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The Competition Solution: The Bipartisan Secret Behind American Prosperity Hardcover – January 1, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul A. London served as deputy under secretary of commerce for economics and statistics in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1997. He wrote The Competition Solution while a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Aei Press (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084474204X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844742045
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,538,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Sally Haver on May 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Thank you, thank you, Dr. London, for your well- and clearly-written book, explaining your economics theory in an informative, entertaining and highly readable fashion! It was fascinating to learn how the Wal-Marts and Toyotas of the world reinvented their respective industries, and how free trade and deregulation help to provide better consumer products. I'm a fan!!

Sincerely,

Sally Haver
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Format: Hardcover
In this excellent book, Paul London echoes the thesis of William W. Lewis (The Power of Productivity, University of Chicago Press, 2004) that it is increased product market competition that is responsible for the prosperity of the past two decades. Factors ranging from globalization to deregulation to financial innovation all led to this increase in competition. Globalization increased productivity by forcing the streamlining of domestic industries. Deregulation meant that protected, inefficient companies had to change their ways to survive against new market entrants. And new financial market segments ranging from the NASDAQ market to high-yield bonds made capital available to new companies that had not previously been able to exist.

London argues that the increase in prosperity was caused far more by increased competition in private industry than by federal monetary or fiscal policies. It was not the Federal Reserve's monetary policy of the 1980s-1990s that killed inflation, but rather increased competition, which meant that companies were no longer free to indiscriminately raise prises. Likewise, it was increased competition rather than lower tax rates that forced existing companies to increase their investment in productivity-boosting capital. Higher living standards were the happy result for consumers, employees, and investors alike.

Most of London's evidence is anecdotal rather than empirical, but on the plus side this makes the book highly readable. An enthusiastic five stars.
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Format: Hardcover
Paul London provides a very interesting overview of the growth of the large industrial economy after the Depression and WWII and its death and transition into the more global and competitive economy we have today. He notes that the goal of the Depression focused the American economy on providing full employment. This led the government to support the rise of the huge steel, communications, automotive, mining, and other large corporations and those that supported them.

These corporations used their might (along with union might and supportive governmental regulation) to fight off and restrict competition. Mr. London sees this weak competitive environment as one of the causes of the inflation during the seventies. He also faults Richard Nixon for his wage and price controls and political influence on the Federal Reserve. He gives great credit to Presidents Ford and Carter for having the political courage to fight inflation and to take painful steps to right the economic cart.

He notes that it was Carter, not Reagan, who put Volcker in charge of the Federal Reserve and deserves the credit for Volcker's success. Mr. London also expresses some skepticism in the monetary and tax cut approach to encouraging growth. He goes so far as to say that Greenspan's reputation is inflated because he had little to do with the success of the economy in the eighties and especially in the nineties. For Mr. London, it was the competition with the Japanese that forced the automotive companies to increase efficiency and hold prices down. It was small steel companies such as Nucor that saved the American Steel industry. He also notes that breaking up the AT&T cartel that fought every innovation that has led to vastly increased service offerings at a much lower cost.
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Format: Hardcover
200 great pages that provide focus to the common sense wisdom your grandfather taught you - competition creates more for society and that benefits all of us. A central theme from London's book is the benefit of foreign investment. As I vaguely recall the 85% US content on my Honda Accord, I could not agree more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a work that is of renewed relevance in today's recession and debate over the proper Federal role in stimulating the economy, London argues that it was pro-competition, deregulatory policy decisions by both Republican and Democratic administrations in the 1970s and 1980s that made possible the vibrant economic times of the 1990s. In fascinating, well-researched essays, the author details the process in sectors as diverse as finance, trucking, private interstate parcel/mail delivery, airlines, and local retailing.
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