SOCIAL SCIENCES

Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing To Deliver Economic Growth—and How To Fix It

Basic. Apr. 2018. 320p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780465097463. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780465097470. ECON
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Since the 2008 financial crisis, most of the world hasn't exactly been living large. Economist Moyo (Dead Aid; Winner Take All) has some ideas on how to change that, arguing that in the past, liberal democracies of the kind found in the West were the best situated to deliver economic growth. However, in the new scheme of things, other political systems—notably authoritarian China—are delivering that growth. Economic development is a prerequisite to political stability, so the imperative for the United States and the West to reclaim their economic leadership is not simply to beef up the bottom line. Moyo drafts a blueprint for spurring growth by focusing on long-term goals instead of short-term, politically expedient fixes. She presents a spot-on analysis of the forces stagnating economic growth—and her proposals for political solutions, such as extended terms and performance incentives for elected officials, are compelling up to a point. However, some of her ideas (e.g., mandatory voting and weighted voting) will not likely sit well with the American public's interpretation of agency and egalitarianism in the political realm.
VERDICT An intriguing partnership of economic policy and political reforms for solving stagnating economic growth in the West.

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