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The dizzying exuberance of the Internet-driven marketplace offers unprecedented opportunities and an ever-expanding choice of deals, products, investments, and jobs—ranging from the merely attractive to the nearly irresistible—for the people with the right talents and skills. The technology that is the motor of this transformation relentlessly sharpens competition. When consumers can shift allegiance with the click of a mouse, sellers must make constant improvements by cutting costs, adding value, and creating new products. This is a boon to us as consumers, but it's wreaking havoc in the rest of our lives.
Reich demonstrates that the faster the economy changes—with new innovations and opportunities engendering faster switches by customers and investors in response—the harder it is for people to be confident of what they will be earning next year or even next month, what they will be doing, where they will be doing it. In short, those fabulous new deals of the fabulous new economy carry a steep price: more frenzied lives, less security, more economic and social stratification, the loss of time and energy for family, friendship, community, and self.
With the clarity and insight that are his hallmarks, and using examples from everyday life, Reich delineates what success is coming to mean in our time—the pitfalls and downturns hidden in the apparent advantages and advances—and suggests how we might create a more balanced society and more satisfying lives. The trends he discusses are powerful indeed, but they are not irreversible, or at least not unalterable.
The Future of Success is a stunning, timely book, certain to galvanize the nation’s attention and transform the way we look at our future.