A cold, hard look at how modern economics has failed us and why we need a new measure of progress
Modern economics has fallen short. It has widened the gap between rich and poor. It has not allocated the world's resources fairly. It has brought the West to the brink of financial ruin. It has placed short-term gain before long-term progress. And it has made us focus on the individual, not the society. The end result is a worldwide financial crisis of epic proportions and a planet being scraped clean of the resources needed by future generations, and things are only getting worse. In The End of Progress: How Modern Economics Has Failed Us popular economist Graeme Maxton looks at what went wrong, and what we can do to get ourselves back on track.
During the Age of Enlightenment society flourished, propelled by the wonder of new discoveries, radical ideas for economic and social development, and a sense that we all had a responsibility to improve our world. It's time to get back to those ideals, step back and examine our values, and work out what humankind really needs.
A thought-provoking, informative book, The End of Progress looks at what got us into our present mess, and shines light onto the road ahead.
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From the Back Cover:
Q&A with Graeme Maxton, Author of “The End of Progress”
What's The End of Progress about?
A: The End of Progress looks at where our societies are headed. There are a number of difficult challenges ahead which will constrain humanity's progress and we need to respond to these. We are burdened with debt, certainly in the West. We face resource shortages. Oil, water and many other raw materials are beginning to run short. We have no immediate alternatives to many of these. We are running up against social barriers too. The gap between the haves and have-nots has grown alarmingly. Standards of education are falling in many countries. The internet is addling our brains. Most vitally, we have become obsessed with economic growth as a measure of human development. All of these problems are down to faulty thinking, down to modern economics.
Why did you write it?
I was born near Adam Smith's birthplace. Smith is the father of economics and one of the Enlightenment's greatest thinkers. I have always viewed his work and that period in history with great interest. During the Enlightenment we made great leaps forward, socially, technologically, economically and in the arts and literature. Today, we focus almost entirely on economic growth as a means of progress, which is driven mostly by consumption. We have taken most of Smith's principles – and many other enlightenment ideas about freedom, democracy and social responsibility - and trashed them. This has brought us mountains of debt, wasteful resource use and, for many, misery. I think we can do better.
Are there steps we can take to respond to the challenges we face?
There is a lot we can do. We can change the way we think quite easily. Instead of focusing on economic growth, we can try to improve our world. There are many ways we can make the lives of people better, make them happier, less driven by consumption. We can put more emphasis on technology, science, spiritual pursuits, education and family. We can price the world's resources properly and tax hard work less. We can use energy more efficiently. We can reduce the gap between rich and poor. Of course, there are many hurdles to us achieving this. But if we think differently, we can achieve a new renaissance, a new era of discovery and reinvention based upon a new set of values that ensure a more sustainable and economically balanced world.
Why should I read it?
The challenges we face affect all of us. There is no point in knowing there is trouble ahead and not doing something about it. How would you explain that to your grandchildren? Nor can we look to today's politicians or economists to fix the problems because they created them. It is up to all of us, you and me. We all have a responsibility. Although it is not a self-help book, The End of Progress helps you understand the challenges we face, the change in thinking that is needed and what you can do in response.
As Graeme Maxton’s important and entertaining book demonstrates, modern economic theory contains fundamental errors that any intelligent child could spot. This is not just an academic problem; we’ve left economists to run the world—and the planet is careening toward disaster as a result. Graeme Maxton is one of the first observers to note that world economic growth has reached hard limits. We ignore this shattering news at our peril. But if we can rid modern economic theory of a few fundamental and obvious errors, then a transition to a sustainable and satisfactory new economy is entirely feasible. The End of Progress is a vitally important and highly readable book-read it and have your eyes opened!
Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute
Author, Peak Everything
Graeme Maxton’s panoramic view of economic history reaches back to Adam Smith and the moral and social philosophy that underpinned the Scotsman’s belief in free markets. That inspires Maxton’s timely and trenchant critique of modern capitalism and the drug of consumption, financed with debt, which led western countries to the financial crisis of 2008. Only by learning the true lessons, Maxton suggests, will they set themselves on a sustainable economic path.
Financial Times columnist
The End of Progress accuses economic thinking about markets of a failure that is leading us towards a dark future. Maxton says the financial meltdown and its aftermath, extremes of income inequality, and the looming crisis over resource availability, consumerism and climate change beckon solutions, for which we are ill-equipped. Maxton should be knocking on open doors in calling for change.
Author of Uprising
Senior Economic Adviser, UBS
Graeme Maxton has produced an important and timely book. It’s impossible to argue with his conclusion that the world has taken a wrong turning, and that much is set to change in the near future. The End of Progress should be read by as wide an audience as possible, most of whom will find themselves nodding in agreement as they read his analysis of what has gone wrong, and his suggestions for putting things right.
Author, China and the Credit Crisis: The Emergence of a New World Order
Visiting Professor, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University
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Buchbeschreibung John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Gebundene Ausgabe. Buchzustand: Neu. Neu Neuware, Importqualität, Sofortversand - Modern economics has failed us. We need a new measure of progress. We live in an Age of Endarkenment. Our economic, social and political systems have failed us. Modern economics has not done what it promised. It has widened the gap between rich and poor. It has not allocated the world's resources fairly. It has brought the West to the brink of financial ruin. It has valued short-term gain more than long-term progress. It has made us focus on the individual, not society. The social consequences are easy to see. Much of the world is laden with debt. Our planet is being scraped clean of the resources needed by future generations. Science and technology are exploited for profit, not social advancement. The cult of celebrity, rise in global greed and belief that information is knowledge are limiting our imaginations. We are ill-equipped to respond to these challenges. We have been dumbed-down. Our politicians have become self-serving. They play on our fears, monitor us without justification and promote conflicts for their own interests. China's rise will make these problems worse. Without a rethink, we face many unwelcome changes. Poverty will grow. Standards of health will decline. Resource shortages will change our way of life. Tensions between peoples will grow. During the Age of Enlightenment our societies flourished, propelled by the wonder of new discoveries, radical ideas for economic and social development and a sense that we all had a responsibility to improve our world. We need to step back from the Age of Endarkenment. We need to examine our values. We need to work out what humankind really wants. If it is not just about just money and Twitter and Oprah, what is it In this thought-provoking, lively and entertaining book, Graeme Maxton looks at what brought us to this state and what we can do about it. 240 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. INF1000163797