Tragedy of Riches: How Our Politics Has Failed Us and Why We Need a New Economic Destiny

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The great riches of Western Europe and the United States have been accumulated over six decades. That the world economy is still only shakily recovering from the credit crunch serves only to underline our misplaced faith in a system ill-equipped to deal with our real needs in the twenty first century. Paradoxically, our riches are now the cause of our greatest problems. This book offers a devastating analysis of our political system, and argues that the captains of the baby boom generation milked its economic prosperity while failing to deliver a sustainable ideology. Accepted for so long, the post-war mixed economic settlement of three contrasting forms of economic, welfare and social liberalism have reached the limits of what can now be achieved without fundamental political change. The comfortable bubble of Western economic prosperity has created a rich, complacent society that has, in pursuit of hedonistic and consumer-driven short term interests, lost sight of its original goals. If the real lessons have not been learned, there is a real danger, for reasons of political convenience and economic dogmatism, that the system that generated the crisis will not be reformed. This book makes a passionate case that instead of accepting a status quo of dysfunctional modern economics we must now create a new, political settlement prepared to tackle the great issues of our age before it is too late.REVIEWS While the Western world has managed to build great economic prosperity, it has not created great happiness or wellbeing, reconciled political conflicts, nor defended policymaking against globalization, argues the author, who contends that the riches of the Western world are in fact the cause of most of the Western world's problems. Disavowing any anti-capitalist intent, he combines political theory, history, and economic analysis to discuss how baby-boom politicians came to power in Europe and the United States and cemented a policy mix forged in the coming together of economic, welfare, and social liberalism which failed to produce an adequate political strand of fairness and civic renewal to the project. Previously unavailable in the US Protoview (previously known as Book News)