End This Depression Now!

End This Depression Now!

4.1 49
by Paul Krugman, Rob Shapiro

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The Great Recession that began in 2007 is now more than four years old—and counting. Some 24 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, and at recent rates of job creation we won’t be back to normal levels of employment until late this decade. This is a tragedy. Do we have to accept it?

“No!” is the resounding answer given by Nobel

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The Great Recession that began in 2007 is now more than four years old—and counting. Some 24 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, and at recent rates of job creation we won’t be back to normal levels of employment until late this decade. This is a tragedy. Do we have to accept it?

“No!” is the resounding answer given by Nobel Prize–winning economist Paul Krugman in this call to arms. We have seen this situation before and we know how to fix it; all we lack is the political will to take action.  

Krugman walks us through the financial crisis that triggered the greatest downturn since the Great Depression and outlines the efforts that have been made thus far. The way forward is clear. Our priority must be to get ourselves back on the path to growth; every day that we lag behind normal production levels only adds to the astronomical economic loss of this depression. What we need for a rapid, powerful recovery is precisely what we’ve needed in crises past—a burst of government spending to jump-start the economy. We owe it not only to the unemployed, but to everyone affected by this tragedy to end this depression now.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
Krugman—winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics—builds a strong case for federal stimulus spending as the only path to ending our current economic woes, and claims that austerity policies lead to economic contraction and worsening unemployment. Rob Shapiro skillfully narrates this audio edition—not an easy task given the somewhat dry nature of the prose—in a richly textured voice that brings just the right amount of gravitas and accessibility to this wonky manifesto. Shapiro’s tone is conversational; he modifies his pitch for emphasis and adopts a carefully measured pace—a blessing when numbers, percentages, and statistics come fast and furious. Unfortunately, economics books (including this one) often make use of charts and graphs, and while PDFs of the book’s 12 charts are included, this isn’t likely to help those listening in the car or on the treadmill. Still, Shapiro provides an engaging performance of this timely and important book from Krugman, who narrates the introduction. A Norton hardcover. (May)
Publishers Weekly
Krugman (Fuzzy Math), winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics, takes an edifying and often humorous journalistic approach to the current economic crisis in this accessible and timely study. Rather than provide a mere postmortem on the 2008 collapse (though relevant history lessons are provided), Krugman aims to plot a path out of this depression. He maintains that "We are suffering from a severe overall lack of demand;" as every purchase is also a sale, everyone's income is someone's spending , and few are currently spending. This "paradox of thrift," when everyone cuts back and tries to pay off old debt at the same time, ensures a stagnant economy—when no new debt is issued, the cycle continues, for one man's debt is another man's asset. Krugman suggests, then, that "the government spend where the private sector won't," à la FDR's workers' programs during the Great Depression. The problem, of course, arises when politics enters the equation—some view government intervention as a gateway to socialism, whereas others can't agree on appropriate "shovel-ready" projects to spend money on. Krugman has consistently called for more liberal economic policies, but his wit and bipartisanship ensure that this book will appeal to a broad swath of readers—from the Left to the Right, from the 99% to the 1%. Illus. (Apr.)
“Paul Krugman is stepping up to play the kind of role that John Maynard Keynes performed in the 1930s.”
Financial Times
“A thoroughly persuasive polemic against premature fiscal austerity in the wake of a deep recession.”
Rolling Stone
““[Krugman] makes an urgent, even passionate case that our economic problems are, at root, fairly simple, and we have the knowledge and the tools to solve them.”
Kirkus Reviews
Krugman (Economics/Princeton Univ.; The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008, 2008, etc.) delivers an urgent message on ending the economic crisis. Despite apparent financial stabilization and indications of improvement, writes the Nobel laureate, the conditions of peoples' lives have not changed. "You can't have prosperity without a functioning financial system," he writes, "but stabilizing the financial system doesn't necessarily yield prosperity." The country needs strong leadership to build support for stimulus policies--e.g., large-scale job creation, debt relief and the reversal of current austerities--on a more expansive scale, rather than just accepting compromises. The author takes issue with three main objections: that government spending programs don't work, that increasing deficits undermine business confidence and that there aren't enough quality projects in which to invest. Given that the private sector is not investing enough to provide the needed increase in demand, government spending must be a significant part of the solution. Krugman also examines how the economic profession has lost its way over the last 30 years. For him, the current problems were effectively addressed during the 1930s by Keynes and others; the author doesn't have much patience with opponents or critics, considering them as representing political or ideological, not economic, views. He references ongoing research by a new generation of economists into how government intervention worked to end depressions in the past. An important contribution to the current study of economics and a reason for hope that effective solutions will be implemented again.

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Product Details

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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5.08(w) x 5.98(h) x 1.09(d)

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End This Depression Now! 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
boar_d_laze More than 1 year ago
Throughout his career, Krugman has been a very good economic historian, diagnostician and prognosticator. He has an excellent command of the facts and is right far more often than middle ground economists who seek who have moved towards the disproven (by their results) "middle ground" economic policies of austerity and away from the proven principles of stimulus which I guess you could call Neo Keynsian Revivalism. If you love the economics of the GOP, you'll hate this book. If you love the economics espoused by the leaders of the current Democratic party, you won't be much happier. Tough. Highly recommended.
ConcernedReader More than 1 year ago
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman clearly explains why normal economic policies do not work in a depression/recession and why government fiscal stimulus is required to get the economy moving again. He challenges the economists who have been wrong every step of the way for the past 30 years and suggests we instead return to the policies that worked so well from the 1930s to the 1970s.
BarryLI More than 1 year ago
This book is a political hot button issue, so I will try to leave politics out of the review. The book is well written, so even someone with little understanding of economics should understand Dr. Krugman's position. The author is a liberal (I am not). Since I went into reading this book with the assumption that government spending should increase during a depression, I did not find his position built on Keynesian economics all that controversial. I tend to prefer nonfiction authors to be a bit detached from their subject, so my only criticism is that Dr. Krugman can get a bit whiney and unkind to his critics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why does the Nook version cost more than $3 more than the Kindle edition?
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
End This Depression Now by Paul Krugman Nobel Laureate in Economics Paul Krugman presents evidence that to end this fiscal recession--which he calls depression because of lack of jobs and that is going on on four years and an increase in income inequality--we need new fiscal policies. A fiscal stimulus that helps the economy to add jobs--contrary to what some people will say, the first stimulus did not work because it was not strong enough--and that to reduce the deficit lowers growth, especially in the near term. The Book specifically discusses two different and opposing points of view: the first, preached by John Maynard Keynes’ 1936 work, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money “The outstanding faults of economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary an inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes.” John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money Although income inequality is hard to solve, unemployment is not. Krugman cites the example of the US entry into WWII where a burst of federal spending cause a 7% rise in the total number of jobs in America. The equivalent of adding more than 10 million jobs today. Krugman supports his beliefs in this policy by the Paul Samuelson textbook, Economics first published in 1948 which brought Keynesian economics to American colleges. The second opposing theory is championed by Milton Friedman. Friedman's challenges to what he later called "naive Keynesian" (as opposed to New Keynesian) theory began with his 1950s reinterpretation of the consumption function, and he became the main advocate opposing activist Keynesian government policies. In the late 1960s he described his own approach (along with all of mainstream economics) as using "Keynesian language and apparatus" yet rejecting its "initial" conclusions. During the 1960s he promoted an alternative macroeconomic policy known as "monetarism". He theorized there existed a “natural” rate of unemployment, and argued that governments could increase employment above this rate (e.g., by increasing aggregate demand) only at the risk of causing inflation to accelerate. He argued that the Phillips curve was not stable and predicted what would come to be known as stagflation (high unemployment with high inflation). Friedman argued that, given the existence of the Federal Reserve, a constant small expansion of the money supply was the only wise policy. This obviously was proven wrong at The Clinton Administration. The mess we’re in now--his great depression--was caused by several acts of Congress. Carter aided to the problem in 1980 when he passed the Monetary Control Act, which ended regulations that prevented banks on many kinds of deposits. Reagan gave the another blow with the Garn-St. Germain Act of 1982, which relaxed restrictions on the kinds of loans banks could make. And finally, the dissolution of the Glass-Seagal Act of 1933 which was overturned by Congress in 1999 under President Clinton so that Citibank and Travelers could merge--which was illegal until then, because banks could not use depositors money to invest in the market. The result was an increasingly unregulated system in which banks were free to give in fully to the overconfidence that the quiet period had created. Debt soared, risks multiplied, and then, the housing bubble burst and brought the system down. Mr Krugman then walks us, in plain and easy language, to the way forward. “Our priority must be to get ourselves back on the path to growth; every day that we lag behind normal production levels only adds to the astronomical economic loss of this depression.” What we need for rapid, powerful recovery is precisely what got us out of The Great Depression--a burst of government spending to jump-start the economy. “...your spending is my income.” Arguing both sides of the economic policies: Keynes’ 1936 work, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money and Milton Friedman’s ideas which are causing European economies to be austere and depressed growth (and we know how bad that is going), Friedman talks about inflation, the deficit, deregulation. Friedman addresses them head-on until he crushes his opponents and delivers the knockout blow. I think this is a must read for everyone who wants to make a difference in the 2012 Presidential election.
knudt More than 1 year ago
I find that Krugman has destroyed some of my false ideas of the current economy. I wish I would have got the book in paper.
Paul_Meyer More than 1 year ago
Krugman present a clear explanation why the current financial crisis is a depression, not a typical business cycle recession and how monetary policy alone is insufficient to support a full economic recovery. His arguments including economic data, but aren't overly technically. Regular readers of Krugman's columns and/or blogs will be familar with the concepts and arguments presented (Zero-bounded interest rates, the confidence fairy, the myth of expansionive austerity). However, the book provides a cogent and ordered summary of how the US and European economies got into this depression, what it will take to revive our economy, and the high human and economic cost of continued inaction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The "throw more money" at it solution that Krugman supports has not been working and will not work. Enough with the bailouts for billionaires and the wasting of our tax money on Solyndra and others. Reduce the size and scope of government, and let the free market system work.
watkd25 More than 1 year ago
Paul Krugman's book "End This Depression Now!" clearly explains the economic disparity the United States is currently undergoing and what how it has effected other countries in particular Europe. He explains in a very simplified manner the functions of the federal reserve, and its significance, in helping to alleviate the situation along with what the federal government should do as well as what it should not have done. I have taken away a small amount of economic terms that are defined throughout. This means, for other interested readers, that you do not have to have a background in economics to understand the reading. But for those that do have a background, you will be rewarded with a goldmine of information. What I appreciate about the author is his ability to talk to the "99%" in layman's terms. Paul Krugman is now one of my favorite book authors.
theasp More than 1 year ago
This guy knows what he is writing about. I agree with him philosophically but learned so much more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This nobel prize winning economist provides an in-depth, but somewhat biased view of americas current economic and political situation; starting from housing bubbles in real estate and eventually to collapsing interest rates, shadow market politics, and the governments play in all this, all eloquently laid out in a riveting (yet somewhat technical) piece of literature. Overall this is a must read book for anyone who who wants to get informed on why the recession is still around and, if accepting to krugmans wisdom, learn about a possible solution.
Dirigo_Douglas_of_Maine More than 1 year ago
Krugman has made complex macroeconomic theory and policy easy to understand - even a member of Congress could understand these principles.
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popscipopulizer More than 1 year ago
*A full executive-style summary of this book is now available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com Since the housing and financial crash of 2008, America's economy has been stuck deep in the doldrums. Indeed, GDP has remained well beneath pre-2008 levels, and employment levels have failed to recover. In an effort to resuscitate the economy, the American government tried first to jump-start it through stimulus spending, and has now replaced this approach with greater austerity. Nothing seems to be working. For Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, though, the answer is clear: the problem is that the original stimulus effort was too small, and, since that time, the government is moving squarely in the wrong direction. Indeed, Krugman argues that America's current situation bares a striking resemblance to the stagnation of the Great Depression, and that history has taught us what to do in such situations: the government must take an aggressive approach to stimulate the economy into recovery. This is the argument that Krugman makes in his new book `End This Depression Now!'. Now, Krugman is not a proponent of big government spending under normal conditions. Indeed, even in a recession, Krugman's preferred approach is to drop interest rates in order to spur consumer spending. The problem now is that interest rates are already at zero, and this has not been enough to get consumer spending off the ground, thus leaving the economy in what is called a `liquidity trap'. For Krugman, the liquidity trap is actually quite common in economic downturns that follow financial crashes (as is the case with the current one, and as was the case with the Great Depression), and is why such slumps tend to be deep and prolonged. According to Krugman, the best and surest way to save an economy from a liquidity trap is for the government to step in and undertake the spending that consumers won't. That is, the government must stimulate the economy back into action, until consumers can get back on their feet enough to take over for themselves. For Krugman, this is precisely what happened in America during WWII, when the government's military spending served to stimulate the economy and save it from the grips of the Great Depression. Now, Krugman's opponents will point out that the American government has already tried the stimulus approach during this downturn, and that this approach did not work, thus showing that it cannot be relied upon. What's more, these same opponents argue that the government's debt is already enormous, and indeed dangerously high, and that further government spending at this point may well render the debt completely unmanageable, if not force the government into insolvency (which is a threat currently being faced by several countries in Europe). Finally, Krugman's detractors maintain that pumping more money into the economy at this time only threatens to drive up inflation to dangerous levels, perhaps even triggering a hyperinflationary spiral. Krugman, though, claims that he has answers to all of these objections. Krugman does bring up some important points that do deserve to be taken into consideration in the current economic debate. However, whether his arguments are strong enough to assuage the fears over the negative consequences that additional stimulus could provoke remains to be seen. A comprehensive summary of the main arguments in the book is now available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Need to have more on the topic of what works rather than what pundits and politicians say!