The Complacent Class

The Complacent Class
Author: Tyler Cowen
Publsiher: St. Martin's Press
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2017-02-28
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9781250108708

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A Wall Street Journal and Washington Post Bestseller "Tyler Cowen's blog, Marginal Revolution, is the first thing I read every morning. And his brilliant new book, The Complacent Class, has been on my nightstand after I devoured it in one sitting. I am at round-the-clock Cowen saturation right now."--Malcolm Gladwell Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs. The problem, according to legendary blogger, economist and best selling author Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition—we’re working harder than ever to avoid change. We're moving residences less, marrying people more like ourselves and choosing our music and our mates based on algorithms that wall us off from anything that might be too new or too different. Match.com matches us in love. Spotify and Pandora match us in music. Facebook matches us to just about everything else. Of course, this “matching culture” brings tremendous positives: music we like, partners who make us happy, neighbors who want the same things. We’re more comfortable. But, according to Cowen, there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create. The Complacent Class argues that this cannot go on forever. We are postponing change, due to our near-sightedness and extreme desire for comfort, but ultimately this will make change, when it comes, harder. The forces unleashed by the Great Stagnation will eventually lead to a major fiscal and budgetary crisis: impossibly expensive rentals for our most attractive cities, worsening of residential segregation, and a decline in our work ethic. The only way to avoid this difficult future is for Americans to force themselves out of their comfortable slumber—to embrace their restless tradition again.

The Complacent Class

The Complacent Class
Author: Tyler Cowen
Publsiher: Picador
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2018-03-06
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 1250153778

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The Complacent Class

The Complacent Class
Author: Tyler Cowen
Publsiher: St. Martin's Press
Total Pages: 241
Release: 2017-02-28
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9781250108692

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Examines the trend of Americans away from the traditionally mobile, risk-accepting, and adaptable tendencies that defined them for much of recent history, and toward stagnation and comfort, and how this development has the potential to make future changes more disruptive. --Publisher's description.

Big Business

Big Business
Author: Tyler Cowen
Publsiher: St. Martin's Press
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2019-04-09
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9781250110558

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An against-the-grain polemic on American capitalism from New York Times bestselling author Tyler Cowen. We love to hate the 800-pound gorilla. Walmart and Amazon destroy communities and small businesses. Facebook turns us into addicts while putting our personal data at risk. From skeptical politicians like Bernie Sanders who, at a 2016 presidential campaign rally said, “If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist,” to millennials, only 42 percent of whom support capitalism, belief in big business is at an all-time low. But are big companies inherently evil? If business is so bad, why does it remain so integral to the basic functioning of America? Economist and bestselling author Tyler Cowen says our biggest problem is that we don’t love business enough. In Big Business, Cowen puts forth an impassioned defense of corporations and their essential role in a balanced, productive, and progressive society. He dismantles common misconceptions and untangles conflicting intuitions. According to a 2016 Gallup survey, only 12 percent of Americans trust big business “quite a lot,” and only 6 percent trust it “a great deal.” Yet Americans as a group are remarkably willing to trust businesses, whether in the form of buying a new phone on the day of its release or simply showing up to work in the expectation they will be paid. Cowen illuminates the crucial role businesses play in spurring innovation, rewarding talent and hard work, and creating the bounty on which we’ve all come to depend.

The Great Stagnation

The Great Stagnation
Author: Tyler Cowen
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 71
Release: 2011-01-25
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9781101502259

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Tyler Cowen’s controversial New York Times bestseller—the book heard round the world that ignited a firestorm of debate and redefined the nature of America’s economic malaise. America has been through the biggest financial crisis since the great Depression, unemployment numbers are frightening, media wages have been flat since the 1970s, and it is common to expect that things will get worse before they get better. Certainly, the multidecade stagnation is not yet over. How will we get out of this mess? One political party tries to increase government spending even when we have no good plan for paying for ballooning programs like Medicare and Social Security. The other party seems to think tax cuts will raise revenue and has a record of creating bigger fiscal disasters that the first. Where does this madness come from? As Cowen argues, our economy has enjoyed low-hanging fruit since the seventeenth century: free land, immigrant labor, and powerful new technologies. But during the last forty years, the low-hanging fruit started disappearing, and we started pretending it was still there. We have failed to recognize that we are at a technological plateau. The fruit trees are barer than we want to believe. That's it. That is what has gone wrong and that is why our politics is crazy. In The Great Stagnation, Cowen reveals the underlying causes of our past prosperity and how we will generate it again. This is a passionate call for a new respect of scientific innovations that benefit not only the powerful elites, but humanity as a whole.

The Culture of Contentment

The Culture of Contentment
Author: John Kenneth Galbraith
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 176
Release: 2017-08-29
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9780691171654

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The world has become increasingly separated into the haves and have-nots. In The Culture of Contentment, renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith shows how a contented class—not the privileged few but the socially and economically advantaged majority—defend their comfortable status at a cost. Middle-class voting against regulation and increased taxation that would remedy pressing social ills has created a culture of immediate gratification, leading to complacency and hampering long-term progress. Only economic disaster, military action, or the eruption of an angry underclass seem capable of changing the status quo. A groundbreaking critique, The Culture of Contentment shows how the complacent majority captures the political process and determines economic policy.

In Praise of Commercial Culture

In Praise of Commercial Culture
Author: Tyler COWEN,Tyler Cowen
Publsiher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2009-06-30
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9780674029934

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Does a market economy encourage or discourage music, literature, and the visual arts? Do economic forces of supply and demand help or harm the pursuit of creativity? This book seeks to redress the current intellectual and popular balance and to encourage a more favorable attitude toward the commercialization of culture that we associate with modernity. Economist Tyler Cowen argues that the capitalist market economy is a vital but underappreciated institutional framework for supporting a plurality of co-existing artistic visions, providing a steady stream of new and satisfying creations, supporting both high and low culture, helping consumers and artists refine their tastes, and paying homage to the past by capturing, reproducing, and disseminating it. Contemporary culture, Cowen argues, is flourishing in its various manifestations, including the visual arts, literature, music, architecture, and the cinema. Successful high culture usually comes out of a healthy and prosperous popular culture. Shakespeare and Mozart were highly popular in their own time. Beethoven's later, less accessible music was made possible in part by his early popularity. Today, consumer demand ensures that archival blues recordings, a wide array of past and current symphonies, and this week's Top 40 hit sit side by side in the music megastore. High and low culture indeed complement each other. Cowen's philosophy of cultural optimism stands in opposition to the many varieties of cultural pessimism found among conservatives, neo-conservatives, the Frankfurt School, and some versions of the political correctness and multiculturalist movements, as well as historical figures, including Rousseau and Plato. He shows that even when contemporary culture is thriving, it appears degenerate, as evidenced by the widespread acceptance of pessimism. He ends by considering the reasons why cultural pessimism has such a powerful hold on intellectuals and opinion-makers.

The Great Economists

The Great Economists
Author: Linda Yueh
Publsiher: Penguin UK
Total Pages: 368
Release: 2018-03-15
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9780241974483

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What can the ideas of history's greatest economists tell us about the most important issues of our time? 'The best place to start to learn about the very greatest economists of all time' Professor Tyler Cowen, author of The Complacent Class and The Great Stagnation Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems - but often their ideas are hard to digest, before we even try to apply them to today's issues. Linda Yueh is renowned for her combination of erudition, as an accomplished economist herself, and accessibility, as a leading writer and broadcaster in this field; and in The Great Economists she explains the key thoughts of history's greatest economists, how their lives and times affected their ideas, how our lives have been influenced by their work, and how they could help with the policy challenges that we face today. In the light of current economic problems, and in particular economic growth, Yueh explores the thoughts of economists from Adam Smith and David Ricardo through Joan Robinson and Milton Friedman to Douglass North and Robert Solow. Along the way she asks, for example: what do the ideas of Karl Marx tell us about the likely future for the Chinese economy? How does the work of John Maynard Keynes, who argued for government spending to create full employment, help us think about state investment? And with globalization in trouble, what can we learn about handling Brexit and Trumpism? In one accessible volume, this expert new voice provides an overarching guide to the biggest questions of our time. The Great Economists includes: Adam Smith David Ricardo Karl Marx Alfred Marshall Irving Fisher John Maynard Keynes Joseph Schumpeter Friedrich Hayek Joan Robinson Milton Friedman Douglass North Robert Solow 'Economics students, like others, can learn a lot from this book' - Professor Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion 'Not only a great way to learn in an easily readable manner about some of the greatest economic influences of the past, but also a good way to test your own a priori assumptions about some of the big challenges of our time.' - Lord Jim O'Neill, former Chairman at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, former UK Treasury Minister, and author of The Growth Map 'An extremely engaging survey of the lifetimes and ideas of the great thinkers of economic history.' - Professor Kenneth Rogoff, author of The Curse of Cash and co-author of This Time is Different 'This book is a very readable introduction to the lives and thinking of the greats.' - Professor Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and author of I Do What I Do and Fault Lines 'Read it not only to learn about the world's great economists, but also to see how consequential thought innovations can be, and have been.' - Mohamed el-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz, former CEO of PIMCO

The American Perception of Class

The American Perception of Class
Author: Reeve Vanneman,Lynn Weber Cannon
Publsiher: Unknown
Total Pages: 384
Release: 1988-07
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 0877225931

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Scholars and nonacademics alike have usually assumed that the American working class does not think of itself as a coherent class opposed to the dominant powers in American society-in short, that it is not class conscious. In international perspective, the American working class appears docile and complacent. It has never supported a strong socialist movement; a weak union movement has limited itself to simple wage demands; and class conflict here has rarely threatened to explode into a social revolution. Both radicals and mainstream scholars have explained this American exceptionalism by the conservative psychology of the American worker.This provocative book presents a new vision of the American working class. The American Perception of Class offers a radically new interpretation of American class conflict and criticizes earlier analyses for psychologizing the problem and "blaming the victims" for their subordination. It marshals a great variety of evidence, primarily from national surveys, to demonstrate that, contrary to what almost everybody has assumed, American workers are indeed class conscious. They have not been so beguiled by images of a classless society that they can no longer recognize the divide that separates them from their middle class and corporate bosses; nor have they been swallowed up by an affluent middle class; and they have not been so divided by racial and ethnic loyalties, or gender specific interests that they have forgotten their common class position.Finally, the book suggests a new approach to class conflict in America-one not based on the psychology of the American worker but on the strength of American business and its capacity to overwhelm or redirect any challenge from below. No other working class has faced such a formidable opponent. Author note: Reeve Vanneman is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park. >P>Lynn Weber Cannon is Associate Director for the Center for Research on Women and Professor of Sociology at Memphis State University.

Straight Talk on Trade

Straight Talk on Trade
Author: Dani Rodrik
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 336
Release: 2019-08-27
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9780691196084

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An honest discussion of free trade and how nations can sensibly chart a path forward in today’s global economy Not so long ago the nation-state seemed to be on its deathbed, condemned to irrelevance by the forces of globalization and technology. Now it is back with a vengeance, propelled by a groundswell of populists around the world. In Straight Talk on Trade, Dani Rodrik, an early and outspoken critic of economic globalization taken too far, goes beyond the populist backlash and offers a more reasoned explanation for why our elites’ and technocrats’ obsession with hyper-globalization made it more difficult for nations to achieve legitimate economic and social objectives at home. Ranging over the recent experiences of advanced countries, the eurozone, and developing nations, Straight Talk on Trade charts a way forward with new ideas about how to reconcile today’s inequitable trends with liberal democracy and social inclusion.

The American Middle Class

The American Middle Class
Author: Lawrence R Samuel
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 174
Release: 2013-07-18
Genre: History
ISBN: 9781134624683

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The middle class is often viewed as the heart of American society, the key to the country’s democracy and prosperity. Most Americans believe they belong to this group, and few politicians can hope to be elected without promising to serve the middle class. Yet today the American middle class is increasingly seen as under threat. In The American Middle Class: A Cultural History, Lawrence R. Samuel charts the rise and fall of this most definitive American population, from its triumphant emergence in the post-World War II years to the struggles of the present day. Between the 1920s and the 1950s, powerful economic, social, and political factors worked together in the U.S. to forge what many historians consider to be the first genuine mass middle class in history. But from the cultural convulsions of the 1960s, to the 'stagflation' of the 1970s, to Reaganomics in the 1980s, this segment of the population has been under severe stress. Drawing on a rich array of voices from the past half-century, The American Middle Class explores how the middle class, and ideas about it, have changed over time, including the distinct story of the black middle class. Placing the current crisis of the middle class in historical perspective, Samuel shows how the roots of middle-class troubles reach back to the cultural upheaval of the 1960s. The American Middle Class takes a long look at how the middle class has been winnowed away and reveals how, even in the face of this erosion, the image of the enduring middle class remains the heart and soul of the United States.

The Sum of Small Things

The Sum of Small Things
Author: Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2017-05-15
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9781400884698

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How the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite, and how their consumer habits affect us all In today’s world, the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite. Highly educated and defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket, these individuals earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption—like eating free-range chicken and heirloom tomatoes, wearing organic cotton shirts and TOMS shoes, and listening to the Serial podcast. They use their purchasing power to hire nannies and housekeepers, to cultivate their children’s growth, and to practice yoga and Pilates. In The Sum of Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett dubs this segment of society “the aspirational class” and discusses how, through deft decisions about education, health, parenting, and retirement, the aspirational class reproduces wealth and upward mobility, deepening the ever-wider class divide. Exploring the rise of the aspirational class, Currid-Halkett considers how much has changed since the 1899 publication of Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class. In that inflammatory classic, which coined the phrase “conspicuous consumption,” Veblen described upper-class frivolities: men who used walking sticks for show, and women who bought silver flatware despite the effectiveness of cheaper aluminum utensils. Now, Currid-Halkett argues, the power of material goods as symbols of social position has diminished due to their accessibility. As a result, the aspirational class has altered its consumer habits away from overt materialism to more subtle expenditures that reveal status and knowledge. And these transformations influence how we all make choices. With a rich narrative and extensive interviews and research, The Sum of Small Things illustrates how cultural capital leads to lifestyle shifts and what this forecasts, not just for the aspirational class but for everyone.

Average Is Over

Average Is Over
Author: Tyler Cowen
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2013-09-12
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9780698138162

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Renowned economist and author of Big Business Tyler Cowen brings a groundbreaking analysis of capitalism, the job market, and the growing gap between the one percent and minimum wage workers in this follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Great Stagnation. The United States continues to mint more millionaires and billionaires than any country ever. Yet, since the great recession, three quarters of the jobs created here pay only marginally more than minimum wage. Why is there growth only at the top and the bottom? Economist and bestselling author Tyler Cowen explains that high earners are taking ever more advantage of machine intelligence and achieving ever-better results. Meanwhile, nearly every business sector relies less and less on manual labor, and that means a steady, secure life somewhere in the middle—average—is over. In Average is Over, Cowen lays out how the new economy works and identifies what workers and entrepreneurs young and old must do to thrive in this radically new economic landscape.

Our Kids

Our Kids
Author: Robert D. Putnam
Publsiher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 400
Release: 2016-03-29
Genre: History
ISBN: 9781476769905

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A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).

Creative Destruction

Creative Destruction
Author: Tyler Cowen
Publsiher: Princeton University Press
Total Pages: 192
Release: 2009-01-10
Genre: Business & Economics
ISBN: 9781400825189

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A Frenchman rents a Hollywood movie. A Thai schoolgirl mimics Madonna. Saddam Hussein chooses Frank Sinatra's "My Way" as the theme song for his fifty-fourth birthday. It is a commonplace that globalization is subverting local culture. But is it helping as much as it hurts? In this strikingly original treatment of a fiercely debated issue, Tyler Cowen makes a bold new case for a more sympathetic understanding of cross-cultural trade. Creative Destruction brings not stale suppositions but an economist's eye to bear on an age-old question: Are market exchange and aesthetic quality friends or foes? On the whole, argues Cowen in clear and vigorous prose, they are friends. Cultural "destruction" breeds not artistic demise but diversity. Through an array of colorful examples from the areas where globalization's critics have been most vocal, Cowen asks what happens when cultures collide through trade, whether technology destroys native arts, why (and whether) Hollywood movies rule the world, whether "globalized" culture is dumbing down societies everywhere, and if national cultures matter at all. Scrutinizing such manifestations of "indigenous" culture as the steel band ensembles of Trinidad, Indian handweaving, and music from Zaire, Cowen finds that they are more vibrant than ever--thanks largely to cross-cultural trade. For all the pressures that market forces exert on individual cultures, diversity typically increases within society, even when cultures become more like each other. Trade enhances the range of individual choice, yielding forms of expression within cultures that flower as never before. While some see cultural decline as a half-empty glass, Cowen sees it as a glass half-full with the stirrings of cultural brilliance. Not all readers will agree, but all will want a say in the debate this exceptional book will stir.