The End of Progress
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The End of Progress : How Modern Economics Has Failed Us

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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.
* Presents a chilling look at our current financial system along with a compelling argument for what we need to change * Argues for new measures of progress that emphasize what really matters, not personal greed * Offers a timely look at our broken society and where we're headed next 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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Product details

  • Hardback | 242 pages
  • 154 x 236 x 23mm | 480g
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Chichester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 0470829982
  • 9780470829981
  • 281,700

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To fuel our economic growth, we scrape the planet of its resources, laying waste to more than we build. We do this to satisfy our desire for consumption, to spend ever more. To finance this, many people have borrowed more than they should. So millions have become burdened by debts, income inequalities have widened and many governments owe more than they can ever repay.

All this is the fault of modern economic thinking.



Wrong-headed economics was the cause of the financial crisis. It has brought us a mountain of debt. It has encouraged us to waste the world's resources without much thought for the consequences. It is behind the rise in individualism and the weakening of many democratic principles. It is the cause of over-population. It has provided China and many other developing countries with a dream that cannot come true. It has even warped our ideas of charity, social responsibility and progress.



Without a rethink, we face the end of growth. We face the end of progress. We face more poverty, greater conflict and rising ill-health. Life expectancies will fall, as will standards of living. In the US and Europe, healthcare, savings and pension promises will be broken. In Africa, Asia and the Middle East hopes for development will not be met. Tensions between peoples will grow.



We need to ditch many modern economic ideas. Notions about the free market, competition, regulation and trade need to be reconsidered. We need a different measure of progress. We need to put ourselves, our societies, back at the core of what we want to achieve.



In this thought-provoking, lively and entertaining book, Graeme Maxton looks at what brought us to this position and how we can shine some light onto the path ahead.
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Back cover copy

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!

Richard Heinberg
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.



John Gapper
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.



George Magnus
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.



Giles Chance
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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Table of contents

Acknowledgments xiii 1 It s About You You Are Responsible Too 1 Part 1 Our Belief in The Free Market Failed Us 9 2 Too Much Choice, Too Little Restraint 11 Fetch the Tool Box 11 Economics Is Not Rocket Science: It Is Not Even Science 16 How Has Economics Failed Us? Let Me Count the Ways 17 A DVD Player Should Cost More than Lunch 19 For Richer and Poorer 20 3 A Broken Financial System 23 Consumption, Not Love, Was the Drug 23 How Far Is Down? 26 Consumer Debt 27 Bank Debt 32 Government Debt 39 4 Squandering Our World 47 Who Owns the World s Resources? 47 You Don t Like These Principles? I Have Others 50 We ll Know What It s Worth When It s Gone 51 Our Rare Earth 52 Seven Billion into Water Won t Go 54 Laissez-Faire, No Thanks 55 5 The Damaging Power of Me 61 Me, Myself, I 61 The Retreat of Conservatism 63 Kiasu. Bless You 64 Greed Is Not Good, Gordon 65 Part 2 Running Blind We Are Poorly Equipped to Deal with These Challenges 69 6 Can You Read Kant? 71 Don t Start from Here 71 Well, Duh! 74 Going My Way? 78 7 Who Is in Charge? 81 Someone Needs to Make Decisions 81 Nothing Is Terrible Except Fear Itself 83 Man Is Born Free but Everywhere Is in Chains 84 Who Is in Charge? 89 8 China s Rising Influence Will Not Help 93 It Can Get Worse 93 The Dragon Is Awake 94 Of Privileges and Principles 96 There Is Anger Too 100 Be Careful What You Wish For 104 Playing for Power 106 Part 3 The Implications of These Failures Will Be Hard 117 9 We Will Become Financially Poorer 119 But Answers Are Easy, Aren t They? 120 The Long Tail 121 All Comes Tumbling Down 123 Goodbye Stimulus Packages, Hello Savage State Cutbacks 125 More Air Will Not Work 128 You Need Another Hole in That Belt 129 10 Our Way of Life Will Change 133 In the Energy Battles, No One Will Play Nicely 134 When You Are in a Hole, Keep Digging 138 Shine Some Light on the Problem 146 11 We Will Become Less Healthy 151 How Much Oil Is in That Salad? 154 I ll Give the Scalpel a Wipe Then 158 Was That a Cough? 159 The Buzz Has Gone 162 12 We Need to Diffuse the Threats of Conflict 169 We Do Things Differently, Don t You See? 171 The Cupboard Will Soon Be Bare 174 But You Promised! 180 Climate Change Will Bring Threats of Confl ict Too 182 Part 4 Light in an Age of Endarkenment 185 13 We Need to Change 187 You Just Need a New Washer, Mate 188 14 Other Options Need Debate 203 From Progress to Poverty 203 Give the Flowers the Power 204 That Pip Squeak? 207 15 You. You Have a Role Now Too 219 Index 223
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Review Text

Intriguing Dan Atkinson, Mail on Sunday
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Review quote

'Intriguing' Dan Atkinson, Mail on Sunday
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About Graeme Maxton

Graeme Maxton is an economist, author and presenter, well-known for his punchy, clearly-articulated analysis on global affairs. A freelance contributor to The Economist for many years he also writes for a variety of other publications in Europe and Asia. He is a frequent host on CNBC s Squawk Box and Capital Connection and a regular guest on BBC and CNN news programs. He is the co-author of two previous books, Driving Over a Cliff, which was nominated for the Best Book About Business Award, and Time for a Model Change. He is based in Vienna and Singapore.
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30 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
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3 17% (5)
2 10% (3)
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