More Relevant Than Ever, Great Addition to the Literature, March 4, 2008
William K. Tabb
Although this book was published in 2004, I did not notice it until recently, and I must say, I find it more relevant than ever today, in 2008. It could have lost a star for not being sufficiently visionary or for not offering a specific implementable plan for overturning the broken global economic governance regimes that it so brilliantly dissects, but out of respect for the author’s superior scholarship and my own limitations, I must go with five stars.
Indeed, I am astonished to not see another review. The author deserves reading and recognition.
Here are a few of my flyleaf notes:
+ Superb detailed examination of how the so-called global economic governance organizations are the last gasp of the pyramidal pathologies, lacking in democratic public dialog or deliberation.
+ author struck me as overly generous to the USA but he clearly points out the need to understand and respect the detailed reaons why others do not agree with US “designs” and the US insistence on treating each country alone, rather than in a regional context.
+ I was taken with the author’s concise focus on the dangerous combinations of US subsidies, excessive borrowing (this was before the subprime mortage and credit crisis we are now experiencing).
+ Switzerland has reformed SLIGHTLY and is still the banker of choice for dictators and corrupt despots who are looting their countries, creating failed states and perpetual poverty. I have a side note: “time to invade Switzerland and demand open banking?”
+ The author points out that free flowing investment and rules against expropriation are diametrically opposed to sovereign governance and any attempt to provide for sustained development and financial stability.
+ Global institutions too easily manipuated by developed nations.
+ QUOTE pages 373-374: “The excess capacity visible on a global scale, downward pressure on prices, the threat of deflation, and the impact of desperate countries seeking to compete by ignoring labor rights and environmental concerns produce a shallow and uneven development.
I put this book down with considerable humility–like John McCain, economic (and methematics) are my weak zone. I did learn enough from this book to realize that this author is gifted and should be listened to and given an opportunity, along with C. K. Prahalad and Jeff Sachs and Paul Krugman, to restore the social aspects of political economy.
Other books that strike me as complementary to this one:
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It
Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism
The leadership of civilization building: Administrative and civilization theory, symbolic dialogue, and citizen skills for the 21st century
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace
Afterthought: the index is *very* disappointing (publisher’s fault) but the bibliography by the author is itself another book and quite fascinating and comprehensive.