This timely and important volume is a fascinating combination of psychological inquiry and sociological commentary. Its essential premise is that the financial failures of so many Americans today are the inevitable byproduct of singularly unique, contemporary social and economic policies whose underlying purpose is to undermine and indeed to denigrate self-control. Bringing together research from the psychological science of self-control and consumer behavior, as well as from behavioral economics, the book surveys how broad social and economic changes over the last 30 years have affected our relationship with money, from the rise of consumer credit to the increase in gambling venues to the expansion of new shopping and spending opportunities provided by the Internet. It concludes both with personal advice for the individual who wants to achieve greater financial stability and with pointed policy recommendations for economic and social change that will help promote the financial health of all Americans.

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