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The moral consequences of economic growth af…
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The moral consequences of economic growth (udgave 2005)

af Benjamin M. Friedman

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256582,554 (3.68)5
From the author ofDay of Reckoning, the acclaimed critique of Ronald Reagan’s economic policy (“Every citizen should read it,” saidThe New York Times): a persuasive, wide-ranging argument that broadly distributed economic growth provides benefits far beyond the material, creating and strengthening democratic institutions, establishing political stability, fostering tolerance, and enhancing opportunity. “Are we right,” Benjamin M. Friedman asks, “to care so much about economic growth as we clearly do?” To answer, Friedman reaches beyond economics. He examines the political and social histories of the large Western democracies—particularly of the United States since the Civil War—distinguishing times of generally rising living standards from those of pervasive stagnation to illustrate how rising incomes render a society more open and democratic. He shows, too, how our attitudes toward economic growth and its consequences have roots in the thinking of prior centuries, especially the Enlightenment, and also include significant strands of religious influence. Friedman also delineates the role of economic growth in determining which developing nations extend the broadest freedoms to their citizenry. He makes clear that growth, rather than just the level of living standards, is key to effecting political and social liberalization in the third world. But he also warns that the democratic values of countries even as wealthy as our own are at risk whenever incomes stagnate for extended periods. Merely being rich is no protection against a society’s retreat into rigidity and intolerance once enough of its citizens lose the sense that they are getting ahead. Finally, Friedman shows us why, if America is to strengthen democratic institutions around the world as a bulwark against terrorism and social unrest, we must aggressively pursue growth at home and promote worldwide economic expansion beyond what purely market-driven forces would create. And for the United States, he offers concrete suggestions for policy steps to achieve those objectives. A major contribution to the ongoing debate on the effects of economic growth and globalization.… (mere)
Medlem:shopback
Titel:The moral consequences of economic growth
Forfattere:Benjamin M. Friedman
Info:New York : Knopf, 2005.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
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Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth af Benjamin M. Friedman

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Attempts to demonstrate that economic growth leads to morally-favourable outcomes for society. Does so in part by defining 'moral consequences' in a way that makes them increasingly synonymous with 'economic growth' - making his argument somewhat tautological.

The rest of Friedman's claims hinge on correlation not causation, and the book is appended with a chapter entitled 'Great Depression, Great Exception' - which acknowledges that the largest period of economic regression in modern history does not follow his model.

Nevertheless - well-written, detailed and thorough, if a little uninspiring at times. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Aug 6, 2014 |
Interesting hypothesis: relates economic growth to development of personal liberties. The big exception to this theory in the modern world is China, but one can see how tenuous their economic growth might be, not to mention push for personal liberties. Interesting and useful theory. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is a thick book with small print, and I must admit, I wondered if I would get through it. Sounded really dry and academic, but my non-fiction book club was reading it. I was pleasantly surprised to find it so engaging.

The author explores the relationship between economic progress and moral progress: do they go together? Yes, they do. But how exactly? Does economic progress result from morality? Or is it a demonstration or proof of morality? Or does it foster morality? These are the key questions examined in the context of the United States and three European countries.

There are a few instances where the author may have overstated his case. For example, on page 345, he states taht high income countries where freedom and democracy are well developed are at risk if incomes stagnate. Maybe in emerging democracies, but in Canada? I doubt it.

The policy prescriptions at the end of the book are its weakest part. Having read many books on public policy and almost always having this view, I believe academics/authors would provide more value by properly framing the important issues to be addressed and leaving the policy development work to policy makers. The author doesn't seem to understand how governments act. At times, government is completely absent from the analysis, yet all the "solutions" are based on government action. Cultural and religious contexts are also missing from the analysis of morality, which is never defined.

The author's blending of psychology with economic analysis is the strength of this book; it is the innovative idea, at least for me. The book is well researched and easy to read. ( )
1 stem LynnB | Feb 16, 2007 |
Purchased at Half Price on 7/28 for 18$.
  chastings | Jul 28, 2006 |
Well argued. Develops the historical and psychological background for the argument that economic growth is a near requirement for the creation of a more "moral", free and open society. Sometimes weak when the author leaves US history where he is obviously more comfortable. The final section makes some half-hearted policy prescriptions primarily for US fiscal policy to stimulate future growth and is quite lightweight when compared to the rest of the book. ( )
  liquidHayes | Dec 22, 2005 |
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From the author ofDay of Reckoning, the acclaimed critique of Ronald Reagan’s economic policy (“Every citizen should read it,” saidThe New York Times): a persuasive, wide-ranging argument that broadly distributed economic growth provides benefits far beyond the material, creating and strengthening democratic institutions, establishing political stability, fostering tolerance, and enhancing opportunity. “Are we right,” Benjamin M. Friedman asks, “to care so much about economic growth as we clearly do?” To answer, Friedman reaches beyond economics. He examines the political and social histories of the large Western democracies—particularly of the United States since the Civil War—distinguishing times of generally rising living standards from those of pervasive stagnation to illustrate how rising incomes render a society more open and democratic. He shows, too, how our attitudes toward economic growth and its consequences have roots in the thinking of prior centuries, especially the Enlightenment, and also include significant strands of religious influence. Friedman also delineates the role of economic growth in determining which developing nations extend the broadest freedoms to their citizenry. He makes clear that growth, rather than just the level of living standards, is key to effecting political and social liberalization in the third world. But he also warns that the democratic values of countries even as wealthy as our own are at risk whenever incomes stagnate for extended periods. Merely being rich is no protection against a society’s retreat into rigidity and intolerance once enough of its citizens lose the sense that they are getting ahead. Finally, Friedman shows us why, if America is to strengthen democratic institutions around the world as a bulwark against terrorism and social unrest, we must aggressively pursue growth at home and promote worldwide economic expansion beyond what purely market-driven forces would create. And for the United States, he offers concrete suggestions for policy steps to achieve those objectives. A major contribution to the ongoing debate on the effects of economic growth and globalization.

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