The Great Recession is more than four years old-and counting.
Yet, as Paul Krugman points out in this powerful volley, "Nations rich in resources, talent, and knowledge-all the ingredients for prosperity and a decent standard of living for all-remain in a state of intense pain." How bad have things gotten?
How did we get stuck in what now can only be called a depression? And above all, how do we free ourselves? Krugman pursues these questions with his characteristic lucidity and insight.
He has a powerful message for anyone who has suffered over these past four years-a quick, strong recovery is just one step away, if our leaders can find the "intellectual clarity and political will" to end this depression now.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 272 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: WW Norton & Co
- Publication Date: 11/05/2012
- Category: Financial crises & disasters
- ISBN: 9780393088779
Showing 1 - 5 of 7 reviews.
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Review by jcbrunner
I didn't particularly like Paul Krugman's last two books, as they more or less repeated the content of Krugman's column and blog without adding the usual parts of a book such as a bibliography . This one is better, but again is missing a bibliography and further reading section and directed mostly at those who do neither read nor listen to Paul and are clueless about economics, such as President Obama.This book is thus the ideal primer to drop into the hands of people who are willing to learn basic facts about macroeconomics. In thirteen short chapters, Paul Krugman is your guide to depression, inflation, deficits, stimulus, austerity and the euro. Using examples from literature, movies and TV, he boils down complex phenomena to understandable nuggets. Alongside the explanations, he exposes the weak and evil minds of the nude emperors from Harvard and Chicago who unfortunately are never held to attention neither in the US media nor by their universities for preaching falsehoods. The book, overall, is pretty mild. What Paul Krugman advocates in this book should be acceptable to a moderate Republican. It is more or less a return to the economic policies of the early 1980s. "End the depression now" calls, despite its exclamation point, for only a mild stimulus package and for what should be a no-brainer, such as re-hiring school teachers.Unfortunately, these are not normal times. What Paul Krugman and Robert Reich seem to be ignoring is that it is not a battle for the facts. The plutocracy and its servant in the White House could very easily learn about textbook macroeconomics. The real fight is about political power where books are of little help. At least the participants in this march of folly can not claim that they couldn't have known that their policies wouldn't work. For doubters, there is this short book to clear up some misconceptions.
Review by Jon.Roemer
Very well-written explanation of what brought on the financial crisis, why current policies are failing, and what we can do to fix the situation. READ THIS BOOK!! Understanding the information contained is essential to informed voting in the next election.
Review by ModernMuslimah
I think Krugman does a pretty good job of explaining how more, not less, government spending can help us to repair the economy and get people to work. He also does an excellent job of showing why austerity is not only not beneficial to those reliant on the government for help but why it can also further weaken economies that are already in recession or depression The most relevant and obvious example that Krugman uses are the case studies of Greece, Spain and Ireland. They've instituted various austerity measures that have only help to worsen their bleak economies. Lastly, his whole book is a refutation of the idea that deficits are automatically bad for the government. We hear this so much in everyday political discourse and it's rarely challenged. I hope that this book will be read by numerous Americans, especially those who are on the fence about who to vote for in the upcoming elections.
Review by theageofsilt
This is why I like Paul Krugman: his writing is easy to understand and he's usually right! Nobody seems to bother holding prognosticators accountable for their opinions. You see the same pundits, year in and year out, making predictions and it doesn't seem to harm their credibility if they are rarely correct. I gave up on the Wall Street Journal editorials, because they were NEVER right. The editors were confident that the Bush tax cuts would stimulate the economy and end the deficit. Have they ever apologized for being absolutely wrong? No. Krugman's ideas are actually rooted in historical precedent, not ideology. These days, however, facts don't seem to matter.
Review by HadriantheBlind
This is a very incisive summary of the current economic crisis. Oh, if only Krug or Robert Reich were in the Cabinet!<br/><br/>It's hard for me to summarize Krugman's already tight lines of reasoning even further, but here goes.<br/><br/>-The major trend of economic policy of the past thirty years, from Reaganomics to the Bush tax cuts, has been a catastrophe.<br/>-The present hesitance of both borrowers and creditors, leads to decreased demand.<br/>-The deregulation of the financial markets, most notably Glass-Steagall, has been a catastrophe.<br/>-The fiscal policies which have been reinstated since the 1980s have had a similar effect to those of Gilded Age America, and allowed a new generation of plutocrats to influence policy through think-tanks and lobbying of politicians.<br/>-Austerity, as seen in Europe, is a major mistake. Many of the disaffected youth who are only barely surviving because of welfare will be forced under far worse conditions if their lifelines run out.<br/>-A review and revision of Keynesian economics, including the effects of spending as a multiplier, how governments can survive with debt, inflation, etc.<br/>-Bad economic times can lead to political extremism - see Weimar Germany, Hitler. <br/><br/>What does he advocate? A newer, stronger, stimulus, one which provided the early recovery of 2009-10, but with better applications and stronger backing, in addition to a last gasp of unemployment insurance.<br/><br/>See the New Deal, and compare that to Hoover. See the multiple economic crises of the Gilded Age of the 19th century.<br/><br/>There are a few nitpicks - his ideas on structural unemployment, and the role of technology in vastly altering the economy, particularly. <br/><br/>This is a book clearly and emphatically written, with the hope that it will spread and affect the policies of this new election season and beyond. I only beg that it does.
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