ON-Lion Letter
The discipline of economics is not what it used to be.  During the last few decades, economists have begun a revolutionary reorientation in how we look at the world, and this has major implications for politics, policy, and our everyday lives.  For years, conventional economists told us an incomplete story that leaned on the comfortable precision of mathematical abstraction and ignored the complexity of the real world with all of its uncertainties, unknowns, and ongoing evolution.

New from Encounter Books, From Poverty to Prosperity:  Intangible Assets, Hidden Liabilities and the Lasting Triumph Over Scarcity, by Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz, tells how economists left the positive forces of creativity, innovation, and advancing technology that propel economies forward out of the story.  Economists, according to Kling and Schulz, did not describe the dynamic process that leads to new pharmaceuticals, cell phones, and Web-based information services -- forces that fundamentally alter how we live our daily lives.

Kling was an economist on the staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1980 to 1986 and served as a senior economist at Freddie Mac from 1986 to 1994.  Schulz is the DeWitt Wallace Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) and editor-in-chief of The American, its online journal.

Economists, Kling's and Schulz's From Poverty to Prosperity goes on, have also neglected to tell of the negative forces that can hold economies back:  bad governance, counterproductive social practices, and patterns of taking wealth instead of creating it.  They took for granted secure property rights, honest public servants, and the willingness of individuals to experiment and adapt to novelty.

From Poverty to Prosperity tells a big-picture story about the huge differences in the standard of living across time and across borders.  It draws on research from the world's most-important economists and eschews the conventional wisdom for a new, more-inclusive vision of the world and how it works.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee, as is AEI.
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |