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Post-widget Society : Economic Possibilities for Our Children (Hardcover) (Lawrence H. Summers &
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Lawrence H. Summers presents a new paradigm for thinking about the current economic and technological revolution
Digital technology is changing the way we work, shop, and socialize. We can no longer count on full employment and stable career paths. For all the talk about rapid innovation, economic growth is largely stagnant. We all sense that we’re living through a moment of great upheaval, but we don’t quite understand what’s happening. As Lawrence H. Summers shows in The Post-Widget Society, we are currently in the throes of a new economic revolution, but the old model of how the economy works is ill-equipped to explain this transformation.
At the heart of this extraordinary revolution are two dramatic developments in Western economies: the declining significance of widgets (mass-produced goods) and the rise of design goods (products that cost a lot to design but little to produce); and the controversial prospect of secular stagnation, the long-term phenomenon of negligible economic growth and depressed employment in a dynamic market economy. Written with Chrystia Freeland, Summers’s trenchant analysis of these trends shows that they have profound implications not only for the future of jobs and widening income inequality but also for the role of the state and the very stability of society. The Post-Widget Society is necessary reading for the president and Congress, and indeed for every American concerned about the economic possibilities for their children.