The Price of Civilization: Economics and Ethics After the Fall

Jeffrey Sachs

The Price of Civilization: Economics and Ethics After the Fall

The world economy remains in a precarious state after the recent global recession – where quick fixes were implemented instead of sustainable solutions to systemic problems. Jeffrey Sachs argues powerfully for a new co-operative, common-sense political economy, one that stresses practical partnership between government and the private sector, demands competence in both arenas and occasionally insists on carefully chosen public and private sacrifices. In this new era of global capitalism, Sachs believes that we have to forget partisanship and solve these enormous problems together, clinically and holistically, just as one would approach the eradication of a disease. 2.7 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
The Price of Civilization: Economics and Ethics After the Fall

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Society, Politics & Philosophy, Business, Finance & Law
Format Hardback
Pages 352
RRP £20.00
Date of Publication October 2011
ISBN 978-1847920928
Publisher Bodley Head
 

The world economy remains in a precarious state after the recent global recession – where quick fixes were implemented instead of sustainable solutions to systemic problems. Jeffrey Sachs argues powerfully for a new co-operative, common-sense political economy, one that stresses practical partnership between government and the private sector, demands competence in both arenas and occasionally insists on carefully chosen public and private sacrifices. In this new era of global capitalism, Sachs believes that we have to forget partisanship and solve these enormous problems together, clinically and holistically, just as one would approach the eradication of a disease.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Martin Sandbu

There is a palpable if ever-so-slight alienation here that suggests his proposals will not gain much traction in America. That would be a shame, for this is an important book. Sachs manages to paint an alarming picture of the US, while leaving the reader with a sense that its problems are eminently fixable. A second achievement is the sheer sweep of his analysis, which flouts the boundaries of economics to encompass politics, psychology and moral philosophy. The gain in perspective mostly outweighs the loss in authorial authority.

14/10/2011

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The Guardian

Robert Skidelsky

"I had hoped ... for something more arresting than a millennium manifesto for the Democratic party. … There are at least two omissions from the doctor's diagnosis. The first is that he ignores the role of inadequate demand in causing the current high level of unemployment ... Second, Sachs's diagnosis of America's ills understates the deleterious effect of globalisation ... Finally, Sachs, in my view, has an inadequate grasp of social health or "wellbeing"."

08/10/2011

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The Sunday Times

Dominic Lawson

Doubtless Sachs is correct that America’s most affluent could pay much more in tax without feeling the pinch; yet he also advocates that the US augments its federal sales taxes to European levels — which would amount to a tenfold increase in a form of excise regarded as regressive (that is, falling disproportionately on the poor). Good luck with that, Jeffrey … On the fundamental fiscal issue, however, he is spot on. The proportion of national income taken in taxes in America has fallen steadily over the past 30 years, while public expenditure’s share has not.

16/10/2011

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The Times

Oliver Kamm

… he advances acute criticisms of recent economic policy, but his wider argument frequently fails to reach even the level of caricature … Sachs is right that the trend to deregulation in the US went too far ... But when [he] depicts the role of government as “economic problem-solver” and declares it “time for the United States to take seriously the measurement and monitoring over time of Americans’ well-being”, he attributes knowledge and competence to government that it cannot reliably possess.

24/09/2011

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The Wall Street Journal

Paul Ryan

Advocating for the European model seems particularly ill-advised at the moment … This book's budget proposals and economic policies are profoundly revealing. They lay bare the real agenda of those who wish us to abandon the American idea and consign our nation to the irrevocable path of decline. If only in that sense, The Price of Civilization is a useful contribution to the conversation we must have in order to make informed political choices in the years ahead.

01/10/2011

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