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Wealth Poverty and Politics Book Summary : In Wealth, Poverty, and Politics, Thomas Sowell, one of the foremost conservative public intellectuals in this country, argues that political and ideological struggles have led to dangerous confusion about income inequality in America. Pundits and politically motivated economists trumpet ambiguous statistics and sensational theories while ignoring the true determinant of income inequality: the production of wealth. We cannot properly understand inequality if we focus exclusively on the distribution of wealth and ignore wealth production factors such as geography, demography, and culture. Sowell contends that liberals have a particular interest in misreading the data and chastises them for using income inequality as an argument for the welfare state. Refuting Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, and others on the left, Sowell draws on accurate empirical data to show that the inequality is not nearly as extreme or sensational as we have been led to believe. Transcending partisanship through a careful examination of data, Wealth, Poverty, and Politics reveals the truth about the most explosive political issue of our time.
The Quest for Cosmic Justice Book Summary : This book is about the great moral issues underlying many of the headline-making political controversies of our times. It is not a comforting book but a book about disturbing and dangerous trends. The Quest for Cosmic Justice shows how confused conceptions of justice end up promoting injustice, how confused conceptions of equality end up promoting inequality, and how the tyranny of social visions prevents many people from confronting the actual consequences of their own beliefs and policies. Those consequences include the steady and dangerous erosion of fundamental principles of freedom -- amounting to a quiet repeal of the American revolution. The Quest for Cosmic Justice is the summation of a lifetime of study and thought about where we as a society are headed -- and why we need to change course before we do irretrievable damage.
Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics Book Summary : How can we make sense of Algeria's post-colonial experience - the tragedy of unfulfilled expectations, the descent into violence, the resurgence of the state? Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics explains why Algeria's domestic political economy unravelled from the mid-1980s, and how the regime eventually managed to regain power and hegemony. Miriam Lowi argues the importance of leadership decisions for political outcomes, and extends the argument to explain the variation in stability in oil-exporting states following economic shocks. Comparing Algeria with Iran, Iraq, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, she asks why some states break down and undergo regime change, while others remain stable, or manage to re-stabilise after a period of instability. In contrast with exclusively structuralist accounts of the rentier state, this book demonstrates, in a unique and accessible study, that political stability is a function of the way in which structure and agency combine.
Wealth And Poverty Of Nations Book Summary : The history of nations is a history of haves and have-nots, and as we approach the millennium, the gap between rich and poor countries is widening. In this engrossing and important new work, eminent historian David Landes explores the complex, fascinating and often startling causes of the wealth and poverty of nations. The answers are found not only in the large forces at work in economies: geography, religion, the broad swings of politics, but also in the small surprising details. In Europe, the invention of spectacles doubled the working life of skilled craftsmen, and played a prominent role in the creation of articulated machines, and in China, the failure to adopt the clock fundamentally hindered economic development. The relief of poverty is vital to the survival of us all. As David Landes brilliantly shows, the key to future success lies in understanding the lessons the past has to teach us - lessons uniquely imparted in this groundbreaking and vital book which exemplifies narrative history at its best.
Savage Economics Book Summary : This innovative book challenges the most powerful and pervasive ideas concerning political economy, international relations, and ethics in the modern world. Rereading classical authors including Adam Smith, James Steuart, Adam Ferguson, Hegel, and Marx, it provides a systematic and fundamental cultural critique of political economy and critically describes the nature of the mainstream understanding of economics.
Why Nations Fail Book Summary : An award-winning professor of economics at MIT and a Harvard University political scientist and economist evaluate the reasons that some nations are poor while others succeed, outlining provocative perspectives that support theories about the importance of institutions.
Behind the Development Banks Book Summary : The World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) carry out their mission to alleviate poverty and promote economic growth based on the advice of professional economists. But as Sarah Babb argues in Behind the Development Banks, these organizations have also been indelibly shaped by Washington politics—particularly by the legislative branch and its power of the purse. Tracing American influence on MDBs over three decades, this volume assesses increased congressional activism and the perpetual “selling” of banks to Congress by the executive branch. Babb contends that congressional reluctance to fund the MDBs has enhanced the influence of the United States on them by making credible America’s threat to abandon the banks if its policy preferences are not followed. At a time when the United States’ role in world affairs is being closely scrutinized, Behind the Development Banks will be necessary reading for anyone interested in how American politics helps determine the fate of developing countries.
The Thomas Sowell Reader Book Summary : These selections from the many writings of Thomas Sowell over a period of a half century cover social, economic, cultural, legal, educational, and political issues. The topics range from late-talking children to "tax cuts for the rich," baseball, race, war, the role of judges, medical care, and the rhetoric of politicians.
The Wealth and Poverty of Cities Book Summary : That some cities are vibrant while others are in decline is starkly apparent. In The Wealth and Poverty of Cities, Mario Polèse argues that focusing on city attributes is too narrow. Cities do not control the basic conditions that determine their success or failure as sources of economic growth and well-being. Nations matter because successful metropolitan economies do not spring forth spontaneously. The values, norms, and institutions that shape social relationships are national attributes. The preconditions for the creation of wealth-the rule of law, public education, and sound macroeconomic management among the most fundamental-are the responsibility of the state. By considering national fiscal and monetary policies and state policies governing the organization of cities, this book disentangles two processes: the mechanics of creating wealth and the mechanics of agglomeration or capturing wealth. Polèse explains the two-stage process in which the proper conditions must first be in place for the benefits of agglomeration to fully flower. Polèse interweaves evocative descriptions of various cities, contrasting cities that have been helped or hurt by local and national policies wise or ill-advised. From New York to Vienna, Buenos Aires to Port au Prince, the cities come to life. Throughout the book Polèse highlights four factors that help explain strengths and weaknesses of cities as foci of economic opportunity and social cohesion: institutions, people, centrality, and chance. The result is a nuanced and accessible introduction to the economy of cities and an original perspective on what needs to improve. Cities that have managed to produce livable urban environments for the majority of their citizens mirror the societies that spawned them. Similarly, cities that have failed are almost always signs of more deep-rooted failures. If the nation does not work, neither will its cities.
Wealth And Poverty Book Summary : Only by developing non-material sources of wealth such as creativity and technological adventure, contends Gilder, can we reverse the syndrome of increasing poverty, enhance productivity incentives, and make capitalism an investment with long-term returns
Poverty as Ideology Book Summary : Winner of the International Studies in Poverty Prize awarded by the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) and Zed Books Poverty has become the central focus of global development efforts, with a vast body of research and funding dedicated to its alleviation. And yet, the field of poverty studies remains deeply ideological and has been used to justify wealth and power within the prevailing world order. Andrew Martin Fischer clarifies this deeply political character, from conceptions and measures of poverty through to their application as policies. Poverty as Ideology shows how our dominant approaches to poverty studies have, in fact, served to reinforce the prevailing neoliberal ideology while neglecting the wider interests of social justice that are fundamental to creating more equitable societies. Instead, our development policies have created a ‘poverty industry’ that obscures the dynamic reproductions of poverty within contemporary capitalist development and promotes segregation in the name of science and charity. Fischer argues that an effective and lasting solution to global poverty requires us to reorient our efforts away from current fixations on productivity and towards more equitable distributions of wealth and resources. This provocative work offers a radical new approach to understanding poverty based on a comprehensive and accessible critique of key concepts and research methods. It upends much of the received wisdom to provide an invaluable resource for students, teachers and researchers across the social sciences.
The Vision of the Anointed Book Summary : DIVSowell presents a devastating critique of the mind-set behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years. Sowell sees what has happened during that time not as a series of isolated mistakes but as a logical consequence of a tainted vision whose defects have led to crises in education, crime, and family dynamics, and to other social pathologies. In this book, he describes how elites—the anointed—have replaced facts and rational thinking with rhetorical assertions, thereby altering the course of our social policy./Div