The years since the Great Crisis of 2008 have seen slow growth, high unemployment, falling home values, chronic deficits, a deepening disaster in Europe—and a stale argument between two false solutions, “austerity” on one side and “stimulus” on the other. Both sides and practically all analyses of the crisis so far take for granted that the economic growth from the early 1950s until 2000—interrupted only by the troubled 1970s—represented a normal performance. From this perspective, the crisis was an interruption, caused by bad policy or bad people, and full recovery is to be expected if the cause is corrected.
The End of Normal challenges this view. Placing the crisis in perspective, Galbraith argues that the 1970s already ended the age of easy growth. The 1980s and 1990s saw only uneven growth, with rising inequality within and between countries. And the 2000s saw the end even of that—despite frantic efforts to keep growth going with tax cuts, war spending, and financial deregulation. When the crisis finally came, stimulus and automatic stabilization were able to place a floor under economic collapse. But they are not able to bring about a return to high growth and full employment. In The End of Normal, “Galbraith puts his pessimism into an engaging, plausible frame. His contentions deserve the attention of all economists and serious financial minds across the political spectrum” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Desai underscores the contribution of hubris to economists’ calamitous lack of foresight, and he makes a persuasive case for the profession to re-engage with the history of economic thought. He dismisses the notion that one over-arching paradigm can resolve all economic eventualities while urging that an array of already-available theories and approaches be considered anew for the insights they may provide toward preventing future economic catastrophes. With an accessible style and keen common sense, Desai offers a fresh perspective on some of the most important economic issues of our time.
The ideas of John Maynard Keynes inspired the New Deal and helped rebuild world economies after World War II -and were later dismissed as "depression economics." Then came the great meltdown of 2008. Market forces that the world relied on suddenly failed to self-correct-and Keynes's doctrine of corrective action in an imperfect world became more relevant than ever.
Keynes was not a traditional economist: He was a polemicist, iconoclastic public intellectual, peer of the realm, and political operative, as well as an openly homosexual Bohemian who befriended Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster. In Keynes, noted historian Peter Clarke provides a timely and masterful accounting of Keynes's life and work, bringing his genius and skepticism alive for an era fraught with economic difficulties that he surely would have relished solving.
Budget deficits are bad. A strong dollar is good. Controlling inflation is paramount. Pay reflects greater worker skills. A deregulated free market is fair and effective. Theories like these have become mantras among American economists both liberal and conservative over recent decades. Validated originally by patron saints like Milton Friedman, they’ve assumed the status of self-evident truths across much of the mainstream. Jeff Madrick, former columnist for The New York Times and Harper’s, argues compellingly that a reconsideration is long overdue.
Since the financial turmoil of the 1970s made stagnating wages and relatively high unemployment the norm, Madrick argues, many leading economists have retrenched to the classical (and outdated) bulwarks of theory, drawing their ideas more from purist principles than from the real-world behavior of governments and markets—while, ironically, deeply affecting those governments and markets by their counsel. Madrick atomizes seven of the greatest false idols of modern economic theory, illustrating how these ideas have been damaging markets, infrastructure, and individual livelihoods for years, causing hundreds of billions of dollars of wasted investment, financial crisis after financial crisis, poor and unequal public education, primitive public transportation, gross inequality of income and wealth and stagnating wages, and uncontrolled military spending.
Using the Great Recession as his foremost case study, Madrick shows how the decisions America should have made before, during, and after the financial crisis were suppressed by wrongheaded but popular theory, and how the consequences are still disadvantaging working America and undermining the foundations of global commerce. Madrick spares no sinners as he reveals how the “Friedman doctrine” has undermined the meaning of citizenship and community, how the “Great Moderation” became a great jobs emergency, and how economists were so concerned with getting the incentives right for Wall Street that they got financial regulation all wrong. He in turn examines the too-often-marginalized good ideas of modern economics and convincingly argues just how beneficial they could be—if they can gain traction among policy makers.
Trenchant, sweeping, and empirical, Seven Bad Ideas resoundingly disrupts the status quo of modern economic theory.
From the Hardcover edition.
Macroeconomics is kind of a big deal. Without it, we wouldn't have the ability to study the economy as a whole—which is something that affects almost every aspect of your life, whether you realize it or not. From your employment status to how much you earn and pay in taxes, macroeconomics really matters. Breaking down this complicated and fascinating topic into manageable pieces, Macroeconomics For Dummies gives you fast and easy access to a subject that has a tendency to stump the masses.
With the help of this plain-English guide, you'll quickly find out how to gather data about economies to inform hypotheses on everything from the impact of cutting government spending to the underlying causes of recessions and high inflation. Analyze business cycles for overall economic health Study economic indicators such as unemployment Understand financial trends on the international market Score higher in your macroeconomics class
Filled with step-by-step instruction and enlightening real-world examples, this is the only book you need to slay the beast and make macroeconomics your minion!
As before, the second edition offers clear explanations of classical and Keynesian economic theory and how each has moved in and out of favor from the early 20th century to the present. It then provides detailed studies of major business-cycle downturns in the United States, from the Great Depression and postwar recessions to the "new" economy of the 1990s, the 2001 recession, and in an all-new chapter, the 2008 global financial crisis. The book also features an exhaustive update of statistical data, plus coverage of recent international crises in Argentina and Japan, and a new chapter on what we do and don't know about business cycles.
Fully cross-referenced with extensive guides to further reading, this is the essential comprehensive pocket reference to the ideas, issues and practice of economics in the twenty-first century.