The Great Recession is more than four years old—and counting. Yet, as Paul Krugman points out in this powerful volley, "Nations rich in resources, talent, and knowledge—all the ingredients for prosperity and a decent standard of living for all—remain in a state of intense pain."
How bad have things gotten? How did we get stuck in what now can only be called a depression? And above all, how do we free ourselves? Krugman pursues these questions with his characteristic lucidity and insight. He has a powerful message for anyone who has suffered over these past four years—a quick, strong recovery is just one step away, if our leaders can find the "intellectual clarity and political will" to end this depression now.
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
A Businessweek Best Business Book of the Year
A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year
In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America's urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America.
Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world's middle class through globalization have produced a dangerously unstable planet--one that is "hot, flat, and crowded." In this Release 2.0 edition, he also shows how the very habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets and the Great Recession. The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy. And it could inspire Americans to something we haven't seen in a long time--nation-building in America--by summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenge--and the promise--of the future.
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year
The New York Times's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist reveals how the financial meltdown emerged from the toxic interplay of Washington, Wall Street, and corrupt mortgage lenders
In Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson, the star business columnist of The New York Times, exposes how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that finally blew up the American economy.
Drawing on previously untapped sources and building on original research from coauthor Joshua Rosner—who himself raised early warnings with the public and investors, and kept detailed records—Morgenson connects the dots that led to this fiasco.
Morgenson and Rosner draw back the curtain on Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance giant that grew, with the support of the Clinton administration, through the 1990s, becoming a major opponent of government oversight even as it was benefiting from public subsidies. They expose the role played not only by Fannie Mae executives but also by enablers at Countrywide Financial, Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, HUD, Congress, the FDIC, and the biggest players on Wall Street, to show how greed, aggression, and fear led countless officials to ignore warning signs of an imminent disaster.
Character-rich and definitive in its analysis, this is the one account of the financial crisis you must read.
The United States is in the midst of an economic implosion that could make the Great Depression look like child's play. In THE CRASH OF 2016, Thom Hartmann argues that the facade of our once-great United States will soon disintegrate to reveal the rotting core where corporate and billionaire power and greed have replaced democratic infrastructure and governance. Our once-enlightened political and economic systems have been manipulated to ensure the success of only a fraction of the population at the expense of the rest of us.
The result is a "for the rich, by the rich" scheme leading to policies that only benefit the highest bidders. Hartmann outlines the destructive forces-planted by Lewis Powell in 1971 and come to fruition with the "Reagan Revolution"-that have looted our nation over the past decade, and how their actions fit into a cycle of American history that lets such forces rise to power every four generations.
However, a backlash is now palpable against the "economic royalists"-a term coined by FDR to describe those hoarding power and wealth-including the banksters, oligarchs, and politicians who have plunged our nation into economic chaos and social instability.
Although we are in the midst of what could become the most catastrophic economic crash in American History, a way forward is emerging, just as it did in the previous great crashes of the 1760s, 1856, and 1929. The choices we make now will redefine American culture. Before us stands a genuine opportunity to embrace the moral motive over the profit motive-and to rebuild the American economic model that once yielded great success.
Thoroughly researched and passionately argued, THE CRASH OF 2016 is not just a roadmap to redemption in post-Crash America, but a critical wake-up call, challenging us to act. Only if the right reforms are enacted and the moral choices are made, can we avert disaster and make our nation whole again.
The Spirit Level does not simply provide a diagnosis of our ills, but provides invaluable instruction in shifting the balance from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more collaborative society. It shows a way out of the social and environmental problems which beset us, and opens up a major new approach to improving the real quality of life, not just for the poor but for everyone. It is, in its conclusion, an optimistic book, which should revitalize politics and provide a new way of thinking about how we organize human communities.
America’s unique prosperity is based on its creation of a middle class. In the twentieth century, that middle class provided the workforce, the educated skills, and the demand that gave life to the world’s greatest consumer economy. It was innovative and dynamic; it eclipsed old imperial systems and colonial archetypes. It gave rise to a dream: that if you worked hard and followed the rules you would prosper in America, and your children would enjoy a better life than yours. The American dream was the lure to gifted immigrants and the birthright opportunity for every American citizen. It is as important a part of the history of the country as the passing of the Bill of Rights, the outcome of the battle of Gettysburg, or the space program. Incredibly, however, for more than thirty years, government and big business in America have conspired to roll back the American dream. What was once accessible to a wide swath of the population is increasingly open only to a privileged few. The story of how the American middle class has been systematically impoverished and its prospects thwarted in favor of a new ruling elite is at the heart of this extraordinarily timely and revealing book, whose devastating findings from two of the finest investigative reporters in the country will leave you astonished and angry.
A look at how our current crises are caused by too much government, and how Ayn Rand's bold defense of free markets can help us change course.
The rise of the Tea Party and the 2010 election results revealed that tens of millions of Americans are alarmed by Big Government, but skeptical that anything can or will be done to stop the growth of the state. In Free Market Revolution, the keepers of Ayn Rand's legacy argue that the answer lies in her pioneering philosophy of capitalism and self-interest –a philosophy that more and more people are turning to for answers. In the past few years, Rand's works have surged to new peaks of popularity, as politicians like Paul Ryan, media figures like John Stossel, and businessmen like John Mackey routinely name her as one of their chief influences. Here, Brook and Watkins explain how her ideas can solve a host of political and economic ills, including the debt crisis, inflation, overregulation, and the swelling welfare state. And most important, they show how Rand's philosophy can enable defenders of the free market to sieze the moral high ground in the fight to limit government. This is a fresh and urgent look at the ideas of one of the most controversial figures in modern history – ideas that may prove the only hope for the future.
Are you intimidated by insurance? Have no fear — this easy-to-understand guide explains everything you need to know, from getting the most coverage at the best price to dealing with adjusters, filing claims, and more. Whether you're looking for personal or business insurance, you'll see how to avoid common pitfalls, lower your costs, and get what you deserve at claim time.Get to know the basics — understand how to make good insurance decisions and reduce the chances of a financial loss in your life
Take your insurance on the road — manage your personal automobile risks, handle special situations, insure recreational vehicles, and deal with insurance adjusters
Understand homeowner's and renter's insurance — know what is and isn't covered by typical policies, common exclusions and pitfalls, and how to cover yourself against personal lawsuits
Buy the right umbrella policy — discover the advantages, and coordinate your policies to cover the gaps
Manage life, health, and disability risks — explore individual and group policies, understand Medicare basics, and evaluate long-term disability and long-term-care insurance
Open the book and find:The best life, health, home, and auto policies
Strategies for handling the claims process to get what you deserve
Tips on adjusting your deductible to suit your lifestyle
How to navigate healthcare policies
Ways to reduce your risk and your premiums
Common traps and loopholes
Considerations for grads, freelancers, and remote workers
We all know that the very rich have gotten a lot richer these past few decades while most Americans haven’t. In fact, the exorbitantly paid have continued to thrive during the current economic crisis, even as the rest of Americans have continued to fall behind. Why do the “haveit- alls” have so much more? And how have they managed to restructure the economy to reap the lion’s share of the gains and shift the costs of their new economic playground downward, tearing new holes in the safety net and saddling all of us with increased debt and risk? Lots of so-called experts claim to have solved this great mystery, but no one has really gotten to the bottom of it—until now.
In their lively and provocative Winner-Take-All Politics, renowned political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate convincingly that the usual suspects—foreign trade and financial globalization, technological changes in the workplace, increased education at the top—are largely innocent of the charges against them. Instead, they indict an unlikely suspect and take us on an entertaining tour of the mountain of evidence against the culprit. The guilty party is American politics. Runaway inequality and the present economic crisis reflect what government has done to aid the rich and what it has not done to safeguard the interests of the middle class. The winner-take-all economy is primarily a result of winner-take-all politics.
In an innovative historical departure, Hacker and Pierson trace the rise of the winner-take-all economy back to the late 1970s when, under a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, a major transformation of American politics occurred. With big business and conservative ideologues organizing themselves to undo the regulations and progressive tax policies that had helped ensure a fair distribution of economic rewards, deregulation got under way, taxes were cut for the wealthiest, and business decisively defeated labor in Washington. And this transformation continued under Reagan and the Bushes as well as under Clinton, with both parties catering to the interests of those at the very top. Hacker and Pierson’s gripping narration of the epic battles waged during President Obama’s first two years in office reveals an unpleasant but catalyzing truth: winner-take-all politics, while under challenge, is still very much with us.
Winner-Take-All Politics—part revelatory history, part political analysis, part intellectual journey— shows how a political system that traditionally has been responsive to the interests of the middle class has been hijacked by the superrich. In doing so, it not only changes how we think about American politics, but also points the way to rebuilding a democracy that serves the interests of the many rather than just those of the wealthy few.
Want to know the strategies of successful swing trading? This friendly guide covers the ins and outs of this risky but profitable investing approach, explaining all the basics in plain English. You'll see how to use the two investment approaches - technical and fundamental analysis - to indentify promising securities in strongly trending markets. In addition, this guide covers how to calculate investment returns and, most important, how to manage your portfolio's risk.Learn from a highly experienced trader, analyst, and portfolio manager - the author shares his insider knowledge Understand often overlooked topics such as money management, journal keeping, and strategy planning - key areas that will largely determine your success Focus on the fundamentals - often overlooked by swing traders, fundamental analysis can increase your chance of success Determine your entry and exit points with technical analysis - read charts, apply indicators, and compare markets Evaluate companies with fundamental analysis - grasp the basics of financial statements and the criteria to screen for undervalued or overvalued stocks Develop and implement your trading plan - outline what you trade and how often, decide your risk tolerance, and calculate your performance
Open the book and find:The differences among swing trading, day trading, and buy-and-hold investing The pros and cons of technical and fundamental analysis A step-by-step anatomy of a trade A wealth of charts and screenshots Real-world examples of swing trading successes The 10 deadly sins of swing trading - avoid at all costs! Sample trading plans Useful resources for navigating data
Econometrics can prove challenging for many students unfamiliar with the terms and concepts discussed in a typical econometrics course. Econometrics For Dummies eliminates that confusion with easy-to-understand explanations of important topics in the study of economics.
Econometrics For Dummies breaks down this complex subject and provides you with an easy-to-follow course supplement to further refine your understanding of how econometrics works and how it can be applied in real-world situations.An excellent resource for anyone participating in a college or graduate level econometrics course Provides you with an easy-to-follow introduction to the techniques and applications of econometrics Helps you score high on exam day
If you're seeking a degree in economics and looking for a plain-English guide to this often-intimidating course, Econometrics For Dummies has you covered.
Many people fuse these two dimensions of choice into one, either favoring both globalization and deregulation—or opposing both of them.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
In World 3.0, award-winning author and economist Pankaj Ghemawat reveals the folly in both of these responses. He calls for a third worldview—one in which both regulation and cross-border integration coexist and complement one another.
Ghemawat starts by exposing common assumptions about globalization to hard data, proving that the world is not nearly as globalized as we think. And he explains why the potential gains from further integration are much larger than even pro globalizers tend to believe.
He then tackles market failures and fears—job losses, environmental degradation, macroeconomic volatility, and trade and capital imbalances—that opponents of globalization often invoke. Drawing on compelling data, he shows that increased globalization can actually alleviate some of these problems.
Finally, Ghemawat describes how a wide range of players—businesses, policy makers, citizens, media—can help open up flows of ideas, people, and goods across borders, but in ways that maximize the benefits and minimize the potential side effects.
World 3.0 dispels powerfully entrenched—but incorrect—assumptions about globalization. Provocative and bold, this new book explains how people around the world can secure their collective prosperity through new approaches to cross-border integration. Ghemawat’s thinking will surprise and move you—no matter where you stand on globalization.
Looking for help making smarter, more profitable high-end investment decisions? Why buy 13 books that cover each of the major topics you need to understand, when High-Powered Investing All-In-One For Dummies gives you 13 expert guides for the price of one?
This hands-on resource arms you with an arsenal of advanced investing techniques for everything from stocks and futures to options and exchange-traded funds. You'll find out how to trade on the FOREX market, evaluate annuities, choose the right commodities, and buy into hedge funds. Plus, you'll get up to speed on using business fundamentals and technical analysis to help you make smarter decisions and maximize your returns. You'll also find ways to be as aggressive as your personality and bank account allow, without taking foolish or excessive risks.Updated compilation is targeted at readers who already have a basic understanding of investing principles and who are looking for a reference to help them build a diversified portfolio Offers a succinct framework and expert advice to help you make solid decisions and confidently invest in the marketplace
The key to expanding your investment opportunities successfully is information. Whether you're just beginning to explore more advanced investing or have been dabbling in it for a while, High-Powered Investing All-In-One For Dummies gives you the information, strategies, and techniques you need to make your financial dreams come true.
Want to take charge of your financial future? This national bestselling guide has been thoroughly updated to provide you with the latest insights into smart investing, from weighing your investment options (such as stocks, real estate, and small business) to understanding risks and returns, managing your portfolio, and much more.Get time-tested investment advice -- expert author Eric Tyson shares his extensive knowledge and reveals how to invest in challenging markets Discover all the fundamentals of investing -- explore your investment choices, weigh risks and returns, choose the right investment mix, and protect your assets Navigate Wall Street -- understand the financial markets and the Federal Reserve, avoid problematic buying practices, and evaluate investment research Build wealth with stocks, bonds, and mutual funds -- use indexes, understand prices, minimize costs, and diversify your investments Get rich with real estate -- find the right property, evaluate the market, finance your investments, work with agents, and close the deal Start, buy, or invest in a business -- write a business plan, finance your business, and improve profitability Manage college and retirement savings accounts -- establish your goals, evaluate your investment options, and tame your taxes
Open the book and find:Recommendations on the best stock, bond, and money market funds The best times to buy and sell stocks and bonds The scoop on exchange-traded and hedge funds Tips for reading and analyzing financial reports The best online brokers How to make safe and profitable real estate investments A wealth of information on the best investment tools and resources
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Getting a business up and running or pushing a brilliant product to the marketplace requires capital. For many entrepreneurs, a lack of start-up capital can be the single biggest roadblock to their dreams of success and fortune. Venture Capital For Dummies takes entrepreneurs step by step through the process of finding and securing venture capital for their own projects.Find and secure venture capital for your business Get your business up and running Push a product to the marketplace
If you're an entrepreneur looking for hands-on guidance on how to secure capital for your business, the information in Venture Capital For Dummies gives you the edge you need to succeed.
You'd be wrong.
In The Real Crash, New York Times bestselling author Peter D. Schiff argues that America is enjoying a government-inflated bubble, one that reality will explode . . . with disastrous consequences for the economy and for each of us. Schiff demonstrates how the infusion of billions of dollars of stimulus money has only dug a deeper hole: the United States government simply spends too much and does not collect enough money to pay its debts, and in the end, Americans from all walks of life will face a crushing consequence.
We're in hock to China, we can't afford the homes we own, and the entire premise of our currency—backed by the full faith and credit of the United States—is false. Our system is broken, Schiff says, and there are only two paths forward. The one we're on now leads to a currency and sovereign debt crisis that will utterly destroy our economy and impoverish the vast majority of our citizens.
However, if we change course, the road ahead will be a bit rockier at first, but the final destination will be far more appealing. If we want to avoid complete collapse, we must drastically reduce government spending—eliminate entire agencies, end costly foreign military escapades and focus only on national defense—and stop student loan or mortgage interest deductions, as well as drug wars and bank-and-business bailouts. We must also do what no politician or pundit has proposed: America should declare bankruptcy, restructure its debts, and reform our system from the ground up.
Persuasively argued and provocative, The Real Crash explains how we got into this mess, how we might get out of it, and what happens if we don't. And, with wisdom born from having predicted the Crash of 2008, Peter Schiff explains how to protect yourself, your family, your money, and your country against what he predicts.
A handful of corporations and financial institutions command an ever-greater concentration of economic and political power in an assault against markets, democracy, and life. It's a “suicide economy,” says David Korten, that destroys the very foundations of its own existence.
The bestselling 1995 edition of When Corporations Rule the World helped launch a global resistance against corporate domination. In this twentieth-anniversary edition, Korten shares insights from his personal experience as a participant in the growing movement for a New Economy. A new introduction documents the further concentration of wealth and corporate power since 1995 and explores why our institutions resolutely resist even modest reform. A new conclusion chapter outlines high-leverage opportunities for breakthrough change.
In a new introduction, Colin Palmer assesses the lasting impact of Williams's groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared.
With timely, substantial information about energy stocks, Energy Investing For Dummies teaches the ins and outs of energy sectors and how to incorporate them into business and investment plans. As a savvy investor and business manager you will find the important information and advice you need to incorporate these growth areas into your investment portfolio.
In Energy Investing For Dummies, you'll find important information on the big-three markets of electricity, natural gas, and oil; growing markets for liquefied natural gas, emissions, coal, and alternative energy; primers on advanced topics like storage, wheeling, load forecasting, and pipeline transportation; tips on investing in and trading energy stocks, ETFs, dividends, and derivatives; and much more.Includes examples of ways to invest in wind power, carbon emissions, thermal solar power, and other new markets Packed with the latest information on energy investing Shows you how to incorporate energy investing into your investment plans
Energy Investing For Dummies is your friendly, un-intimidating guide to this hot topic in business and investment trading.
In his two most recent bestselling books, American Dynasty and Wealth and Democracy, Kevin Phillips established himself as a powerful critic of the political and economic forces that rule—and imperil—the United States, tracing the ever more alarming path of the emerging Republican majority’s rise to power. Now Phillips takes an uncompromising view of the current age of global overreach, fundamentalist religion, diminishing resources, and ballooning debt under the GOP majority. With an eye to the past and a searing vision of the future, Phillips confirms what too many Americans are still unwilling to admit about the depth of our misgovernment.
Is your portfolio doing all it should? Are you looking for a market-focused way to increase returns? Try your hand at trend trading. Instead of analyzing the performance of a company, analyze the performance of the market as a whole. When you spot a trend, jump on it and let it ride until it's time to move. Whether your strategy is short-term, intermediate-term, or long-term, trend trading can help you capitalize on the action of market and get the most out of every move you make.
Trend Trading For Dummies will get you up to speed on the ins and outs of this unique technique. You'll learn how to spot the trends and just how heavily market analysis figures into your success. You can get as complex as you like with the data for long-term predictions or just go for quick rides that pump up your gains. Before you jump in, you need to know the basics that can help ensure your success.Learn the rules of trend trading and why you need a solid system Understand technical analysis to make accurate predictions Analyze the market and learn what to look for before you trade Use leverage to your advantage to make better moves
Trend Trading For Dummies includes trading strategies that you can use as-is, or customize to suit your needs. Thorough preparation is the key to any good trading plan, and it's no different with trend trading. Trend Trading For Dummies allows you to trade using every angle, and will get you out of or into the market in a flash.
What makes being a global business leader today such a complex task? It’s more than mastering your knowledge of various geographies and cultures, though that is essential. But to succeed, you must also master the complex mind-set and competencies needed to lead in today’s fully globalized world. Not an easy assignment.
Enter Ángel Cabrera and Gregory Unruh. In Being Global, they pull from their extensive experience as well as research they conducted at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which has been cited by the Financial Times, U.S. News and World Report, and The Economist for its authority on global business. In Being Global, Cabrera and Unruh define a new context for global leadership, vividly illustrating both the challenges and the opportunities facing today’s executives. How can you be effective? What new skills must you learn in order to be successful? What do international teams do to stay connected while still producing results on a regional scale?
Being Global is written for leaders at all levels of their careers—whether in big business or small, private sector or government—who aspire to think and act globally and who need some help getting there. Being a global citizen is just the starting point. Cabrera and Unruh provide the tools and guidance to help you develop even deeper leadership skills, to benefit both you and your organization.
This plain-English guide reveals the secrets of how to value stocks, decide when the price is right, and make your move. You’ll find out why a good deal is a good deal, no matter what the bulls and bears say, get tips in investing during jittery times, and understand how to detect hidden agendas in financial reports. And, you’ll uncover the keys to identifying the truly good businesses with enduring and growing value that continually outperform both their competition and the market as a whole. Discover how to:Understand financial investments View markets like a value investor Assess a company’s value Make use of value investing resources Incorporate fundamentals and intangibles Make the most of funds, REITs, and ETFs Develop your own investing style Figure out what a financial statement is really telling you Decipher earnings and cash-flow statements Detect irrational exuberance in company publications Make a value judgment and decide when to buy
Complete with helpful lists of the telltale signs of value and “unvalue,” as well as the habits of highly successful value investors, Value Investing For Dummies, 2nd Edition, could be the smartest investment you’ll ever make!
* Outsourcing (why it's good for Americans) and zoning restrictions (why they're not)
* Why central planning has never worked and never will
* How prices operate in a free market (and why socialist schemes like rent control always backfire)
* How labor unions actually hurt workers more than they help them
* Why increasing the minimum wage is always a bad idea
* Why the free market is the best guard against racism
* How capitalism will save the environment--and why Communist countries were the most polluted on earth
* Raising taxes: why it is never "responsible"
* Why no genuine advocate for the downtrodden could endorse the dehumanizing Welfare State
* The single biggest myth underlying the public's support for government regulation of business
* Antitrust suits: usually filed by firms that lose in free competition
* How tariffs and other restrictions "protect" privileged workers but make other Americans poorer
* The IMF and World Bank: why they don't help poor countries
* Plus: Are you a capitalist pig? Take the quiz and find out! Breezy, witty, but always clear, precise, and elegantly reasoned, The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to Capitalism is a solid and entertaining guide to free market economics. With his twelve-step plan for understanding the free market, Murphy shows why conservatives should resist attempts to socialize America and fight spiritedly for the free market.
Americans from all walks of life are still feeling the roller-coaster effects of the Great Recession. For many, home values are still too low and unemployment is still too high. Others have prospered despite the ups and downs. In Clark Howard’s Living Large for the Long Haul, the renowned broadcaster examines our new paradigm through the eyes of those whose financial portfolios have beaten the odds, and those whose economic situation has gone off course. Through these fascinating personal accounts, readers uncover amazing opportunities and smart decisions, finding advantages in bleak times for lasting payoffs in the long run.
Ross traces the oil curse to the upheaval of the 1970s, when oil prices soared and governments across the developing world seized control of their countries' oil industries. Before nationalization, the oil-rich countries looked much like the rest of the world; today, they are 50 percent more likely to be ruled by autocrats--and twice as likely to descend into civil war--than countries without oil.
The Oil Curse shows why oil wealth typically creates less economic growth than it should; why it produces jobs for men but not women; and why it creates more problems in poor states than in rich ones. It also warns that the global thirst for petroleum is causing companies to drill in increasingly poor nations, which could further spread the oil curse.
This landmark book explains why good geology often leads to bad governance, and how this can be changed.
In The Wages of Oil, Michael Herb provides a robust framework for thinking about the future of the Gulf monarchies. The Gulf has seen enormous changes in recent years, and more are to come. Herb explains the nature of the changes we are likely to see in the future. He starts by asking why Kuwait is far ahead of all other Gulf monarchies in terms of political liberalization, but behind all of them in its efforts to diversify its economy away from oil. He compares Kuwait with the United Arab Emirates, which lacks Kuwait's parliament but has moved ambitiously to diversify.
This data-rich book reflects the importance of both politics and economic development issues for decision-makers in the Gulf. Herb develops a political economy of the Gulf that ties together a variety of issues usually treated separately: Kuwait's National Assembly, Dubai's real estate boom, the paucity of citizen labor in the private sector, class divisions among citizens, the caste divide between citizens and noncitizens, and the politics of land.
Wired.com The Long Descent is a welcome antidote to the armageddonism that often accompanies peak oil discussions. "The decline of a civilization is rarely anything like so sudden for those who live through it" writes Greer, encouragingly; it's "a much slower and more complex transformation than the sudden catastrophes imagined by many soical critics today."
The changes that will follow the decline of world petroleum production are likely to be sweeping and global, Greer concludes, but from the perspective of those who live through them these changes are much more likely to take gradual and local forms. Reviewed by Bruce Sterling
Americans are expressing deep concern about US dependence on petroleum, rising energy prices, and the threat of climate change. Unlike the energy crisis of the 1970s, however, there is a lurking fear that now the times are different and the crisis may not easily be resolved.
The Long Descent examines the basis of such fear through three core themes:Industrial society is following the same well-worn path that has led other civilizations into decline, a path involving a much slower and more complex transformation than the sudden catastrophes imagined by so many social critics today. The roots of the crisis lie in the cultural stories that shape the way we understand the world. Since problems cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them, these ways of thinking need to be replaced with others better suited to the needs of our time. It is too late for massive programs for top-down change; the change must come from individuals.
Hope exists in actions that range from taking up a handicraft or adopting an “obsolete” technology, through planting an organic vegetable garden, taking charge of your own health care or spirituality, and building community.
Focusing eloquently on constructive adaptation to massive change, this book will have wide appeal.
The Great Deformation is a searing look at Washington's craven response to the recent myriad of financial crises and fiscal cliffs. It counters conventional wisdom with an eighty-year revisionist history of how the American state—especially the Federal Reserve—has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts. These forces have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused America's private enterprise foundation to morph into a speculative casino that swindles the masses and enriches the few.
Defying right- and left-wing boxes, David Stockman provides a catalogue of corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets. The former includes Franklin Roosevelt, who fathered crony capitalism; Richard Nixon, who destroyed national financial discipline and the Bretton Woods gold-backed dollar; Fed chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, who fostered our present scourge of bubble finance and addiction to debt and speculation; George W. Bush, who repudiated fiscal rectitude and ballooned the warfare state via senseless wars; and Barack Obama, who revived failed Keynesian “borrow and spend” policies that have driven the national debt to perilous heights. By contrast, the book also traces a parade of statesmen who championed balanced budgets and financial market discipline including Carter Glass, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Simon, Paul Volcker, Bill Clinton, and Sheila Bair.
Stockman's analysis skewers Keynesian spenders and GOP tax-cutters alike, showing how they converged to bloat the welfare state, perpetuate the military-industrial complex, and deplete the revenue base—even as the Fed's massive money printing allowed politicians to enjoy “deficits without tears.” But these policies have also fueled new financial bubbles and favored Wall Street with cheap money and rigged stock and bond markets, while crushing Main Street savers and punishing family budgets with soaring food and energy costs. The Great Deformation explains how we got here and why these warped, crony capitalist policies are an epochal threat to free market prosperity and American political democracy.