American Gridlock: Why the Right and Left Are Both Wrong - Commonsense 101 Solutions to the Economic Crises
By: H. Woody Brock (author)Hardback
1 - 2 weeks availability
A sensible solution to getting our economy back on track Pessimism is ubiquitous throughout the Western World as the pressing issues of massive debt, high unemployment, and anemic economic growth divide the populace into warring political camps. Right-and Left-wing ideologues talk past each other, with neither side admitting the other has any good ideas. In American Gridlock, leading economist and political theorist H. Woody Brock bridges the Left/Right divide, illuminating a clear path out of our economic quagmire. Arguing from first principles and with rigorous logic, Brock demonstrates that the choice before us is not between free market capitalism and a government-driven economy. Rather, the solution to our problems will require enactment of constructive policies that allow "true" capitalism to flourish even as they incorporate social policies that help those who truly need it. Brock demonstrates how deductive logic (as opposed to ideologically driven data analysis) can transform the way we think about these problems and lead us to new and different solutions that cross the ideological divide.
Drawing on new theories such as game theory and the economics of uncertainty that are based upon deductive logic, Brock reveals fresh ideas for tackling issues central to the 2012 U.S, Presidential election and to the nation s long-run future: * Demonstrating that the concept of a government deficit is highly problematic since it blinds us to the distinction between a good deficit and a bad deficit where a deficit is good if it results from borrowing dedicated to productive investment rather than to unproductive spending. * Deriving the need for a U.S. Marshall Plan dedicated to very high levels of profitable infrastructure spending as the solution to today s Lost Decade of high unemployment * Drawing upon a logical extension of the Law of Supply and Demand to demonstrate how the health-care spending crisis can be completely resolved by letting supply increase at a faster rate than demand * Utilizing the theory of bargaining inaugurated by the Beautiful Mind mathematician John F. Nash, Jr., to help us avoid being repeatedly duped in our negotiations with China * Making use of a completely new theory of market risk recently developed at Stanford University to demonstrate why dramatically limiting leverage is the key reform to preventing future Perfect Storms, whereas hoping to banish greed amounts to whistling Dixie * Deducting from first principles a solution to the contentious issue of fair shares of the economic pie, a solution that integrates the two fundamental norms of to each according to his contribution and to each according to his need.
Profound, timely and important, American Gridlock cuts through the stale biases of the Right and Left, advances new ways of thinking, and provides creative solutions to the problems that threaten American society.
H. Woody Brock is President and founder of Strategic Economic Decisions (SED), Inc., a firm that provides economic and financial market analysis to financial institutions, corporations, and investors. He has authored numerous Op-Ed pieces in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and a variety of professional journals, and speaks regularly at investment conferences and forums. He is known worldwide as a speaker and writer adept at taking complex ideas and theories and expressing them logically and clearly. Brock was elected an Andrew Mellon Foundation Bicentennial Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He earned his BA, MBA, and MS (in mathematics) from Harvard University, and his MA and PhD from Princeton University.
Preface xiii Chapter 1 Dialogue of the Deaf 1 What to Do About It What Went Wrong: Origins of the Dialogue of the Deaf The Role of Deductive versus Inductive Logic in Policy Analysis The Illogic of Policy Analysis Today What Must Be Done to Raise the Level of Debate Chapter 2 Must There Be a Lost Decade? 23 A Socratic Dialogue with the President Explains Why Not Reasons for Lackluster Growth During the Remainder of this Decade "Good" versus "Bad" Deficits, and the Main Policy Proposal The Identifi cation and Ranking of Public Investment Projects by Their Return When Huge Defi cits Are Justifi ed: A Unifi cation of the Arrow-Kurz and Keynesian Theories Chapter 3 Resolving the Entitlements Spending Crisis 75 How to Drive Health-Care Spending Down while Increasing Access A Supply-Side Solution to the Health-Care Crisis Three Basic Assumptions for an Optimal Health-Care System Expert Systems and Automation Redressing the Social Security Deficit Chapter 4 Preventing Perfect Financial Storms 119 When Everyone Was Too Clever by Half The Four Origins of Today's Financial Crisis The Role of Bad Economic Theory Emergence of a Pathological Incentive Structure Requisite Policy Reforms Chapter 5 Bargaining Theory 101 157 How Not to Deal with China The Origins of Economics Imperialism The Possibility of the Hegemony of Political Science: The Nash-Harsanyi Pluralistic Bargaining Model How Not to Negotiate with Thugocracies The Case Study of China The Remarkable Power of the Bargaining Model in Political Science and Beyond Chapter 6 Beyond Democratic Capitalism 199 An Idealized Political Economy, with Distributive Justice True Textbook Capitalism, and the Correct Role of Government Beyond Effi ciency: The Eight Ideals of an Optimal Social System Distributional Equity A Comprehensive Theory of Distributive Justice Conclusion 231 Appendix A Supply/Demand Summary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 235 Appendix B Dynamics of Total Health-Care Expenditure 241 Notes 249 Index 267
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