blyth, articles over the last 12 years by financial journalist Pam Martens (, and Extreme Money by Das.]


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