Customer Review

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loking at the trees - not the forest, March 16, 2010
This review is from: The Great Depression Ahead: How to Prosper in the Debt Crisis of 2010 - 2012 (Paperback)
The title of the review refers to numerous critics who have nit-picked this book from several angles while ignoring its basic premise. Dent is a prognosticator - not an economist much less a prophet. He studies general trends and makes fairly reasonable (and timely) assertions and sometimes correct forecasts. It is silly yet fascinating to make specific predictions adn they should not be taken seriously. There are too many unknowns for long-term pinpointing.

Dent's thesis is that economic health is a function of demographics; innovation derives from a stream of young ideas; spending is primarily a function of age and nations that grow will thrive. This is the forest. The trees are things like war, depression, bubbles, commodities and markets.

I agree with the thrust of his assertion. It's obvious that nations like Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan and others with declining populations will fare poorly in the future. They will lack not only young innovators but also the mindset required for innovation. With fewer workers and more on the dole the financial burden will become onerous. In many places it already has.

My major complaint is Dent's mixing apples and oranges. He correctly describes how the West has given the developing world a head start, compressing modern industrialization into decades rather than the centuries required by Europe. This phenomenon is a result of technological advances. Yet, he still maintains that other cycles will go on as before - 3,000 years, 500, 250, 8, 15, 10, etc. (He introduces so many cycles, charts, swings and growth curves that they become blurred.) What will happen when artificial intelligence,robotics, nanotech and bioengineering reach advanced stages of development? My guess is that all best are off.

Other uncertainties: Deflation (not inflation), a strengthening dollar, "resolution of federal debt" (not to mention solving the problem of Social Security and Medicare), a "Democratic trend" in the electorate and India as the eventual number one. My Grade: B-
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 13, 2011 11:39:42 PM PST
Aifa says:
Very helpful review. With all those cycles going on, it'll be difficult to later evaluate how good Dent's prognostications were. Also, the uncertainties you listed are enormous. I also wonder whether he takes the state of education as a whole into consideration as an important demogaphic trend. Thanks, Avid Reader. John

Posted on Jul 20, 2011 9:57:12 PM PDT
India will definitely regain its position as the world's largest economy in the next 35 years or so. Dent is right.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2013 7:35:23 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 21, 2013 7:36:13 PM PDT]
‹ Previous 1 Next ›