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Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century Hardcover – August 21, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
When George Gilder first published Wealth & Poverty in 1981, the book was an instant classic, becoming the economics bible of the unfolding Reagan revolution. Not since the Gilded Age of the late 1800’s has anyone advanced so enthusiastic an endorsement of capitalism and capitalists,” observed the New York Times.
Now, amid the Obama administration’s redistributionist zeal, industrial planning schemes, vandalistic energy policies, demonization of wealth-creating entrepreneurs, and Keynesian spending programs, Gilder returns to the fray with an updated edition of his famous tome.
Thirty years after his paean to free enterprise shocked the Washington establishment, have the collapse of Enron, the economic meltdown of 2008, the advent of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and other events caused Gilder to reassess his devotion to capitalism? In a way, they have. As Gilder states in this edition, It is clear that we, the original supply siders, bear some responsibility for the failure to persuade. All these years later, it has become clear that we were not radical enough.”
Dissatisfied with half-hearted defenses of capitalism as the least bad system available, Wealth & Poverty passionately extols the morality, compassion, and efficacy of free enterprise. Buoyed by the collapse of communism but disturbed by the return of socialism under new guises, Gilder argues in a new prologue and epilogue that the solution to America’s current economic troubles cannot be found in warmed-over socialism, but in the generosity and economic vitality that can only be unleashed by the free market.
As President Obama’s policies lend Gilder’s arguments a shocking new relevancy, Gilder reminds us why the New Yorker called him a scourge of feminists, unrepentant supply-sider, and now a technology prophet.” Featuring a new foreword by Steve Forbes, this edition of Wealth & Poverty informs us that free enterprise is the core of freedomand that nations which forget or ignore that historical lesson will not and cannot prosper.
From the Back Cover
The United States over the last decade has witnessed a classic confrontation between the forces of entrepreneurial capitalism and those of established institutions claiming a higher virtue, expertise, and political standing. One side subsists on unforced profits of enterprise; the other on rents and tolls and privileges at the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the White House.
&hellp;The wealth of America is not an inventory of goods; it is an organic living entity, a fragile pulsing fabric of ideas, expectations, loyalties, moral commitments, and visions. To vivisect it for redistribution is to kill it. As President Mitterand’s French technocrats discovered in the 1980s, and President Obama’s quixotic American ecocrats are discovering today, government managers of complex systems of wealth soon find they are administering an industrial corpse, a socialized Solyndra.
Top Customer Reviews
It is precisely by constantly talking about tax incentives, he says, rather than about freely-flowing information, that many free market economists have unwittingly helped to encourage the false common notion that capitalism is based on greed. But greed, Gilder insists, does not create business growth. It is new information, new knowledge, and creative imagination that stimulates new enterprises and revitalizes old ones. Greed merely induces business owners to become more and more entwined with and dependent upon the government, from whom they seek subsidies and `guarantees' that lower their risk and assure them of steady profit, in exchange for conforming their behavior to bureaucratic standards. This creates a certain amount of safety, but it also creates an economic environment that stifles the boldness and creativity of entrepreneurs.
I'm an old Massachusetts Kennedy Liberal Democrat, and I certainly do not agree with every statement in this book. But it is well-written, intelligent and decent, and Gilder makes an impressive case for putting an end to all the negativity and discouragement that are so pervasive these days, and for encouraging enterprise and growth as the best means to get America out of the doldrums and back to prosperity and optimism.
I feel I am criticizing a great person but that is not my intent. George Gilder is a hero as his insight changed many to understand not just economics but the future. I have worn out at least three copies of the original Wealth and Poverty but learned a lot in this new edition. This is a great book by a great American. Buy it and study it.
Supply comes before before demand. The USSR made the mistake of controlling demand before supply. The current administration in the USA is tending in that direction. He cites largely imagined systems of oppression by plutocrats, bankers and monopolists. The book makes the case for supply side economics on many issues. It is well referenced to Laffer, Sowell and other economists.
Statistical analysis of wealth misrepresents the distribution. It disregards age and local. Automobiles and TVs are disregarded along with the value of welfare rights. The main winner of recent policy is government. No one did as well as government. Poverty has been unaffected by welfare. Liquid wealth is subject to money supply manipulation. The government is sterile and non-innovative. Regulation protects the status quo.
There is a high yield to government from controlled inflation.
Pointing out that spending rises faster with lower tax rates, Gilder uses foreign examples to illustrate his point. He points to Hong Kong taking over China and Baltic nations exhibiting fast growth with a 7% flat tax. Socialist Sweden's divorce rate is now the highest in the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very well written overview of the conservative supply side viewpointPublished 2 months ago by Paul W Eberman
Why is this hard to understand? I know why it is hard to change, because of the entrenched special interests and crony capitalists.Published 2 months ago by Al Juhl
I read this book first in the 80's and it is just as relavent now as then.Published 5 months ago by Marion Alley
Wow. Wow. That is all I can say. This book was devoid of any facts, data, studies. If you enjoy generalizations, assumptions, conjectures, then this is the book for you. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Anna Jung