After the New Economy

Overview

Economist Doug Henwood scrutinzes the 1990s and brilliantly dissects the so-called "new economy."During the 1990s boom, we heard constantly about the New Economy. A technological and organizational revolution that precipitated an unprecedented era of rapid productivity growth and rendered recessions as obsolete as rotary-dial phones. Mass participation in the stock market transformed workers into owners; the freewheeling US economy became the envy of the world; and "globalization," whatever that is exactly, had ...
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Overview

Economist Doug Henwood scrutinzes the 1990s and brilliantly dissects the so-called "new economy."During the 1990s boom, we heard constantly about the New Economy. A technological and organizational revolution that precipitated an unprecedented era of rapid productivity growth and rendered recessions as obsolete as rotary-dial phones. Mass participation in the stock market transformed workers into owners; the freewheeling US economy became the envy of the world; and "globalization," whatever that is exactly, had rendered national borders obsolete. Some of the manic exuberance surrounding this story has disappeared with the bursting of the Nasdaq bubble and the scandals that emerged as the froth cleared. But what really happened? Why did the stock market go on an eighteen-year tear? Was there really a technological revolution? Is the world as borderless as everyone says? Did class distinctions really erode? Was corporate malfeasance really a matter of a few bad apples—or was the rot far more pervasive than that? And what does the future hold in store? Economic journalist Doug Henwood answers all of these questions in After the New Economy.


About the Author:
: Doug Henwood edits the Left Business Observer, hosts a weekly radio show on WBAI (New York), and is the author of The State of the USA Atlas and Wall Street.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In most eyes, the New Economy deserves a good tattooing, and Left Business Observer editor Henwood (Wall Street, 1997) slowly and excruciatingly applies the needle: "This book is an exercise in kicking the thing while it’s down, to make sure it won’t get up again." After the fall, it was easy to poke fun at the snake oil peddled by the New Economists: No more recessions! No more class conflict! Ideas rule! But the New Economy’s brief incandescence was no freak or conspiracy, writes Henwood; it was, among other things, one more example of techno-utopianism, an old song with verses celebrating such saviors as the loom and Corn Flakes and Bill Gates. Even the claims and promises were not necessarily new, though dressed in outrageous garb: flattened hierarchies, credulous exuberance, postmateriality, the quantification of intangible assets, value anticipation. Henwood easily dispenses with the nonsense—like "the magical realm of the weightless corporation, where value is created not through production but through inventing and trading complex financial instruments and thinking big thoughts"—but he is more interested in the structural themes: massive wealth polarization, overwork and speedup, "putting a meter on almost everything but air," and on the mobility myth, the boogie of globalization. He doesn’t coddle the reader; the going can get tough when he’s discussing such tools as multifactor productivity, though he also knows when to insert the laugh line: "Enron should be read as the demise not just of one firm, but of an entire business model. So far, it hasn’t worked out that way, but one must keep hope alive." The author appreciates the iniquities of capitalism and also theimprecision of economic measurements, which can be read as a plea for vigilance and skepticism when economic gurus open their mouths. A very intricate and satisfying tattoo, and painful enough to keep any new new economy in hiding for decades.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565847705
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Novelty 3
2 Work 39
3 Income 79
4 Globalization 145
5 Finance 187
Conclusion 227
Notes 231
Bibliography 241
Index 261
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