FINANCIAL TIMES BEST ECONOMICS BOOKS OF 2020
Advanced nations are headed for a new era of bigger government, with government expenditure set to increase enormously over the next three decades. In all advanced economies, health spending will be driven irresistibly upward by the costs of precision medicine and other new technologies, and the need to repair weaknesses highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic. Governments will also be compelled to spend big on fighting global warming, fixing ailing infrastructure and providing adequate aged care for a rapidly graying population. The combined effect of these and other spending pressures threatens to drive budget deficits and government debt through the roof. Substantial tax increases will be necessary, most of all in the low-tax United States. Pruning welfare spending will also be high on the policy agenda in countries with the most comprehensive welfare states. Printing money – as proposed by advocates of modern monetary theory – is not a solution, but a sure route to disaster. Faced with this reality, the political right must abandon pipedreams of smaller government. The left, on the other hand, needs to recognize that there is no room or need for costly projects like a universal basic income. Mankind is not facing the threat of mass technological unemployment, and government spending needs to be focused on addressing real problems rather than imaginary ones.
(More about the book at www.biggergovernment.com)
WHAT REVIEWERS THINK:
"This deeply researched and brilliantly-argued book is an honest, clear minded assessment of the fiscal future that awaits advanced countries... Robinson's master of program details and socioeconomic trends makes this study essential reading for national leaders and public finance specialists." – Allen Schick, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution and Prof. Emeritus, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland.
"This book represents a path-breaking original contribution to our understanding of the future of public finances in advanced economies." – Anwar Shah, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Director, Governments Program, World Bank Institute (2004-9)
"This book by an internationally renowned expert in public expenditure management provides a compelling analysis of major recent and future drivers of government spending in advanced economies ... In my view, a must-read!" – Teresa Ter-Minassian, Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund (2001-8)
" ...a broad-based and lively insight into what the future might hold." – Martin Kelleners, Director, Ministry of Finance, Germany; Chair, OECD Network of Senior Budget Officials.
"Marc Robinson underpins his thesis with impressive empirical evidence ... Hard stuff for all foes of big government." – Gerhard Steger, Austrian Federal Budget Director (1997-2014).
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About the Author
Marc Robinson is an internationally-recognized expert on government finances. As a consultant he has advised more than thirty countries, on all continents and it all stages of development, on budgeting reforms. He has also been a senior civil servant, a professor of economics, and a staff economist at the International Monetary Fund. Dr. Robinson has published in excess of 30 books, monographs and articles on government budgeting issues. He has frequently participated as an invited speaker at conferences and symposiums held by international organizations (including the OECD, European Union, APEC, and NATO) and national ministries of finance. He is a member of the OECD Advisory Panel on Budgeting and Public Expenditures. Resident in Switzerland, he is a Swiss and Australian dual national.