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Edward Luce is a critically acclaimed columnist for the Financial Times, former speechwriter to Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and author of the widely praised books Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent and In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India. A graduate of Oxford mostra'n més University in politics, philosophy, and economics, he is based in Washington, D.C. mostra'n menys

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The author is a seasoned journalist who has spent years each in 3 countries outside of his native UK, and he has absorbed knowledge from them. This book is startlingly insightful and very useful in understanding what is happening the US right now, as well as what is happening overall in many areas of the world affected by what has occurred in the US over the past decade.
RickGeissal | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Aug 16, 2023 |
Not exactly sure what I learned from this book, or how it might have changed me, but I liked it. Basically a centrist rant about the current social situation, but well-written and brief.
steve02476 | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Jan 3, 2023 |
Luce focuses primarily on the decline of American power, economic influence and standing but also reviews the falling fortunes of Western European countries including Britain, Germany and France. The election of Donald Trump has further weakened our democracy and and trust by our allies. Trump has candidly said that he will put America first. Our allies may not be able to count on America for military or economic support. The analysis from this book is not exactly shocking if one watches or reads the news. But Luce does connect the dots and envisions that the Chinese will soon be the predominant power in the world.

Listed below are some of the sections that I highlighted from the book:

"Economists are notorious for getting the future wrong (just as they are peerless at
explaining the past). The joke is that they have predicted ten out of the last five recessions. In recent years, during what is now called the age of hyperglobalisation, bad forecasting has erred in the opposite direction. Economists have consistently predicted growth where none has materialised.

It was an Atlantic recession. In 2009, China’s economy grew by almost 10 per cent, and India’s by almost 8 percent.

Today, the US median income is still below where it was at the beginning of this century. Clearly what the typical American understands by growth differs greatly from that of macroeconomists.

To be clear: the West’s souring mood is about the psychology of dashed expectations rather than the decline in material comforts.

There is now a higher share of French males in fulltime jobs than Americans – a statistic that reflects poorly on America, rather than well on France.

Having hundreds of Facebook friends is no substitute for seeing people.

The fastest growing units in the big Western companies are the legal and public relations departments. Big companies devote the bulk of their earnings to buying back shares and boosting dividend payments. They no longer invest anything like what they used to in research and development.

America, in particular, which had traditionally shown the highest-class mobility of any Western country, now has the lowest. Today it is rarer for a poor American to become rich than a poor Briton, which means the American dream is less likely to be realized in America.

Little wonder the tone of our politics has shifted so markedly from hope to nostalgia.

Similarly, every single one of America’s 493 wealthiest counties, almost all of them urban, voted for Hillary Clinton. The remaining 2623 counties, most of them suburban or small town,
went for Donald Trump.

A third of Americans who graduated in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) are in jobs that do not require any such qualification.

Almost three quarters of independent workers in the US report serious difficulties in chasing up what they are owed.

The world now has twenty-five fewer democracies than it did at the turn of the century.

To put it more bluntly: when inequality is high, the rich fear the mob. In early 2016 I had an eye-popping conversation with a very big name from New York. He argued that there should be a general knowledge test for voters to screen out all the ‘low information voters’. He estimated the franchise test would cut the electorate in half.

The UFC is to popular culture what Trump is to politics – a brutal and unforgiving breed of show business.

During the campaign, one journalist summarized the gap between the heartland view of Trump, and that of the liberal elites as follows: ‘the press take him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

As Western democracy has come into question, so too has its global power. America’s loss has been relative: its share of world GDP has declined. It has also devalued its global credibility by prosecuting reckless wars in the false name of democracy.

But I believe that protecting society’s weakest from arbitrary misfortune is the ultimate test of our civilizational worth. It seems blindingly obvious that universal healthcare ought to be a basic shield against the vicissitudes of an increasingly volatile labour market.
… (més)
writemoves | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Jun 17, 2019 |



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