Book Bits: 10 February 2024

A World Safe for Commerce: American Foreign Policy from the Revolution to the Rise of China
Dale C. Copeland
Review via The Wall Street Journal
There is therefore a historical irony that comes in Mr. Copeland’s important final chapter, for the story here, as he puts it, is of “the great geopolitical struggle” of the 21st century “between a seemingly declining United States wanting to maintain a semblance of preeminence and a rising China seeking to establish itself as a dominant, if not the dominant, state in its region and perhaps the world.” Here, for the first time in more than a century, there exists another nation with a GDP almost as large as America’s, a nation that sells far more to the U.S. than it purchases, a nation that seems impervious to American pressure. All this suggests to Mr. Copeland that there is a trade war in which America seems to be losing, not winning. “A World Safe for Commerce” thus ends with the author’s recommendations for robust policies to preserve America’s world order, which may be another reason for paying attention to this work.

The Ownership Dividend: The Coming Paradigm Shift in the U.S. Stock Market
Daniel Peris
Summary via publisher (Routledge)
We are on the verge of a major paradigm shift for investors in the U.S. stock market. Dividend-focused stock investing has been receding in popularity for more than three decades in the U.S.; once the dominant investment style, it is now a boutique approach. That is about to change. The Ownership Dividend explains how and why the stock market drifted away from a mostly cash-based returns system to one almost completely driven by near-term share price movements. It details why the exceptional forces behind that shift—notably the 40-year drop in interest rates and the rise of buybacks—are now substantially exhausted. As a result, the U.S. market is poised for a return to the more typical business-like relationships observed in the private sector and in other mature markets around the world.

America vs. Americans: How Capitalism Has Failed a Capitalist Nation and What We Can Do About It
Eric Wade with Phil Herel
Summary via distributor (Simon & Schuster)
n America vs. Americans, Eric Wade presents American Laborism, a revolutionary new economic system, where the greatest commodity isn’t cash, it’s work. Capitalism is broken. Despite its successes, capitalism gives us the largest wealth gap in American history, failing Social Security, a weak currency, and a looming threat of AI destroying our workforce. We need a new system—one built around people rather than capital. A system that values each person’s unique contribution, ingenuity, and hard work—their labor. A system in which the greatest commodity isn’t cash; it’s work. And a system in which Americans at every level of society and government are working together. We need American Laborism, a revolutionary new system that presents a workable, low-tax form of capitalism for those who want it—and a dignified, healthy, happy, and fulfilled life for everyone else.

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