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Seeds of Destruction: Why the Path to Economic Ruin Runs Through Washington, and How to Reclaim American Prosperity Hardcover – August 23, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0137027736 ISBN-10: 0137027737 Edition: 1st

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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


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (August 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137027737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137027736
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,343,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

A great book with a well written and thought out plan for America's future... I would recommend it to anyone.
Hubbard and Navarro also provide a thoughtful series of detailed recommendations that policy makers and the general public alike should consider.
Michael Goggin
What makes the assertion in this book so distressing is that it is a fallacy pointed out by economists, not politicians.
William Meyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Chawks VINE VOICE on 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 By Angela M. Hey VINE VOICE on October 20, 2010
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 By Aaron C. Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 30, 2010
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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