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 MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein

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PostSubject: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:00 pm

Well Stiglitz and Douthwaite it is ??

Booker polled well too and I would like to read it after the Referendum to try and keep up my good intentions of not ignoring the EU between referenda.

I've bought Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine - it seems to be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Ganley type phenomenon in a much wider context that Ireland and is very readable, so if anyone wants to chat about that on the side I would be ready and willing.


Last edited by cactus flower on Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:58 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : removed 'Douthwaite' - no one's reading him)
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:13 pm

Douthwaite seems to be a problem. Local Easons told me when I rang yesterday that it's not available - not even to send over from England - so I'll be trying the library for that one. Stiglitz they had in stock and I'll be picking it up tomorrow, dv. Just short of 12 yo-yos.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:21 pm

Kate P wrote:
Douthwaite seems to be a problem. Local Easons told me when I rang yesterday that it's not available - not even to send over from England - so I'll be trying the library for that one. Stiglitz they had in stock and I'll be picking it up tomorrow, dv. Just short of 12 yo-yos.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Growth-Illusion-Economic-Impoverished-Endangered/dp/1870098765

Second hand ones on Amazon from £5.00.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:46 am

When does the club start?

I saw a copy of Stiglitz's book for sale in Hodges Figgis at the weekend by the way.

I have read the first chapter of Douthwaite's The Growth Illusion.
My first impressions were a bit tainted by the source of the reviews on the back cover. The sources were all reputable but not quite mainstream.

The introduction was clear and interesting though I note that Mr. Douthwaite was not a practising economist at the time he was commissioned to write the book. Also, he set about writing a book on Green economics, i.e., with an explicit Green agenda.

The first chapter was interesting but I think the fact that I ended up reading it in fits and starts was indicative of the fact that it is not written in such a way as to hold the attention of joe public. Douthwaite seems committed to giving sources to back up his basic thesis but the way he provides them seems a bit haphazard and sometimes unecessary.

For instance, after his initial critique of the use of GNP he then goes on to give other people's views and lists by increments the parts that are left out. I found the idea comprehensible to begin with and I was looking forward to the next point. Instead ,too many examples of the parts left out of GNP and the grey areas were given. These example served more to cloud the central point and by clouding it left it uncertain in one's mind. Also the alternative to GNP, the Measure of Economic Wealth was pretty unconvincing by being inconsistent and and inexact.

In summary, my interest was piqued in the first couple of pages and mithered by the end. I think this is a book written by somebody who is clearly an academic/professional and is probably a book that will not hold the attention of too many lay people. The first chapter would be better if slimmed down to about 30% of its original size and I have to say I fear that I may not stick the rest of it.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:28 pm

Sounds like heavy enough economics Zhou, Should a few of us do the same and come up with an opinion in a while? I have it too I'll look later. We really don't have to stick with it.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:34 pm

I think Douthwaite has tried to write it for the lay-man but has not necessarily succeeded. I wouldn't call time on it just yet and will be digging into chapter two. When is the decision final? I had intended posting on the thread relating to the book and not the poll.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:44 pm

I have chewed on Douthwaite before and broken my teeth. I've also heard him speak and was not at the time convinced. I put him up at the moment as someone to read as the whole issue of capacity of the planet is coming to a crunch and it is not something that economists have tried to get a handle on as far as I know.

The question for me is "what happens to the economy if it is not allowed to grow or cannot grow" - is it possible to maintain a steady state in a capitalist or any other system?

I don't know Stiglitz but hope that he will offer a completely different slant in contrast.

Would you mind if we split the thread Zhou and made your post a first post on Douthwaite?

My suggestion is that Douthwaite and Stiglitz are announced as winners but that we ask anyone who wants to to open a thread on Shock too, as a lot of people have read it or want to read it, and see how we go?
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:49 pm

Splitting the thread sounds good to me.

On Douthwaite, he has explained the growth issue well enough. What I want to know now is what is his solution? If he does not come up with something quickly then I will be skipping over to my hero Stiglitz. I have heard Stiglitz talk and he convinced the pants off me.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:51 pm

Tell me a little about Stiglitz - I know nothing and it may be a few days before I can get the book.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:20 pm

Stiglitz has won the Nobel Prize for Economics in the past. He was an economic advisor to Bill Clinton in his first administration holding a very senior role. He then went on to work in the World Bank where he saw treatment of developing countries by the WB and the IMF at first hand.

He wrote the seminal work "Globalization and Its Discontents", a book that is incredibly readable and brilliant for its smplicity in talking about complex issues. The book apart from being a best-seller is on the reading list for the UCD MBA. He has been fearless in highlighting the errors (and sometimes pure stupidity) of people who approach economics from an ideological perspective. He gave the ESRI's Geary Lecture in the Burlington in August 2008 which he also used to launch his new book. There was a massive crowd and he got a great reception.

According to Wikipedia, Stiglitz is the second most cited economist in the world, as of 2008.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:52 pm

I'm looking forward to reading him - which book is the best?
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:35 pm

I have only read Globalization and Its Discontents. That is the book that made him an international star. He might have done better since, which is why I want to read the follow up. I also want to learn about solutions to our current problems.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:44 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I have only read Globalization and Its Discontents. That is the book that made him an international star. He might have done better since, which is why I want to read the follow up. I also want to learn about solutions to our current problems.
What do you see as current problems? These economists deal with redefinitions of orthodox economic terminology such as 'growth'. I also believe that money and work need to be redefined because money supply should be more elastic I keep saying in order to broaden the idea of work to encompass education too. Productivity needs to be considered as 'activity' - some activity having no (or low) inflation side-effects.

What other issues do you see them trying to address?
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:03 pm

The core problem is how, in the context of technologial and economic development and environmental emergencies, to achieve peace, political stability, economic stability, human rights and functioning sociological structures which will allow us to enhance the dignity of the human being (including mental and spiritual joy and well being, human self respect and human regard for the value of life).
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:09 pm

I think we should stick that last post at the top of our Charter Wink
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:49 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
I think we should stick that last post at the top of our Charter Wink

Definitely. A continent of ground is covered in that succinct post. More please!
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:13 pm

Stiglitz and Douthwaite it is then -

http://books.google.ie/books?id=q_eJHQAACAAJ&dq=inauthor:Joseph+inauthor:E+inauthor:Stiglitz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Growth-Illusion-Economic-Impoverished-Endangered/dp/1870098765

They were closely pursued by Naomi Klein's the Shock Doctrine and Christopher Booker's EU Deception: would anyong like to start an alternative thread on either or both on the side?

We can carry on posting on Stiglitz and Douthwaite on this thread
Very Happy study Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:09 am

Well, am on pg 315 of Klein (out of 466), so am happy to natter about that on a separate thread, even if it's a monologue!

Bought the Stiglitz book this eve after work, couldn't see Douthwaite but am sure I actually have it in a box somewhere. The fact that it is "in a box somewhere" tends to suggest that I also broke some teeth on it years ago. Anyway, i'll start with Stiglitz.

I really, really don't want to mix things up any more, but I will just mention the following two if Douthwaite doesn't work out for some people -

The End of Poverty - Jeffrey Sachs (best buddies with Bono, ugh but Klein points out some "inconvenient truths" bout him)

The Truth About Markets: Why Some Nations are Rich but Most Remain Poor - by John Kay. He's a Prof at LSE but also has a column in the Financial Times and is quite readable.

I also picked up that EU book in the shop, Cactus, but the positive references to Peter Hitchens, Ruth Lea and sundry other well-known British Euro-sceptics was just too much for me this week!! Crying or Very sad
I will read it sometime but I bought Peter Norman's much-recommended The Accidental Constitution: The Making of Europe's Constitutional Treaty instead.

study study
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:48 pm

I've just started Stiglitz - but am wondering would it make sense to read his first book first - Globalisation and its Discontents? He refers to it quite a lot in the preface.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:51 pm

Feck it I think you might be right on that Kate - anyone else get the same impression?
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:06 pm

Perhaps a revolution is in order with Naomi Klein getting the nod. At least she has only one book that doesn't require knowledge of a prequel. I expect she is more readable than Douthwaite, plus she is less likely to kill the gentle flicker of romance for those still feeling their way with the opposite sex.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:20 pm

Well I don't mind - I'll read em all at some stage... Are you saying Klein has some prophylactic effect?
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:30 pm

I'm saying that Klein is an accepted part of trendy culture. Stiglitz and Douthwaite are less likely to send soulmate shivers down your intended's spine. On the other hand, some people find nerds amusing.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:02 pm

I think we could make mincemeat of Klein: she is the holiday / airport read of the bunch. She is also timely in that once read, you will know almost all you would ever need to know about Libertas. Quite a few people have already read the book and would chip in. Those of us who have just read Collapse deserve a break. I think that economics is more important for understanding what is driving things, but a bit of passion first might be good for us.
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PostSubject: Re: MN Summer Book Club Choice- Stiglitz and Klein   Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:05 pm

Oh no - are you going to suggest Jilly Cooper again cactus?
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