Book 1 Reviewed
One of the virtues, or drawbacks, of having a book composed of a bunch of interviews is that the interviewees don’t always agree with each other, or with the authors. Professor Fogel, for example, remarks that if trends continue, by 2030 or 2040 “China will be bigger than the United States and Europe put together” in terms of the size of its economy. China’s lack of political freedom and the large role that government plays in its economy is left largely unexplored.
Indeed, I have no doubt that some of the economists we interviewed would be China bears.
Read the whole review. Stoll’s analysis and criticism are gratifying. From Poverty to Prosperity is a book for people who think.
My initial hope was that Book 1 would be published by a university press, so that it could end up in college libraries and perhaps on a few course reading lists. Instead, it is a university press book dressed up in trade press clothing. It will not reach the campus. But the people who do read it will be self-motivated and self-educating, which may be for the best.
One of the people who blurbed Book 1 is Robert Litan. In a recent talk, he says,
Unfortunately, the United States now finds itself uncomfortably straddled among the entrepreneurial, the big-firm and the state-guided categories. We weren’t state-guided until about a year or 18 months ago, when our banks were forced to take government funds. And now, regrettably, our banking system bears an uncanny resemblance to the Chinese system of five years ago, before the Chinese privatized their banks at our behest to get into the World Trade Organization.
Read the whole thing. It hits a lot of the themes from our book.