Synopses & Reviews
The Western world has experienced extraordinary economic progress throughout the last six decades, a prosperous period so extended that continuous economic growth has come to seem normal. But such an era of continuously rising living standards is a historical anomaly, economist Stephen D. King warns, and the current stagnation of Western economies threatens to reach crisis proportions in the not-so-distant future. Praised for the "dose of realism" he provided in his book Losing Control, King follows up in this volume with a plain-spoken assessment of where the West stands today. It's not just the end of an age of affluence, he shows. We have made promises to ourselves that are achievable only through ongoing economic expansion. The future benefits we expect--pensions, healthcare, and social security, for example--may be larger than tomorrow's resources. And if we reach that point, which promises will be broken and who will lose out? The lessons of history offer compelling evidence that political and social upheaval are often born of economic stagnation. King addresses these lessons with a multifaceted plan that involves painful--but necessary--steps toward a stable and just economic future.
An eminent economist warns that Western nations' economic expectations for the future are way out of sync with the realities of economic stagnation and stringent steps will be required to avoid massive political and economic upheaval.
"It is alarmingly difficult to disagree with Stephen King. All one can say, perhaps, is that one of the great errors of human nature--strongly displayed before the credit crunch--is the belief that a prevailing trend will continue indefinitely. The crunch is surely a reminder that what goes up must come down."--Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
" King] is dabbling in the financial equivalent of the horror genre. Perhaps even scarier, his is the stuff of nonfiction."--Michael J. Casey, Wall Street Journal