Everyone Quart talks to is acutely stressed, which makes sense. But everyone also feels guilty. Why? People have been so successfully inculcated into neoliberal ideology that nobody thinks twice about feeling bad about not making enough money. Of course, what makes the ideology persuasive is that there's a grain of truth to it; there are people who through a combination of dedication and luck manage to overcome their inherited lot. Yet the issue is overwhelmingly structural and social, not individual or moral. We haven't failed; Capitalism has failed us. As Quart reminds her reader — and as every story in the book is meant to illustrate — the economic bind we find ourselves in cannot be solved by personal discipline or better financial decisions.
The Times review doesn't acknowledge it, but people were and are stressed, even "acutely" stressed, under Communism and socialism, too. Maybe the issue isn't "neoliberal ideology" – which goes undefined in the review and can mean a lot of different things — or "capitalism," but human nature. Blaming capitalism for failing to eliminate stress is like blaming your dishwasher for "failing" to do your laundry. The problem isn't the dishwasher, the problem is the unrealistic expectation of the person complaining that the appliance is "failing" to do something it was never designed to do.
As an economic system, capitalism actually does reasonably well at providing incentives and freedom that matches supply and demand of stress-relieving or stress-ameliorating products and services — health-club memberships, running shoes, massage therapists, life coaches, psychotherapists, ice cream sundaes, spa weekends, cold beers, running shoes — with people in need of them. But blaming capitalism for people "not having enough money" or for people "feeling bad about not making enough money" seems to me to be misdirected. Capitalism can coexist happily with a family and/or religion-driven system of private charity or even a government safety net that can help people who need help. As for the "feeling bad" part or deciding how much is "enough," this too seems less an issue about "capitalism" or "neoliberal ideology" than about human nature. Ecclesiastes 5 says "a lover of money never has his fill of money," and the Mishna in Avot quotes Ben Zoma saying "Who is the rich one? He who is happy with his lot." It's unlikely that these 2,000-year-old issues are going to be fixed instead by the "policy solutions" the Times reviewer and the book author endorse — "universal health care," a "universal basic income" — or by abandoning capitalism for some other system.