Turbo Capitalism

Turbo Capitalism : Winners and Losers in the Global Economy

3.48 (29 ratings by Goodreads)
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An analysis of today's accelerated capitalism and the social price we are likely to pay for it. It examines deregulation, privatization, technological change and globalization, making predictions related to jobs, family life, crime and the underclass.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 156 x 212 x 26mm | 421.85g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion Business (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0752820885
  • 9780752820880

Review Text

Capitalism is all around us. Turbo Capitalism purports to be an analysis of the free market that originated in the USA, closely followed by the UK and is rapidly penetrating continental Europe, Asia and the rest of the world (with little sign of abatement). The badge 'turbo' is used to differentiate modern-day capitalism from the strictly controlled capitalism that flourished in the postwar years until the 1980s. Although Turbo Capitalism is brimming with factual information, it's particularly difficult to identify Edward Luttwak's aims in this work. Essentially it seems that Luttwak is trying to dress up some basic economic rules and doctrines with real-life examples and guide us to the verdict that turbo-capitalism will lead to increased inequality and the destruction of societal institutions. Firstly, the welfare economy theory of potential Pareto improvement states that a redistribution of wealth is desirable if the winners get richer and compensate the losers. This clearly never happens and Luttwak highlights winners such as architects of our technological change getting richer while the losers take underclass jobs and vent their anger and resentment in many forms, prompting punishment, restriction and prohibition by the state. Secondly Luttwak argues that many, particularly Americans, are unknowingly acting in accordance with Calvinist principles. Rule number one is for high-earning winners; rule number two is for the great mass of working people of varying affluence or poverty, who often are losers in their own eyes; whereas rule number three is for the non-Calvinists among the losers, i.e. those who accept rule number two, most of them poor. Under these Calvinist principles, people from whatever faith blindly believe earned wealth is no impediment to virtue and view the desire to become rich as most praiseworthy and success as moral achievement. Despite its scattered nature, this book is a comprehensive and excellent consideration of capitalism, which Luttwak concludes is a great issue of our times. (Kirkus UK)
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Rating details

29 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 10% (3)
4 41% (12)
3 34% (10)
2 14% (4)
1 0% (0)
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