The Economists' Hour False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society

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The Economists' Hour False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society by Appelbaum, Binyamin, 9780316512343
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  • ISBN: 9780316512343 | 0316512346
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 9/15/2020

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In this "lively and entertaining" history of ideas (Liaquat Ahamed, The New Yorker), New York Times editorial writer Binyamin Appelbaum tells the story of the people who sparked four decades of economic revolution. Before the 1960s, American politicians paid little attention to economists. But as the post–World War II boom began to sputter, economists gained influence and power. Binyamin Appelbaum traces the rise of the economists, first in the United States and then around the globe, as their ideas reshaped the modern world, curbing government, unleashing corporations, and hastening globalization. Some leading figures in the field are relatively well-known, such as Milton Friedman and Arthur Laffer, while others stayed out of the limelight but left a lasting impact on modern life: Walter Oi, a blind economist who persuaded President Nixon to end military conscription; Alfred Kahn, who rejoiced in the crowded cabins on commercial flights as proof of his deregulation of air travel; and Thomas Schelling, who put a dollar value on human life.

Their fundamental belief? That government should stop trying to manage the economy. Their guiding principle? That markets would deliver steady growth and ensure that all Americans shared in the benefits.

But the economists' hour failed to deliver on its promise of broad prosperity. And the single-minded embrace of markets has come at the expense of economic equality, the health of liberal democracy, and future generations. Timely, engaging, and expertly researched, The Economists' Hour is a reckoning—and a call for people to rewrite the rules of the market.
  A Wall Street Journal Business BestsellerWinner of the Porchlight Business Book Award in Narrative & Biography 

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