Hell to Pay: How the Suppression of Wages Is Destroying America (Hardcover)
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From one of America’s leading thinkers, a provocative diagnosis of the cause of America’s decline—and a searing indictment of those who caused it
For nearly half a century, Americans have been bombarded by neoliberal propaganda promoting the lie that wages are objectively determined by impersonal labor markets. This falsehood has been repeated by academics, journalists, business leaders, and politicians so often that even many on the liberal left and the populist right believe it.
In Hell to Pay, Michael Lind, author of The New Class War, debunks this lie. With brutal clarity, he tells the story of how bipartisan political and business interests united to smash the bargaining power of American workers and reduce wages. And with devastating insight he demonstrates that their success has indirectly caused or worsened nearly every symptom of American decline, from the increase in political polarization to the declining birth rate.
Calling for a revolution in the way we think about work and wages, Lind argues that the American republic will collapse if worker power is not restored. Fortunately, Hell to Pay doesn’t just sound the alarm but also offers a plan for breaking the power of the neoliberal elite and reforming America’s disastrous low-wage/high-welfare model—before it’s too late.
About the Author
Michael Lind is the author of more than a dozen books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, including The New Class War, The Next American Nation, and Land of Promise. He is a columnist for Tablet and has been an editor or staff writer for The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New Republic, and The National Interest. He has taught at Harvard and Johns Hopkins and is currently a professor of practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
"An energetic case for rethinking America’s economy in favor of working people."—Kirkus Reviews
"Lind offers a roadmap for renewing an authentically conservative politics in America. It’s time we grabbed the keys and discovered how far that map can take us."—First Things
"Hell to Pay is bursting with fresh but realistic ideas for how to restore working-class power in the 21st century, from a prudent diversification of how we think about free trade (rather than the current one-size-fits-all universalism) to the restoration of wage boards and tripartite corporatism between government, labor, and capital. His cheery practical-mindedness recalls the best of the Hamilton-Lincoln-FDR-Eisenhower tradition of political economy, to which Lind has devoted a career. That he keeps the flame of that honorable tradition makes Michael Lind a national hero."—The American Conservative