Media Center: ‘Seven Bad Ideas’ by Jeff Madrick
WHO: Jeff Madrick
WHAT: SEVEN BAD IDEAS:
How Mainstream Economists
Have Damaged America and the World
WHEN: Published by Knopf October 3, 2014
WHERE: Author tour to New York and Washington DC.
WHY: “A highly accessible look at why it’s important to understand the philosophy behind the ‘science’ of economics.
“The very fact that so few economists saw the 2008 economic collapse coming indicates how out of touch they were (and are) with economic realities. Enamored with the idea that capitalism is self-correcting, they failed to heed ample warnings of severe imbalances and risky behavior caused by lack of regulation of the financial markets.
“Financial journalist Madrick draws on the works of several well-regarded economists, including John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman, as well as philosopher-economist John Stuart Mills and others to examine the shortcomings of contemporary economics. Madrick offers an overview of how economic thinking has evolved from Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ concept, taking aim at seven major ideas that have driven economists in the past 30 years and led to enormous harm. He explores the contradictions in economic theories as economists square off over philosophical beliefs about the proper role of government in the economy, the relative merits of deficits, and government economic stimulus.
“Debunking many of the ideas of orthodox economics, he laments how little consideration economists give to social justice and human rights or even history. Madrick argues strongly that government support for the nation’s infrastructure is as important to the economy as private capital investment.” —Vanessa Bush, in a starred review in BOOKLIST
“A readable, useful economic text. Somewhere, John Maynard Keynes is smiling.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS
From the beginning of the book: Economists’ most fundamental ideas contributed centrally to the financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession that followed–the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. These ideas are so embedded in a way of thinking about the economy that many of the economists who have embraced them for a generation now are unable to criticize themselves seriously and are unaware of how narrowly focused their views of a working economy have become. Over the past thirty years, their way of thinking has in fact time and again damaged America and the world–the damage outweighing what good has been accomplished–yet we continue to take economists terribly seriously. Their culpability has scarcely been cited.
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Jessica Purcell | 212-572-2082 | email@example.com