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End This Depression Now! Paperback – January 28, 2013
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Paul Krugman is stepping up to play the kind of role that John Maynard Keynes performed in the 1930s. "
A thoroughly persuasive polemic against premature fiscal austerity in the wake of a deep recession. "
[Krugman] makes an urgent, even passionate case that our economic problems are, at root, fairly simple, and we have the knowledge and the tools to solve them. "
An important contribution to the current study of economics and a reason for hope that effective solutions will be implemented again. "
Starred review. Krugman (Fuzzy Math), winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics, takes an edifying and often humorous journalistic approach to the current economic crisis in this accessible and timely study. Rather than provide a mere postmortem on the 2008 collapse (though relevant history lessons are provided), Krugman aims to plot a path out of this depression. Krugman has consistently called for more liberal economic policies, but his wit and bipartisanship ensure that this book will appeal to a broad swath of readers from the Left to the Right, from the 99% to the 1%. "
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Top Customer Reviews
The most important aspect of the book is its focus on the on-going jobs crisis. Krugman clearly understands that, as far as most average people are concerned, access to a good job and decent wages are the most important gauge of prosperity. The book does a great job of highlighting the devastating human costs of the current unemployment crisis, especially for younger people who are just entering the job market and are unfortunately likely to feel the impact not just in the short term, but throughout their entire careers.
Krugman shows how a lack of demand for products and services is keeping us in the current depression and may ultimately cost us at least $5 Trillion (and perhaps much more) in lost productive output and earnings. He also explains the "saltwater v. freshwater" rivalry in economics and suggests that conservative economists who argue against action to revive the economy are ignoring reality and relying on a "quasi-religious" faith in markets. Next he looks at how soaring income inequality resulted in policies such as excessive deregulation of the financial industry that directly led to the crisis. There's also a section on the problems in Europe and the role a common currency has played.
Krugman argues effectively that the stimulus was insufficient and that we need more spending on infrastructure as well as more action by the Fed and revised rules to make it easier for homeowners to take advantage of low mortgage rates.Read more ›
Dr. Krugman's posited solution is the mainstream "middle of the road" advice that would be given by the overwhelming majority of academic and professional economists. Due to the fact that the economy is currently in what is called a "liquidity trap" (a combination of a lack demand for products and an accompanying and associated lack of demand for capital [i.e., loans]), monetary policy alone does not suffice. Even if interest rates are very low, as the currently are, as little or no sales are expected, low interest rates cannot, per se, prompt businesses to borrow and invest. Hence the need for an expansionary fiscal policy.
Dr. Krugman makes this argument well (and in terms a non-economics major can comprehend) but the book does have a number of serious weaknesses. For one, he does not make explicitly clear how much simulative spending (as a percentage of gross domestic product or otherwise) is needed. This is ironic as an important thrust of this book, if not the main one, is that there has not been enough of a stimulus.
A second major problem is that he does not discuss what form, in terms of spending, the stimulus should have to maximize its impact. The answer to this is in spending which ends up in the hands of those with relatively high marginal propensities to consume (i.e.Read more ›
Krugman's point isn't that the U.S. government should ALWAYS spend lots of money (or "print" lots of money, as some angry reviewers have put it). Krugman's argument is that in a recession where the Federal Reserve can't lower its rates any further, the government MUST continue spending money. The alternative is called austerity, and that policy is having disastrous effects in Europe even as we speak. Why? Because when the government cuts spending, it's cutting JOBS.
Krugman lays out his argument in the book on government spending and a higher inflation target, which--again!--he clearly states isn't supposed to be permanent or by any means debilitating. He also discusses the economic discussions that have thrown us back into this "Dark Age" where previously debunked theories have now become the mainstream way of thinking. In his sections on the ramifications of an economic depression, Krugman also points out just how much suffering goes along with these periods and makes a strong case for ensuring that our government does everything it can to pull the economy back on track. Learning from the mistakes of the Obama administration is a good thing and could help us in the future ... and Krugman has no problem pointing out President Obama's economic mistakes.
I strongly recommend this book even if you disagree with Krugman's policy prescriptions. Why? Because he's been right so far, and the people who have given this book negative reviews seem to have no idea what the book is actually about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Paul Krugman has won a Nobel Prize in economics. Reading this book, which is a plea for governments to pour money into their economies to generate spending, I became convinced that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Clare O'Beara
I read this book a while back and it made so much sense. The way Krugman explains the economy is brilliant and gives examples that make even non-economists understand. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Britt
This book was easy to read and very insightful. It utilized a very user friendly blend of data, economic reasoning, and historical lessons to make its case. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Richard McGregory
This is by far the best book on current economic issues that I have read.
The focus on this book is achieving recovery rather than going into a lot of detail about how or why... Read more
Like many, I too believed that austerity was the way to go in fixing our economy. That's what our political leaders would have us believe. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Arturo Zendejas
Excellent book with common sense recommendations that I believe all of our Politicians need to heed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Magdoline H.
Where is the depression? You cannot end something that does not exist.Published 8 months ago by top down