The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth
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|Format:||Paperback / softback, 570 pages|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 15 December 2006|
About the Author
Benjamin M. Friedman is the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy and former chairman of the department of economics at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1972. The author of several scholarly works; his first trade book, Day of Reckoning: The Consequences of American Economic Policy Under Reagan and After, was awarded the George S. Eccles Prize, awarded annually by Columbia University for excellence in writing about economics. A former investment banker, he has consulted for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and individual Federal Reserve banks. He has worked with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the National Science Foundation Subcommittee on Economics, and the Congressional Budget Office. Professor Friedman has written for "the New York Times," "The Wall Street Journal," and "The New York Review of Books."
Friedman (political economy, Harvard; Day of Reckoning) looks at the historical impact of economics on the evolution of nations. His main thesis is that sustained economic growth promotes national openness, tolerance, and democracy, while economic stagnation brings about societal rigidity and an erosion of democratic institutions. Thus, he attributes the rise of Nazism to Germany's economic collapse in the 1930s and claims that movements in the United States such as populism, progressivism, and the Ku Klux Klan all had their roots in the economic conditions of the times. Friedman examines the ramifications of his theory for globalization, the environment, and developing countries and concludes by explaining how to promote sustainable, broad-based economic growth in the United States. Though he writes clearly and has amassed convincing evidence for his thesis, this wide-ranging work requires readers to have some background in economics to appreciate his ideas fully. It is therefore recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-Lawrence R. Maxted, Gannon Univ., Erie, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"An impressive work: commanding, insistent and meticulously researched." -"The New York Times Book Review""Hugely provocative." -"The Washington Post""A major work. . . . This kind of reasoned analysis is precisely what is necessary to put the United States back on the right track." -"Foreign Affairs""Absorbing. . . . A thorough, historically detailed, accessible exploration." -"The Economist""Friedman has scored a dead-center hit on the critical question: Why do we value economic growth? . . . Provide[s] a new framework and language for discussing economic growth, one that's useful for economists, politicians, and business leaders alike." -"BusinessWeek""One extreme belief about economic growth is that it is self-evidently its own reward. The opposite extreme is the belief that economic growth is wasteful and dehumanizing. Along comes Ben Friedman to argue calmly, thoroughly and convincingly that rising incomes create an environment favorable to democracy, tolerance and solidarity, while stagnation does the reverse. But government policy matters for the actual outcome, and understanding matters for the choice of policy. This is a strong case, and Friedman lays it out with a wealth of historical and international detail."-Robert Solow"Benjamin Friedman goes beyond and above the usual run of economic discussion. He is concerned not only with how the economy functions but also with how it serves the common good. "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth "will stand as a major contribution to social well-being. It could not be more timely and welcome."-John Kenneth Galbraith, author of "The Affluent Society" "Friedman's book renews the proud tradition of Adam Smith's "Theory of Moral Sentiments. "He provides a stunning, comprehensive view of economic growth and proposes a positive outlook of its moral consequences. Debatable, yes, but an argument one has to confront in assessing public policy toward globalization and aid to developing countries."-Daniel Bell, author o
This probing study argues that, far from fostering rapacious materialism, economic growth is a prerequisite for the creation of a liberal, open society. Harvard economist Friedman, author of Day of Reckoning: The Consequences of American Economic Policy in the 1980s, contends that periods of robust economic growth, in which most people see their circumstances palpably improving, foster tolerance, democracy and generous public support for the disadvantaged. Economic stagnation and insecurity, by contrast, usher in distrust, retrenchment and reaction, as well as a tightfisted callousness toward the poor and-from the nativism of 19th-century Populists to the white supremacist movement of the 1980s-a scapegoating of immigrants and minorities. Exploring two centuries of historical evidence, from income and unemployment data to period novels, Friedman elucidates connections between economic conditions, social attitudes and public policy throughout the world. He offers a nuanced defense of globalization against claims that it promotes inequality and, less convincingly, remains optimistic that technology will resolve the conflicts between continual growth and environmental degradation. Friedman's progressive attitude doesn't extend to his cautious approach to promoting growth in America; a critic of Bush's tax cuts and deficits, he advocates fiscal discipline to free savings for investment, along with educational initiatives, including "school choice," to boost worker productivity. Its muted conclusion aside, Friedman's is a lucid, judiciously reasoned call for renewed attention to broad-based economic advancement. (Oct. 25) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
|Publisher: ||Vintage Books USA|
|Dimensions: ||20.17 x 13.67 x 2.67 centimeters (0.49 kg)|