The world’s principal measure of the health of economies is gross domestic product, or GDP: the sum of what all of us spend every day, from the contents of our weekly shopping to large capital spending by businesses. GDP also includes the myriad things that our governments pay for, from libraries and road-line painting to naval dockyards and nuclear weapons.
The Great Invention reveals how in just a few decades GDP became the world’s most powerful formula: how six algebraic symbols forged in the fires of the 1930's economic crisis helped Europe and America prosper, how the remedy now risks killing the patient it once saved, and how this fundamentally flawed metric is creating the illusion of global prosperity—and why many world leaders want to be able to ignore it but so far remain powerless to do so.
Drawing on interviews, firsthand accounts, and previously neglected source materials, The Great Invention takes readers on a journey from Capitol Hill to Whitehall—on the trail of theories made in Cambridge, tested in Karachi, and designed for global application—into the minds of unworldly geniuses seduced by the allure of power and the demands of politics.
Ehsan Masood is a science writer, journalist, and broadcaster. Formerly on the editorial staff of Nature and New Scientist, he is currently the editor of Research Fortnight and Research Europe and teaches international science policy at Imperial College London. As well as writing for Prospect magazine, The Times (London), The Guardian, and Le Monde, he is a frequent presenter for BBC Radio. He lives in London.
In this book, Suzanne J. Konzelmann aims to demystify austerity as an economic policy, a political idea, and a social phenomenon. Beginning with an analysis of political and socioeconomic history from the seventeenth century, she explains the economics of austerity in the context of the overall dynamics of state spending, tax, and debt. Using comparative case studies from around the world, ranging from the 1930s to post-2008, she then evaluates the outcomes of austerity in light of its stated objectives and analyzes the conditions under which it doesn’t – and occasionally does – work.
This accessible introduction to austerity will be essential reading for students and scholars of political economy, economics, and politics, as well as all readers interested in current affairs.
Version 2.0, Updated and Expanded, with a New Afterword
We all sense it—something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your kids. You can’t miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are being transformed in so many realms all at once—and it is dizzying.
In Thank You for Being Late, version 2.0, with a new afterword, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces—Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)—are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. The year 2007 was the major inflection point: the release of the iPhone, together with advances in silicon chips, software, storage, sensors, and networking, created a new technology platform that is reshaping everything from how we hail a taxi to the fate of nations to our most intimate relationships. It is providing vast new opportunities for individuals and small groups to save the world—or to destroy it.
With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations—if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community. Thank You for Being Late is an essential guide to the present and the future.