From the New York Times's global economics correspondent, a work of reporting and explanatory journalism that posits how billionaires' systematic plunder of the world has transformed 21st century life and dangerously destabilized democracy.
Goodman does not like Davos Man. At all. And his new book does an excellent job explaining why — it's an angry, powerful look at the economic inequality that's been brought into sharp relief by the COVID-19 pandemic ... a very angry book ... His descriptions of the rich and their enablers drip with contempt ... Anger, however well placed, can prove exhausting to readers, but Goodman is careful not to overplay his hand. He leavens the book with occasional humor ... crucially, Goodman doesn't succumb to despair. While he seems bearish on the odds that President Biden will enact meaningful financial reforms, he seems somewhat hopeful when it comes to the long-term chances of basic income, job guarantees, and wealth taxes, while allowing that 'reducing economic inequality [is] exceedingly difficult as a political objective.' (This is one of the rare understatements in the book) ... isn't likely to change the minds of the most hardcore defenders of our current economic system, but there's not much that will, and it doesn't seem like that's Goodman's goal, anyway — his book is intended for lay readers who might not be familiar with just how huge the wealth gap has grown, and continues to grow. It's a powerful, fiery book, and it could well be an essential one.
... a meticulously researched, clearly reported and truly infuriating history of the way the top 1% of the world has systematically arranged the way societies operate in order to become even richer, all to the detriment of the rest of us ... takes readers through the events that have led to the current state of affairs, not just in the United States, but also in Italy, France, China, and even Sweden, which Goodman calls a 'supposed paragon of enlightened social democracy.' The book serves as a call to arms and an invitation to fight back against the continued unabashed pillaging of all economies by those who least need it.
Why not simply focus on ending poverty and leave the rich to their yachts and spaceships? ... Goodman delivers a powerful and resounding answer: Outsize wealth is an outsize threat to democracy ... Goodman’s reporting is biting and bitterly funny as he shows just how much the wealthy wish to be admired ... Davos Man shows us that today’s extreme wealth is inextricably linked to a great crime, perhaps the greatest one of this century: the hijacking of our democracy.