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Seeds of Destruction: Why the Path to Economic Ruin Runs Through Washington, and How to Reclaim American Prosperity [Kindle Edition]

R. Glenn Hubbard , Peter Navarro
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If you think the current administration is mismanaging the economy straight towards disaster, you're not alone: so do two top economists from both sides of the political aisle. In Seeds of Destruction, former Bush chief White House economist R. Glenn Hubbard and well-known CNBC commentator Peter Navarro explain why current economic policy is a catastrophic failure. Then, they offer a comprehensive, bipartisan blueprint for reversing the decline of America's currency, manufacturing base, and standard of living - setting the stage for the epic policy debates that will precede the 2010 elections. Hubbard and Navarro begin with a "checklist" of what it takes to be a prosperous, democratic nation - and show why Obama's policies (some of Bush's also) fail on every level. They explain why the activist Federal Reserve and Obama fiscal stimulus policies are doing far more harm than good... why we must restore the U.S. manufacturing base, whatever China says about it... how to transform tax policy into an engine of growth and innovation... how to apply the "tough love" needed to save Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid... why America must resign the job of world policeman... how market-based solutions can finally deliver real energy independence... how to reform our antique financial regulatory system without imposing heavy-handed rules that cause even more trouble.

Editorial Reviews




" ... Hubbard and Navarro propose a set of realistic solutions. The authors bring their vast academic and policy experience to bear on weighty issues such as U.S. oil dependence, health-care reform, Medicare, and housing imbalances. Their solutions have a distinctly bipartisan flavor ... "

-Library Journal


"This is a good and useful book."

-Financial Times


“Hubbard and Navarro provide a cogent analysis of America’s dangerous economic decline as well as a carefully thought out plan for recovery based on a manufacturing renaissance.”

Clyde Prestowitz, Founder and President of the Economic Strategy Institute, and author of The Betrayal of American Prosperity and Three Billion New Capitalists


“A well-argued–and exceedingly timely–call to action for the White House and Congress to end partisan political bickering and move the American economy back to sound principles like free markets, entrepreneurship, and a renewed manufacturing base that will restore our nation’s greatness. Hubbard and Navarro focus a bipartisan perspective on practical policy reform.”

Larry M. Wortzel, Ph.D., Commissioner and former Chairman of the U.S.—China Economic and Security Review Commission


“It is time for a clean sheet of paper that creates the ultimate focus on creating real jobs and driving the success of our private sector by significantly improving our global competitiveness and not further eroding it. Kudos to Glenn Hubbard and Peter Navarro for doing just that!”

Dan DiMicco, Chairman, President, and CEO, Nucor Corporation


Seeds of Destruction is everything that Washington policymaking is not: sober, lucid, reasoned, timely, bipartisan, and constructive. The United States is on a path to greater danger and diminished aspirations. Hubbard and Navarro illuminate the path to fulfilling this generation’s obligation to leave behind a nation with greater freedom and prosperity than it inherited.”

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum, and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office (2003—2005)


“Glenn Hubbard and Peter Navarro combine their unique experiences in government and politics with their crystal-clear economic insights to produce a lively and compelling account of the origins of the financial crisis and the problems now plaguing the American economy. The book convincingly explains how government policy planted the seeds of destruction and how a change in government policy can root them out and plant the seeds of prosperity. Their diagnoses and remedies should be read, studied carefully, and applied.”

John B. Taylor, Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and former Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Finance


“A thoughtful and politically provocative diagnosis of America’s economic ills.”

Kenneth S. Rogoff, coauthor of This Time is Different, and Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University


“This book is a ‘must-read’ for all persons who are concerned about our economic future. It shows the disastrous folly of our current economic policies and, more important, it lays out the proper policies to achieve a sound and prosperous economic future.”

John Cogan, Leonard and Shirley Ely Fellow, Hoover Institution, and Professor of Public Policy Program, Stanford University; former Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Reagan administration


"This is a compact blockbuster of a book that gives six reasons why the U.S. economy has sunk so far and offers ten initiatives that the authors believe will lift us back up. It spares neither political camp and it appeals to both camps to take actions that will repair the damage they have caused over the past decade."


-Edmund Phelps, McVickar Professor of Political Economy, Columbia University, and 2006 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Science

From the Back Cover

Government policy and the Obama administration are driving the American economy straight toward catastrophe. Now, two respected economists–one a Republican, one a Democrat–explain why these policies are so dangerous and offer a bipartisan, common-sense blueprint for reversing America’s economic decline.


Glenn Hubbard and Peter Navarro explain why sustained growth is the only long-term solution, outline the elements of a vibrant economy, and explain why current policies are failing on every level. They reveal how we can finally restore the critical U.S. manufacturing base…return to our tradition of sound money…transform tax policy into an engine of growth and innovation…save Social Security and Medicare with “tough love”…use market-based solutions to achieve real energy independence…reform antique financial regulations without making matters worse...and balance our burgeoning budget deficits with strong economic growth rather than through punitive taxation.


Whatever your politics, if you’re frightened about the future, you should be. This book shows how we can grab the steering wheel, veer away from the cliff, and build a brighter economic future for everyone.


*  Short-term stimulus, long-term disaster

    Why massive federal spending and ultra-easy money policies spell long-term disaster

*  Planting the new seeds of growth and innovation

    How to restore America to the path of long-term prosperity

*  Addressing the structural imbalances destroying the U.S. economy

    Re-igniting the #1 driver of growth: business investment

Product Details

  • File Size: 1918 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (August 13, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003S9WA2Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,749 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally! September 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Finally, we have a book that provides a good guide for the rebuilding of the American Economy. Most books focusing on economic growth assume that economy will recover as long as we have four conditions:

Republicans stress

1. Low tax rates to stimulate investment.
2. Little or no regulation of business activity.

Democrats focus on

1. Government spending to boost consumer confidence and thereby encourage consumers to spend money.
2. Increase business regulation either to increase opportunity and fairness or to increase the power of Washington D.C.

Are either of these prescriptions accurate?

The turbulent last decade has been in a way a great laboratory to test economic theories. Early in the decade Republicans received their chance to prove that low tax rates and reduced business regulations would lead to superior economic growth. Democrats now have had two years to prove that massive government spending would increase economic growth. Sadly, it appears that neither one of these theories is the answer. Currently, unemployment levels are near twenty percent if you count those who have been unemployed for more than six months. Unemployment levels were around twenty five percent during the great depression. Clearly neither strategy has been working very well over the last decade. During the last decade we have had two major stock market crashes, two rounds of fraudulent accounting scandals, and two unsustainable economic bubbles and a negative return on the S&P 500.

The Seeds of Destruction takes a different take on economic growth. Authors Glenn Hubbard and Peter Navarro prescription aligns closely with historical evidence on how economies grow.
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26 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Two Harvard educated economists explain why they don't like Obama's economic policies. The book also explains some basic economics. It starts by defining GDP and the levers of growth for the US Economy - free trade, entrepreneurship, savings, bank stability, innovation, human capital, independence from oil, healthy populace, manufacturing. Whereas manufacturing is a lever, I'm not convinced it's an essential lever in a knowledge-based, services-based economy. Whereas manufacturing CEOs are well-paid, the thesis that manufacturing jobs enjoy a "wage premium" may have been true in the past, but in the future knowledge-based jobs may generate higher salaries.

The book has a clear description of problems with the Fed's easy money policies and a critique of government stimulus programs. The book claims that short term stimulus programs make long term structural economic problems, but if the situation is dire, a quick fix can help people - although I agree with the authors that financing an increasing deficit is not good for the economy.

In chapter 5, the authors cry for a simplified taxation scheme and lower taxes. What the authors fail to realize is that taxes applied to the right government programs can enrich the country. They take the popular view that taxes are bad for the economy - without a serious analysis of which taxes are applied. There is a good analysis of the types of tax people might pay, but no analysis of where the government might levy taxes.

Chapter 6 discusses China, reflecting the fashionable beef of US policy makers - it has an undervalued currency and doesn't abide by World Trade Organization rules because it sells at marginal prices. It then goes on to discuss pollution and piracy - behaviors contrary to US business conduct.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The cover and publicity materials for this book highlight that it is non-partisan. The co-authors are prominent Republican and Democrat economists, with strong academic credentials and policy experience. The solutions are pretty much in line with the bipartisan compromises worked out by Presidents Clinton and Bush from 1995 to 2003. Those were considered center-right at the time and are squarely centerist today.

But centerist and bipartisan is not the same as non-partisan. The authors get to their position by adopting two extremes. In the libertarian view of the world, people should do what they want, and keep what they earn. Government and taxes are necessary evils not because they are corrupt or inefficient, but simply because they infringe on individual rights. Socialists think of everything as the property of society, because society creates value, not individuals. The government allows people to keep some of what they earn in order to provide incentives, not as a matter of right.

In this respect, the authors sound as if they would be at home working for Gosplan, the organization that planned the Soviet Union's economy. There is no mention of individual rights in the book, instead an almost Stalinist preoccupation with scientific management of aggregate economic quantities. There is no discussion of what GDP or employment rates really measure, and if perhaps they leave important things out.

Like socialists, the authors also assume the goal is to improve things for one country, and they need not worry about whether that includes illegal immigrants, unborn children, lazy people or criminals. There is a well-defined State, with well-defined interests. For example, when discussing US trade deficits, the money is treated as if it disappeared.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Government policies planting seeds of destruction
Depicting Obama policies as planting seeds of destruction, this is an excellent but not overly original study of how current government spending priorities do little good while... Read more
Published on October 16, 2012 by Gderf
3.0 out of 5 stars we are doomed
This book offers some nice center of the road solutions to the economic abyss we are sldiing into but in the end none of it will happen. Read more
Published on May 19, 2011 by E. Pope
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative Book
Glenn Hubbard's and Peter Navarro's, (one a Republican and the other a Democrat), book "Seeds of Destruction" is a well written, understandable look at the problems that beset our... Read more
Published on April 5, 2011 by Seaotter
2.0 out of 5 stars One glaring blunder
While the book is generally good, in their discussion of energy dependence they assert that we will exhaust our known domestic oil reserves within a decade. Read more
Published on March 25, 2011 by William Meyer
2.0 out of 5 stars too much boilerplate, too little solution
I chose this book because I had read an op-ed in the NY Times by Hubbard that had the most creative solutions for the mortgage crisis and need for economic stimulus that I had... Read more
Published on March 24, 2011 by J. Johnson
1.0 out of 5 stars Just political propaganda
This book is nothing more than political propaganda that is intended to be anti-Democrat and anti Obama. Read more
Published on March 21, 2011 by Yankee Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read for Understanding the United States Economic Dilemma
This is a fascinating look into the causes of our nation's economic problems. For those who are uninitiated on the big picture of finance, it simplifies and explains just what has... Read more
Published on February 20, 2011 by Charlene Rubush
1.0 out of 5 stars See Inside Job Before Reading this Book!
Glenn Hubbard is not to be taken seriously. As the brilliant documentary Inside Job reveals, Hubbard himself is a "seed of destruction" by engineering the profoundly misguided Bush... Read more
Published on February 6, 2011 by SHD
5.0 out of 5 stars Obamanomics exposed
In 2008, amid a huge financial crisis, America elected a virtually unknown senator, Barack Obama, as president, despite the fact that Obama was the most left-wing senator. Read more
Published on January 30, 2011 by John
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Grief
Why only 2 stars:

The authors "claim" that they are coming from opposing sides one stating he is a Republican, and the other a Democrat, is NOT enough to validated their... Read more
Published on January 3, 2011 by LoveGuitar
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