Book Review: Screwnomics

Diamond, Rickey Gard. Screwnomics : how our economy works against women and real ways to make lasting change. She Writes Press, 2018.

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Rickey Gard Diamond’s book, Screwnomics, provides a conversational-style book on economics with a focus on women: more specifically, the devaluation of traditional women’s work over time.

Weaving examples from her own life with economic evolution and turmoil from the early 20th century, Diamond shows the effect these events have had on women. These events include women’s entrance into the workforce during World Wars 1 and 2 and the development of a need for a two income family in most households.

Much of her focus is on the last 25 years, beginning with the boom and bust and followed by Enron’s implosion, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the mortgage-backed securities meltdown and the subsequent financial crisis. With each, she discusses how adjusting traditional male leadership to a more woman-focused culture–nurturing as opposed to combative–would have mitigated the economic turmoil experienced. True enough, I suppose, but a rather simplistic look at a world which includes class, race, sexuality and religion as equals to the debate.

While reading Screwnomics, I felt unsure of which generation of women she wanted to address. I’m not that much younger than the author, but her metaphors, which included sexual innuendo, fell flat. If you’ve ever listened to Rachel Feinstein’s monologues about her mother, Karen, you’ll be able to identify that well-meaning, earnest person who wants to be hip but misses the mark.

Where Diamond gets it right is when she writes about the women in her family–her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother–as well as herself. At this point, the reader can understand the way macroeconomic policies alter a family’s microeconomic life.

If you’re interested in a quick overview of economics, Screwnomics will do, but if you want a more nuanced look at the topic, there are many other blogs and podcasts which provide a more current and in-depth look at economics.


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