Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review of 'People First Economics'

Too bad Amazon doesn't let me give this three-and-a-half stars, because that's what I think it deserves. I've only just read it, which seems a bit unfair because it was published in 2009. Some of it feels very dated (lots of hope and expectation about Obama in some of the chapters); I think a contemporary version would be sharper about the way in which not just 'neoliberalism' but also mainstream liberals abandoned the inhabitants of their countries' rust belts, and how this led to Trump and Brexit, and the rise of right-wing populism across Europe.

There isn't much about the economics of migration, or about 'platform capitalism' either - not surprising, but a warning that it's easy to miss what's coming. On the other hand, there is quite a lot about the Commons, which illustrates how long ideas about that have been swilling about...to no particular end?

Some very good essays - I was particularly impressed by Susan George and Naomi Klein, but also by Walden Bello (who I had never heard of) on emerging global social democracy and Danny Chivers on Climate Choices - the latter was really good and still valid eight years on.

I'd still like a primer on progressive economics that was definitively, robustly argued but easy to read. This is easy to read but despite the variety of authors and scope doesn't cover everything. On the other hand, I think it has persuaded me to re-subscribe to New Internationalist.

No comments: