A cold, hard look at how modern economics has failed us and why we need a new measure of progress Modern economics has fallen short. It has widened the gap between rich and poor. It has not allocated the world's resources fairly. It has brought the West to the brink of financial ruin. It has placed short-term gain before long-term progress. And it has made us focus on the individual, not the society. The end result is a worldwide financial crisis of epic proportions and a planet being scraped clean of the resources needed by future generations, and things are only getting worse. In The End of Progress: How Modern Economics Has Failed Us popular economist Graeme Maxton looks at what went wrong, and what we can do to get ourselves back on track. During the Age of Enlightenment society flourished, propelled by the wonder of new discoveries, radical ideas for economic and social development, and a sense that we all had a responsibility to improve our world. It's time to get back to those ideals, step back and examine our values, and work out what humankind really needs. * Presents a chilling look at our current financial system along with a compelling argument for what we need to change * Argues for new measures of progress that emphasize what really matters, not personal greed * Offers a timely look at our broken society and where we're headed next A thought-provoking, informative book, The End of Progress looks at what got us into our present mess, and shines light onto the road ahead.
Acknowledgments xiii 1 It s About You You Are Responsible Too 1 Part 1 Our Belief in The Free Market Failed Us 9 2 Too Much Choice, Too Little Restraint 11 Fetch the Tool Box 11 Economics Is Not Rocket Science: It Is Not Even Science 16 How Has Economics Failed Us? Let Me Count the Ways 17 A DVD Player Should Cost More than Lunch 19 For Richer and Poorer 20 3 A Broken Financial System 23 Consumption, Not Love, Was the Drug 23 How Far Is Down? 26 Consumer Debt 27 Bank Debt 32 Government Debt 39 4 Squandering Our World 47 Who Owns the World s Resources? 47 You Don t Like These Principles? I Have Others 50 We ll Know What It s Worth When It s Gone 51 Our Rare Earth 52 Seven Billion into Water Won t Go 54 Laissez-Faire, No Thanks 55 5 The Damaging Power of Me 61 Me, Myself, I 61 The Retreat of Conservatism 63 Kiasu. Bless You 64 Greed Is Not Good, Gordon 65 Part 2 Running Blind We Are Poorly Equipped to Deal with These Challenges 69 6 Can You Read Kant? 71 Don t Start from Here 71 Well, Duh! 74 Going My Way? 78 7 Who Is in Charge? 81 Someone Needs to Make Decisions 81 Nothing Is Terrible Except Fear Itself 83 Man Is Born Free but Everywhere Is in Chains 84 Who Is in Charge? 89 8 China s Rising Influence Will Not Help 93 It Can Get Worse 93 The Dragon Is Awake 94 Of Privileges and Principles 96 There Is Anger Too 100 Be Careful What You Wish For 104 Playing for Power 106 Part 3 The Implications of These Failures Will Be Hard 117 9 We Will Become Financially Poorer 119 But Answers Are Easy, Aren t They? 120 The Long Tail 121 All Comes Tumbling Down 123 Goodbye Stimulus Packages, Hello Savage State Cutbacks 125 More Air Will Not Work 128 You Need Another Hole in That Belt 129 10 Our Way of Life Will Change 133 In the Energy Battles, No One Will Play Nicely 134 When You Are in a Hole, Keep Digging 138 Shine Some Light on the Problem 146 11 We Will Become Less Healthy 151 How Much Oil Is in That Salad? 154 I ll Give the Scalpel a Wipe Then 158 Was That a Cough? 159 The Buzz Has Gone 162 12 We Need to Diffuse the Threats of Conflict 169 We Do Things Differently, Don t You See? 171 The Cupboard Will Soon Be Bare 174 But You Promised! 180 Climate Change Will Bring Threats of Confl ict Too 182 Part 4 Light in an Age of Endarkenment 185 13 We Need to Change 187 You Just Need a New Washer, Mate 188 14 Other Options Need Debate 203 From Progress to Poverty 203 Give the Flowers the Power 204 That Pip Squeak? 207 15 You. You Have a Role Now Too 219 Index 223