Beyond Outrage: Expanded Edition: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it

by Robert B. Reich | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0345804376 Global Overview for this book
Registered by PokPok of Vista, California USA on 12/31/2015
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by PokPok from Vista, California USA on Thursday, December 31, 2015
7 stars: Good

From the back cover: America's economy and democracy are working for the benefit of ever-fewer privleged and powerful people. But rather than just complain about it or give up on the system, we must join together and make it work for all of us.

In this timely [2012] book, Robert Reich argues that nothing good happens in Washington unless citizens are organized and energized to make sure Washington acts in the public good. The first step is to see the big picture.

Beyond Outrage connects the dots, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, undermining our democracy; caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and turned many of us against one another. He also explains why the proposals of the "regressive right" are dead wrong and provides a clear roadmap of what must be done instead.


I read this book in order to prep myself for hearing a speech/ meeting Reich in October 2015. I had seen his documentary "Inequality for all" and followed him on Facebook for awhile, so there was little new for me in this.

The book is written in three sections, the first describing the problem, the second, how we got there and the third, to "move beyond outrage" but specifically, what can/ must we, the public, do about it.

Rather than get into it here, all of this information is readily available online. You can start by joining Reich's nonpartisan group,, whose charter is to get money out of politics.

Some quotes from the book which I appreciated:

American has had a long history of southern white radicals who would stop at nothing to get their way--seceding from the Union in 1861, repudiating federal laws designed to protect the rights of black citizens during Reconstruction, enacting Jim Crow laws, resisting desegregation orders in the 1950s, and refusing to obey civil rights legislation in the 1960s. The Gingrich led government shutdown at the end of 1995 was a prelude to the 2011 showdown over raising the federal debt ceiling --which could have triggered a government default and risked the full faith and credit of the US. Gingrich's recent assertion during the Republican primaries that public officials aren't bound to follow the decisions of federal courts is in the same tradition.

** DIscussion isn't enough. You also need to express yourself in ways that enable those who may initially disagree with you to understand. Appeal to the moral values you and they share. Avoid violence. Violence can put you on the front page, but it will not capture the hearts and minds of those you need to convince. You'll be the most convincing when you combine moral clarity with undeniable facts and common sense.

Don't think you can be much of an activist by merely sitting behind your computer. I come across many good people who spend many hours online disseminating petitions or raising money for causes they believe in. I admire them for it, but they need to bear in mind that the sheer convenience of online activism reduces its political currency. Elected representatives who receive virtual petitions know how little work they require relative to the exhausting tasks of knocking on doors to get signatures or getting out the vote. ...Those who say they don't have time to meet aren't being truthful; if they have time to watch hours of television or play on their laptops, they can make the time to join with others for the future of their communities and their nation.

Most of us don't practice active citizenship because we tell ourselves we're too busy for it. Yet we find time to do other things--swimming or crossword puzzles or playing cards or cooking.... the truth is we have the time. The real reason most of us don't practice citizenship is we don't know how. And we don't think it will do good anyway.

Journal Entry 2 by PokPok at -- BOOKRAY, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Sunday, January 03, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (1/3/2016 UTC) at -- BOOKRAY, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA


Mailing this one out to BigJohnLefty.

Hoping to get it in has many hands as possible before the Nov 2016 election...but his lessons will undoubtedly continue to be needed. Fly, little book, fly!!!

Journal Entry 3 by BigJohnLefty at Des Moines, Iowa USA on Thursday, January 07, 2016
Got this in mail today. Thanks very much PomPom.

Will read soon.

Journal Entry 4 by BigJohnLefty at Des Moines, Iowa USA on Thursday, January 14, 2016
A very good book which is very enlightening about the economy in general, and one that everybody in this country would do well to read before the upcoming election.

Reich takes a pretty even-handed and objective approach, and ends by encouraging people to do something about the situation, as well as suggestions for how to go about doing that.

PokPok started this out as a bookray, and I was the only one who volunteered for it -- am looking for somebody else to read this so I can send it to them.....

Journal Entry 5 by BigJohnLefty at Des Moines, Iowa USA on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (1/19/2016 UTC) at Des Moines, Iowa USA


Am sending this to LittleWhiteBird as the next person in the ray.... Enjoy!

Journal Entry 6 by PokPok at Vista, California USA on Thursday, January 21, 2016
Sending this out on bookray. Please try to read and release this short book as quickly as possible, particularly to get into more hands before the 2016 election.


I will add more as people sign up; feel free to ping others also. Thank you...and lets move beyond outrage and get to work!

Journal Entry 7 by LittleWhiteBird at Pasadena, California USA on Thursday, January 28, 2016
I'm excited to see that more people have signed up for the bookray since I did. I'm going to start reading right away.

Journal Entry 8 by LittleWhiteBird at Pasadena, California USA on Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (2/3/2016 UTC) at Pasadena, California USA


Robert Reich states that over the past three decades "we're all in it together" has been replaced by "you're on your own". I haven't been here in the US quite that long, but I have noticed that there is more of that attitude here than in Germany, where I lived before. One example are unions, they can help workers so much negotiating fair wages, benefits, and working conditions, but are often painted in a bad light here.

I find the distinction between private morality (like what you do in your bedroom) and public morality (decisions that affect all of us, like those done by corporate executives and Wallstreet financiers) interesting. Although I don't agree with all the details, e.g. abortion affects not only the woman, but also the unborn baby. Those who don't have a voice need someone to speak up for them. I agree, though, that Republicans often propose solutions to issues like this that aren't really a solution at all, but only criminalize people who need support instead.

It's good to keep in mind that a leader doesn't necessarily have formal authority. Instead, a good leader motivates people to work on what needs to be done, getting them over their avoidance mechanisms of denial that a problem exists, the desire to escape responsibility, the tendency to blame others for causing the problem, and cynicism about the possibility of ever remedying the problem.

The author points out many instances in the past where the people have made a difference which gives me hope for the future that we can do it again.

I'm sending this book to Bascula, the next person in the bookray this afternoon.

UPDATE: I just got an email announcing a special telephone townhall meeting with the author on March 1. You can read about it and sign up if interested here (web version of the message):

Journal Entry 9 by wingBasculawing at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania USA on Sunday, February 07, 2016
Received today, thank you.

Journal Entry 10 by wingBasculawing at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, September 17, 2016
I'm sorry to have kept this book so long. Although I always enjoy Reich's comments on the radio when I hear them, the book was not something I much enjoyed. The first portion was overwhelming with bad news, and I did not find much of usefulness in the rest of it. I had been hoping for more individual action suggestions, but such was not the case.

Journal Entry 11 by wingBasculawing at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, September 17, 2016

Released 2 yrs ago (9/15/2016 UTC) at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania USA


Sending off to the next reader.

To the finder: I hope you enjoy finding this book as much as I did releasing it!

Journal Entry 12 by faramir10 at Slaton, Texas USA on Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Book arrived today. Thank you.

Journal Entry 13 by faramir10 at Slaton Public Library in Slaton, Texas USA on Monday, December 12, 2016

Released 2 yrs ago (12/12/2016 UTC) at Slaton Public Library in Slaton, Texas USA


Placed on the take one, leave one bookshelf.

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