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Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnationby Tyler Cowen
Synopses & Reviews
Read Tyler Cowen's posts on the Penguin Blog.
In Discover Your Inner Economist one of America’s most respected economists presents a quirky, incisive romp through everyday life that reveals how you can turn economic reasoning to your advantage—often when you least expect it to be relevant.
Like no other economist, Tyler Cowen shows how economic notions--such as incentives, signals, and markets-- apply far more widely than merely to the decisions of social planners, governments, and big business. What does economic theory say about ordering from a menu? Or attracting the right mate? Or controlling people who talk too much in meetings? Or dealing with your dentist? With a wryly amusing voice, in chapters such as “How to Control the World, The Basics” and “How to Control the World, Knowing When to Stop” Cowen reveals the hidden economic patterns behind everyday situations so you can get more of what you really want.
Readers will also gain less selfish insights into how to be a good partner, neighbor and even citizen of the world. For instance, what is the best way to give to charity? The chapter title “How to Save the World—More Christmas Presents Won’t Help” makes a point that is every bit as personal as it is global.
Incentives are at the core of an economic approach to the world, but they don’t just come in cash. In fact, money can be a disincentive. Cowen shows why, for example, it doesn’t work to pay your kids to do the dishes. Other kinds of incentives--like making sure family members know they will be admired if they respect you--can work. Another non- monetary incentive? Try having everyone stand up in your next meeting if you don’t want anyone to drone on. Deeply felt incentives like pride in one’s work or a passing smile from a loved one, can be the most powerful of all, even while they operate alongside more mundane rewards such as money and free food.
Discover Your Inner Economist is an introduction to the science of economics that shows it to be built on notions that are already within all of us. While the implications of those ideas lead to Cowen’s often counterintuitive advice, their wisdom is presented in ordinary examples taken from home life, work life, and even vacation life… How do you get a good guide in a Moroccan bazaar?
Read Tyler Cowen's posts on the Penguin Blog.
"Economist Cowen's muddled follow-up to The Great Stagnation, is mired in the incantation that human intuition must be sublimated to computer algorithms if we are to overcome America's dearth of innovation — which the author blames for our shrinking economy. He glibly dismisses chronic unemployment with the statement that these 'regular losers' were going to become obsolete anyway, but the good news is that, in his cheerfully libertarian laissez-faire economic model, costs will plummet as automation eliminates workers, and corporations pass the savings to consumers. What is left for human workers is a vision in which they toil in submissive tandem with machines, providing their scant human abilities to augment the superior judgment of computers. Philip K. Dick could not have crafted a more surreal vision than Cowen's picture of a Siriesque consultant directing our choices in everything from love to medical care. Unfortunately, Cowen relies upon chapter after chapter about computerized chess ('What Games Are Teaching Us') as support for his arguments, and neglects to provide evidence of how anyone's life will become better, or how prosperity can emerge from this approach. Agent: Teresa Hartnett, Hartnett Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The groundbreaking 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?
Renowned 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.
A groundbreaking examination of wealth disparity, income inequality, and the new global elite
There has always been some gap between rich and poor in this country, but recently what it means to be rich has changed dramatically. Forget the 1 percent—Plutocrats proves that it is the wealthiest 0.1 percent who are outpacing the rest of us at breakneck speed. Most of these new fortunes are not inherited, amassed instead by perceptive businesspeople who see themselves as deserving victors in a cutthroat international competition. With empathy and intelligence, Plutocrats reveals the consequences of concentrating the worlds wealth into fewer and fewer hands. Propelled by fascinating original interviews with the plutocrats themselves, Plutocrats is a tour de force of social and economic history, the definitive examination of inequality in our time.
About the Author
Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University. He is a prominent blogger at marginalrevolution.com, the world’s leading economics blog. He also writes regularly for The New York Times, and has written for Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wilson Quarterly.
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