Peddling Prosperity

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Peddling Prosperity

Post  msistarted on Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:57 am

Peddling prosperity: economic sense and nonsense in the age of diminished expectation is a book by Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, first published in 1994 by W. W. Norton & Company. Shortly after its publication Newsweek called it "the best primer around on recent U.S. economic history."[1] In the book Krugman covers the US productivity slowdown that has occurred since the 1970s, changes in the ideology among economists, and offers critiques of both conservative supply side economics and liberal support for government intervention in the form of "strategic policy".[1] Krugman sees the rise of these ideas as a response to inability of academic economics to convincingly explain certain economic phenomenon, such as the US productivity slowdown.[2] He criticizes monetarism, rational expectations theory, and conservative economists' views on taxes and regulation.[3]

One of the major themes of the book is that the difference between real economic theory and "policy entrepreneurs", who peddle politically popular but academically wrong ideas, is as important as the polarization between the political left and right in America.[4] Krugman describes these "policy entrepreneurs" as non-academics who promote particular intellectual positions and ideological policy prescriptions in areas where a problem is perceived to exist.[2] The success of the "policy entrepreneurs", according to the book, is in some measure due to the unwillingness and inability of economists to effectively communicate their ideas to the broader public; a shortcoming which Krugman's book is meant to address.[2]

A portion of the subtitle of the book refers to an earlier book by Krugman, Age of Diminished Expectations (1990).

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