Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two MUST READ ebooks about the current and future state of the economy

One thing i love about the ebook revolution is how quickly smart knowledgeable people can now publish ebooks on the topics of the day.  We now have two ebooks that can give us a glimpse of some of the most important issue facing our economy and a good background on what might really be happening.

The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better by Tyler Cower, of Marginal Revolution fame, and Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee great examples of being able to bring out important books at just the right time.

These two books are important explorations into the issues that are changing our economy and have increased the economic rewards of the top 1% while also increasing unemployment and poverty rates.

While The Great Stagnation argues that we have hit a sort of innovation plateau which is causing our living standards to stagnate compared to what we have come accustom to.  Race Against The Machine takes a slightly different view and makes the possibly stronger argument that the pace of technological change has increased so fast that our institutions are not able to keep up, which has resulted in growing inequality and unemployment even though we have a growing economy.

Both of these books discuss the ideas that made me start studying economics.  Issues around how the economy divides up the economic rewards and how technological innovation is effecting our lives are probably the things i think about the most during my day.

These are also great books if you just want to start to understand why our economy feels stuck and unfair.  Although they do not get close to providing all the answers to our current economic problems I think these books start a very important discussion about what economic policy will need to be like in the 21st century.

If you do not have a Kindle Touch already I would highly recommend getting one and then buying these books right away.