How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly--and


How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly--and the Stark Choices Ahead What a great summary of the prevailing issues that America s economy is facing and how it got there This isthan a academic book, it touches on real life facts and problems with education, war, debt, and housing to name a few You will learn a lot from this book and it is all supported by referenced material It helped me to understand a century worth of US economic policy along with a good amount of focus on key events Some of the negative reviews of this book I have seen I believe are u What a great summary of the prevailing issues that America s economy is facing and how it got there This isthan a academic book, it touches on real life facts and problems with education, war, debt, and housing to name a few You will learn a lot from this book and it is all supported by referenced material It helped me to understand a century worth of US economic policy along with a good amount of focus on key events Some of the negative reviews of this book I have seen I believe are unfounded this book, with an open mind, will inform you on areas you probably never knew.5 5 from me This book started strong Moyo s description of the West s mis allocation of labor and capital were awesome and eye opening But at times the book seemed to descend into doomsday predictions hence, the title , calls for a stronger centralized state, and lists upon lists of stats that I could pull off the Internet myself That said, her concerns about America s economic position were intimidating and not without basis My largest concern with the book s thesis is that it seems to assume a world This book started strong Moyo s description of the West s mis allocation of labor and capital were awesome and eye opening But at times the book seemed to descend into doomsday predictions hence, the title , calls for a stronger centralized state, and lists upon lists of stats that I could pull off the Internet myself That said, her concerns about America s economic position were intimidating and not without basis My largest concern with the book s thesis is that it seems to assume a world in which cultures rise and fall based primarily on economic policy I don t buy this As a final little critique, the book s scope seemed to occasionally lack clear focus At times, it seemed all about America v China, but paragraphs later it would go super broad in discussions about all the West v all the Rest This is probably a stupid critique Overall, I m glad I read it and am torn between 2 and 3 stars My old economics professor s favorite phrase There is no free lunch It has been quite a while since I have read a book on economics, so I was particularly drawn to this one It would be interesting to see an update as it has been a few years since its research and publication I probably liked the book, because the author shares my own view, that one of the reasons BRIC Brazil, Russia, India and China is able to accomplish many economic feats is because their capitalistic activities are oft My old economics professor s favorite phrase There is no free lunch It has been quite a while since I have read a book on economics, so I was particularly drawn to this one It would be interesting to see an update as it has been a few years since its research and publication I probably liked the book, because the author shares my own view, that one of the reasons BRIC Brazil, Russia, India and China is able to accomplish many economic feats is because their capitalistic activities are often state controlled, sponsored or directed Our form of government and view of private enterprise is working against us from many perspectives including making decisive, and clear policies that benefit the country as a whole What can be accomplished to make us competitive in a global marketplace when the leaders spendtime campaigning than governing The increasing use of referendums nationwide will only make our condition worse Our culture, our historic geographic isolation, our roots, all create scary challenges when it comes to competing with these huge countries We are who we are.how do we harness our unique advantages as a people to hold our own, economically What does all this look like if you overlay the equally challenging environmental and socio political challenges in our world A must read for any socially aware citizenMoyo presents a clear picture of how the west, USA specifically, lost their economic superiority to the emerging rest through systematically implementing myopic economic policies over the last three decades.From the tech boom in Asia of the early 80 s to the 21st century housing bubble bursting in the 2008 economic crash, Moyo gives a succinct, if bleak, account of American missteps that virtually handed the reigns freely to the developing world.Alt A must read for any socially aware citizenMoyo presents a clear picture of how the west, USA specifically, lost their economic superiority to the emerging rest through systematically implementing myopic economic policies over the last three decades.From the tech boom in Asia of the early 80 s to the 21st century housing bubble bursting in the 2008 economic crash, Moyo gives a succinct, if bleak, account of American missteps that virtually handed the reigns freely to the developing world.Although we ve created a workforce comprised of undereducated, unskilled, expensive citizens that are uncompetitive in the global marketplace, Moyo s conclusion offers a sliver of hope to the west in the form of 4 possible scenarios of the rest of the century, not all of which end with the west at the bottom.She reminds us of our savvy and resilience, which is needed nowthan ever to pull us out of this nose dive and the responsibility we have to invest in our own people in the form of education and innovation This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here It was a bit of jarring ride reading this book, it flipped a lot of the half formed notions I had about the world and helped me understand a bitabout the global economy Firstly when she pointed out the weaknesses of the Western Bloc and how they ve shifted significantly from their fareconomically sound actions in the sixties, I failed to fault her reasoning Among the ills in the Western Blocs s policies, she lists their willingness to freely share data and innovations, their failu It was a bit of jarring ride reading this book, it flipped a lot of the half formed notions I had about the world and helped me understand a bitabout the global economy Firstly when she pointed out the weaknesses of the Western Bloc and how they ve shifted significantly from their fareconomically sound actions in the sixties, I failed to fault her reasoning Among the ills in the Western Blocs s policies, she lists their willingness to freely share data and innovations, their failure to recoup investments they make in research especially the pharmaceutical industry , unfair trade deals by China, America s heavy investments in Defense and adventurism on the seas and abroad, Badly designed or implemented Welfare polices, China s artificial devaluation of its currency, a failure by people in the west to adequately train up a productive labour force among other factors However it can be argued that one of the biggest contributing factorDambisa feels that American consumers had failed to understand the difference between leverage and ownership which led to far too many Americans investing in real estate and living a life centred on consumption which significantly contributed to the 2008 global financial crisis This led to a downward spiral where America grew heavily indebted to China and is now in a precarious situation where it owes trillions to China, a situation that would have been unthinkable in forty years ago While on on the other end of the Spectrum Chinese nationals were saving their money and were far less willing to spend their money on investments which had little impact socially on their nation but instead made farsound investments As well as hadactual usable cash in their Banks The Book is an incredibly sobering look at the world of Banking and Finance and makes the average reader me question just what the Banks do with the money we give them and if we are safe from a second crisis I personally feel it is important to see the world through her lens, because as the saying goes People who don t know their History often times repeat it and reading Dambisa explain just how myopic investment into the Housing Market and the failure of financial regulatory bodies like Central Banks and the IMF to fulfil their fiduciary duties beyond monitoring and adjusting inflation makes me wonder if the world has learnt much from the 2008 crisis or of the world is even willing to change to avoid another similar event Once again Dambisa makes a great argument and supports her well researched arguements with fine writing and researchI feel this book was better written than Dead Aid, due to theelegant flow of the prose in this one as opposed to Dead Aid which even though it was brilliantly written, felt a bitessay like.I didn t have many issues with it, except for the fact that the book was written from a purely economic perspective and she herself admits in her book that other factors like Democracy and free speech also have a significant impact on the Economic success of a nation, and I feel that these factors were not adequately explained, of course that s no fault of hers she s an economist first and foremost Further I m not sure if her world view fully tallies with reality, she seems to see things in an us versus them scenario East versus West with little to no chance of mutual benefit a zero sum game so to speak I must argue that there might be other less warlike scenarios out there that might play out, provided we are willing or are forced to consider them All in all I loved the book plain to see from my long rant and I can t wait to read her other works Great explanations about the financial crisis and the US construction policies Explains how allocation of capital is either beneficial on the long term or not In addtion, it explains the general differences between the econo political systems in China, USA, Russia, Europe and the rest of the world A bit black white with China and the general evaluations of the future. In How the West Was Lost, the New York Times bestselling author Dambisa Moyo offers a bold account of the decline of the West s economic supremacy She examines how the West s flawed financial decisions have resulted in an economic and geopolitical seesaw that is now poised to tip in favor of the emerging world, especially ChinaAmid the hype of China s ➷ [Reading] ➹ Gender in Psychoanalytic Space By Muriel Dimen ➬ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk the New York Times bestselling author Dambisa Moyo offers a bold account of the decline of the West s economic supremacy She examines how the West s flawed financial decisions have resulted in an economic and geopolitical seesaw that is now poised to tip in favor of the emerging world ❴KINDLE❵ ❆ Insight and Interpretation Author Roy Schafer – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk especially ChinaAmid the hype of China s How the West Was Lost, Fifty Years of Economic Folly And the Stark Choices Ahead Dambisa Moyo once an idea is out it can be used and improved upon by anyone, anywhere, an idea has a marginal cost of zero This quote is referring to the spinoffs from the magnificent technology that enabled the Apollo moon landing in July 1969 I was a vagabond watching it on a storefront TV in Athens, Greece, along with a small crowd who didn t own their own sets, or had to be in downtown Athens on that day, aw How the West Was Lost, Fifty Years of Economic Folly And the Stark Choices Ahead Dambisa Moyo once an idea is out it can be used and improved upon by anyone, anywhere, an idea has a marginal cost of zero This quote is referring to the spinoffs from the magnificent technology that enabled the Apollo moon landing in July 1969 I was a vagabond watching it on a storefront TV in Athens, Greece, along with a small crowd who didn t own their own sets, or had to be in downtown Athens on that day, away from the comfort of their own home We were all looking for free.Technology, labour and capital all combined to make America the winner of the Space Race and the Cold War, and the Superpower of the planet Then came the Financial Crisis of 2008 Dambisa Moyo contends that it is not just the quantity of capital, of labour and of technology that matters, but also the quality By quality she means the manner in which capital is allocated, the aptitude of the workforce and the nature of the technology.Beginning with capital, Moyo points out how the cash strapped West is losing out in the international bidding war for commodities The 50 year long policy to enable the chase for the American Dream by extending credit against an ever weakening collateral has left America at the cliff edge of collapse Too much capital was drawn into the housing market by risk loving banks backed by government guarantees where it becomes non productive capital, non cash generating , and low yielding The combination of easy debt like mortgages and the mistaken belief that home equity would always rise led to the housing bubble and collapse of 2008 Moyo says in a sentence, debt claiments failed in their fiduciary duty to police the equity holders because they were hedged by public policy.The second misallocation is Labour Expensive future debt in the form of pension I enjoy mine is one problem Bad labour pricing that rewards the wrong groups sportsmen, CEO s, and financial services managers whose societal benefits are low, versus those whose work benefits societybroadly doctors, nurses, teachers is another The global migration of labour is also an issue where quantity and quality are considered from their economic impact.The key demographic factor in the West is the looming retirement of the baby boomers The UN forcasts that by 2050 one in three persons in the rich countries of the West will be a pensioner The median age for all countries in 2050 will rise from today s 29 years to 38 years Contrast this with the expectation that the emerging economies BRIC, for example will add 2 billion people to the middle class The quantity question is in the numbers.The quality question is illustrated by Moyo through a discussion about engineering degrees According to a 2009 Forbes article, the US prefers lawyers over engineers by 41 1 The economic trajectory of agriculture to manufacturing, to service sector predominance in maturing economies may explain some of this preference, but the service sector economy is also in jeopardy witness the call centre outsourcing described by Tom Friedman in his Flat Earth book But its not just this aspect of technology that has shifted labour, its also RD The education systems in India and China favour a meritocratic style where streaming students is practiced, in contrast to the egalitarian practice of broadening access is favoured in the West.I have some disagreement about this latter point and the validity of the evidence Firstly, the top place in the TIMMS and PISA testing regimes has consistently gone to Finland, a Western country, with Canada close to the top as well Secondly, the recent high rankings of city states like Shanghai and Singapore, are not the same as saying all of China or Malaysia is excelling in the same way or that the system is better Thirdly, the US scores can be disaggregated to show that some schools and districts are indeed failing but others are excelling, depending on socio economic status and racial makeup which is a problem of another kind.Besides capital and labour inputs, a third factor contributes to the growth of economies This is the total factor productivity TFP Think of this as all possible contributing factors combined such as geographical factors terrain and weather , rule of law, property rights, human rights, freedom of expression and technological growth and efficiency The West s superior know how has been eroding in a number of ways in this input area One example of this is the RD in the pharmacological industry Drugs developed in the US and Europe privately, soon show up abroad as generics Another example is the auto industry, where the big three GM, Ford and Chrysler failed to keep up to the technological innovations of such manufacturers as Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Hundai.Big global problems become economic challenges as well Healthcare and education, energy and food security, all require marshalling innovation in new ways The new world order must now acknowledge other players at the table such as Brazil, Russia, India, China BRIC Turkey and South Africa These players come with a different view of how to organize their economies Instead of allowing the market to decide how to behave unfettered by regulation and government direction, these countries accept governments with larger roles in directing the economy 75% of global oil reserves, for example, are controlled by state owned companies from emerging markets.Moyo, the economist, explains how a country s wealth comes about Y C I G X M Y is a country s GDP its income C is individual consumption I is total investment in the country private and public G is the net position of government revenues less expenses X M is exports less imports When I picked up this book, I did not check when it was written I feel like the book was largely influenced by the 2008 economic collapse There is also the fact that the West is essentially the US of A while the Rest is China Maybe the author intentionally used the two as examples to illustrate her point, but she does not explicitly say so I am no economist, so I was really enlightened by the numbers showing the economic state and history of the two nations And I think that maybe in 100 yea When I picked up this book, I did not check when it was written I feel like the book was largely influenced by the 2008 economic collapse There is also the fact that the West is essentially the US of A while the Rest is China Maybe the author intentionally used the two as examples to illustrate her point, but she does not explicitly say so I am no economist, so I was really enlightened by the numbers showing the economic state and history of the two nations And I think that maybe in 100 years, China will be the super power and the US will be somewhere lower All in all, a very informative read.Also, I can draw parallels to some of the things my country is currently doing I surely hope that Dambisa Moyo is wrong, for our sake Starts out pretty good, with some interesting insight into economic history Then goes completely off the rails, displaying absurd misunderstandings of basic concepts like comparative advantage and the effects of protectionism, concluding with solutions that a clearheaded look into the history from the first part of the book show to be the exact opposite of correct The last 50 or so pages truly infuriated me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author: Dambisa Moyo

Dr Dambisa Moyo is an international economist who writes on the macroeconomy and global affairs.She is the author of the New York Times BestsellersDead Aid Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa ,How The West Was Lost Fifty Years of Economic Folly And the Stark Choices AheadandWinner Take All China s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World.Ms Moyo was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World , and was named to the World Economic Forum s Young Global Leaders Forum Her work regularly appears in economic and finance related publications such as the Financial Times, the Economist Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.She completed a doctorate in Economics at Oxford University and holds a Masters degree from Harvard University She completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and an MBA in Finance at the American University in Washington D.C..