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North Castle Books

Economics, Politics, and American Public Policy, Second Edition
Authored by: James J. Gosling; Marc Allen Eisner

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Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-3769-7 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-3770-3
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USD: $79.95 USD: $34.95
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Information: 264pp. Tables, figures, glossary, index.
Publication Date: March 2013.  


Description: This text introduces students to the interrelationship of politics and economics in American public policymaking: how economic concerns have been legislated into law since Franklin Roosevelt's time and how politics (e.g., Washington gridlock) affects the economy and the making of public policy. Students learn how to measure various indicators of economic performance, how the U.S. economy works (domestically and with international linkages), and how and why policymakers act to stabilize an economy in an economic downturn. Additionally, many social insurance programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) are explained and the current fiscal issues concerning current/future costs are treated in some detail. The book concludes with a full chapter case study on the Obama administration's response to the Great Recession and its dealings with Congress; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is also discussed.

Selected Contents:

List of Figures and Tables

1. An Introduction to America's Political Economy
2. Measuring Economic Performance
3. Fiscal Policy
4. Monetary Policy
5. Deficits and Debt
6. America in a Global Economy
7. Government Regulation and Deregulation
8. Government and Social Provisioning
9. Rising Inequality and the Middle-Class Squeeze
10. The Great Recession


Comment(s): "John Kenneth Galbraith once said, 'In economics, the majority is always wrong.' How can we reconcile disagreements among economists and conflicting visions of our political future? In an era where politics is increasingly polarized, and discussions of the economy can be thinly disguised screeds, this book stands apart. The course Gosling steers is not a compromise, not a watered-down 'neutral' discussion, but rather a fair-minded and informative presentation of all points of view. ...I can't imagine a better, more current, or more informative text on American public policy and the relations between politics and economics." -- Michael Munger, Duke University (on the previous edition)

" Economics, Politics, and American Public Policy deals with vitally important public policy issues--deficits and debt, economic performance, regulation and deregulation, globalization, social services, and income distribution. It presents complicated information in a manner that is both accessible for undergraduate students and insightful for graduate students. Gosling understands how economics and politics are intertwined in public policy decision making, and writes about the causes and consequences of policy decisions with clarity and style." -- Thomas P. Lauth, Dean, School of Public and International Affairs, The University of Georgia (on the previous edition)

"Had my students read a book like this before they came into my class, they would have been better students, better researchers, and better citizens. This book explains the basic and often assumed vocabulary of economic policy. Rather than curse the darkness of student--and voter--ignorance, Gosling has lit a candle. Assuming no prior knowledge, Gosling describes technical terms in layman's language, discusses how these concepts are supposed to work, tells the reader who is making these decisions in what kind of structure, and then traces the history of how these structures have worked, or not worked, over time. From the Fed and money supply to tax breaks, debts, and deficits, the book answers two main questions, what is it, and why should we care." -- Irene Rubin, Northern Illinois University (on the previous edition)

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