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Main Library Book Group

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Future of Capitalism by Paul Collier.

From world-renowned economist Paul Collier, a candid diagnosis of the many failures of the greatest economic system in history, and a pragmatic and realistic vision for how we can repair it. Western society, once thriving, is being torn apart by deep new rifts in its social and economic fabric. It's now populous cities versus rural counties; the highly skilled elite versus the less educated; wealthy versus developing countries. As these breaks have deepened, we've lost the sense of obligation to others so crucial to the rise of postwar social democracy in the first place. These divisions are currently being addressed solely by revivalist ideologies and populist megafigures--we're in the age of Brexit, President Donald Trump, and the return of the far right in Germany. And unless we do something now, the gap between the promises of prosperity for all that capitalism once offered and the crisis of contempt we find ourselves in will only grow wider, faster. [This book] is a passionate and polemical treatise that presents brilliantly original solutions for healing this economic, social, and cultural discord, with the cool head of pragmatism and policy rather than the fervor of rhetoric. Paul Collier's workable solution is in the center: we have no time for moral or intellectual superiority on either side of the political spectrum, he argues, and no shiny new economic theory is going to save us this time. Drawing on the wisdom of some of the world's most distinguished social scientists, Collier charts an agenda of empowerment to show us how to save capitalism from itself--eschewing the ideological baggage of the twentieth century and instead crafting practical policy grounded in communitarian ethics to address the rapid rise in inequality that will either end us or propel us into an entirely new economic age.

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