Seven Bad Ideas
The author of the widely praised Age of Greed now gives us a bold indictment of some of our most accepted economic theories-why they’re wrong, the harm they’ve done, and the theories that would vastly improve on them.
Jeff Madrick—TCF fellow, former New York Times business columnist, and now Harper’s economics columnist—smounts a comprehensive case against prevailing mainstream economic thinking, illustrating how it has damaged markets, infrastructure, and individual livelihoods, causing hundreds of billions of dollars of wasted investment; financial crisis after financial crisis; poor public education and public transportation; gross inequality of income and wealth, and stagnating wages; uncontrolled military spending; and a failed healthcare system that delivers far less than it costs.
Madrick has clarified my own thinking on the subject…Seven Bad Ideas is an important and broadly accurate story about what went wrong.
– Paul Krugman, New York Times
Age of Greed
Washington Post’s Political Best Seller
As Jeff Madrick makes clear in a narrative at once sweeping, fast-paced, and incisive, the single-minded pursuit of huge personal wealth has been on the rise in the United States since the 1970s, led by a few individuals who have argued that self-interest guides society more effectively than community concerns. These stewards of American capitalism have insisted on the central and essential place of accumulated wealth through the booms, busts, and recessions of the last half century, giving rise to our current woes.
Intense economic inequity and instability is the story of our age, and Jeff Madrick tells it with style, clarity, and an unerring command of his subject.
A superb book that deserves the widest possible audience.
– David Warsh
Compelling . . . Important. . . Ambitious in its scope… Age of Greed abounds with powerful men, ugly fights, infamous scandals, twists and turns, and, true to the book’s title, lots of shameless cupidity…
– David Greenberg, The Washington Post
The Age of Greed is a fascinating and deeply disturbing tale of hypocrisy, corruption, and insatiable greed. But more than that, it’s a much-needed reminder of just how we got into the mess we’re in—a reminder that is greatly needed when we are still being told that greed is good.
– Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, The New York Review of Books
The Case for Big Government
2009 PEN Galbraith Nonfiction Award Finalist
Madrick insists that politics and economics go hand in hand and explains why America benefits when the government actively nourishes economic growth. He argues that America must reject free market orthodoxy to deal with changing times. Indeed, when America worked best in the past, it always did just that.
The extent to which Madrick’s insightful and persuasive arguments will be taken up in US policy now rests to a large degree on whether President Obama and the Democrats can restore America’s basic financial health. For the time being that means concentrating on government’s ability first to save Wall Street and restore credit, and then to begin rebuilding the devastation Wall Street’s failure has left behind. The challenge of creating a new era for government as long-term guarantor of our security and well-being lies ahead.
– Richard Parker, New York Review of Books
Before the financial crisis, most policy makers and opinion leaders smugly assumed that the economy would remain on an even keel, so Madrick felt he had to make a vigorous argument that economic problems required government action…To those who ask whether any country has ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity, Madrick offers two answers: the United States and its major competitors.
– David Kusnet, New York Times
Why Economies Grow
Madrick avoids the simplistic interpretations of economic growth that now dominate the public discourse and proposes an original agenda for the nation that is historically well-grounded and stresses the breadth and complexity of economic growth.
While markets are the primary source of our prosperity, he [Madrick] argues in “Why Economies Grow,” we rely on the government as well.
– John McMillan, New York Times
The End of Affluence
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Madrick explains why prosperity has eluded so many Americans for decades. He cuts through the rhetoric and illusions of both political parties to write, as one leading economist put it, “one of the best books on what’s happening in the American economy to be published in years.”
Economic historians, a small band, have been pretty much confined to publishing in professional journals. But now Jeffrey Madrick in “The End of Affluence” has brought economic history vividly into the public domain.
– Louis Uchitelle, New York Times
Business Week: One of the Ten Best Books of the Year
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Madrick describes the sources of the great takeover movement that engulfed American business beginning in the 1970s, and often left workers out in the cold.
Madrick suggests that the takeover movement developed a momentum of its own, with corporate chief executives moving companies around as if they were pieces of a board game and managing—and discarding—businesses as if they were mere portfolios of stocks instead of living organizations with employees, traditions, products, customers and suppliers.
– Myron Kandel, New York Times
Madrick compiles fifteen lively essays on vital alternatives to the conventional wisdom that has led the nation down the wrong economic path.