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The Price of Prosperity: Why Rich Nations Fail and How to Renew Them
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The Price of Prosperity: Why Rich Nations Fail and How to Renew Them

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In this bold history and manifesto, a former White House director of economic policy under President George H. W. Bush explores exposes the economic, political, and cultural cracks that wealthy nations face and makes the case for transforming those same vulnerabilities into sources of strength—and the foundation of a national renewal.

America and other developed countries,
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Harper
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Angie Smith
Jan 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
I read this book to better understand how "others" think but found myself gasping at the ignorance and belittling of the work ethic of the poor and young. I did not see one mention of the nonworking wealthy and privileged living off of capital gains tax cuts. "A shattering of work ethic and of ambition shows up even in high school course selections, as native-born students display less ambition and avoid more difficult classes. Even though employers are handing out bonuses for graduates in scien ...more
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book distilling the problem of rich countries into simple acts: 1) as countries get richer, fertility rate drops; 2) immigrants are needed to do jobs that the local bred won't do; 3A) society gets fragmented as it gets more diverse or 3B) society cease to exist as its population shrinks.

The clarity of this book makes it easy to understand recent trends in all the prosperous countries. The second part is mainly about historical heroes who manages to handle these problems. I'm going
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I respect the author's thorough analysis. A bit dry to read though.
Marvin Soroos
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I would give Part I 5*. It was a very interesting and entertaining presentation of the author's reasons why rich nations fail over time. Part II receives 4*. I learned many new things about famous leaders such as Alexander the Great, Ataturk, and Golda Meier, as well as the Meiji Revolution in Japan. Part III was very disappointing---2* at best. It was a relatively short laundry list of ideas to foster national unity and avoid societal breakdowns. The three parts of this book were not very well ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, economics

The author's main point is that a collection of five disparate problems (population decline, globalization, debt, work, and immigration) have beset many successful polities in the past, usually right before their downfall. He has, unsurprisingly, a conservative perspective, but there is merit in what he says. Indeed, much of it is fact.

Unfortunately, he fails to unite these points into any sort of coherent thesis, and doesn't offer any groundbreaking solutions. Indeed the subtitle
Johnny Le Bon
Nov 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: scribd, audiobooks
I couldn't finish this as the guy is obviously a conservative economist with an agenda.
I was not buying into some of his conclusions. I don't know where his data came from as I was listening to this book and could not see if there were any footnotes. But I don't think they would have changed my mind as he was not very objective.
Clay Hatcher
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
First half of the book is about issues facing the United States going forward, including declining birth rates, people working less, and how immigration has changed over the last couple hundred years. The second half is about what he thinks we should do to fix it if he had his way and could do whatever he wanted.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The causes of demographic collapse preceding economic stagnation are discussed at length. The author's prescription for renewal seems simplistic, though it would not be particularly simple to implement.

The book did come with extensive end-notes - almost 23% of the text was in the end matter.
Matt Gosney
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Essentially, as we get richer we get more selfish - the more money we have the more we do not need to have many children in order to hope that at least one of them will take care of us as we get old. It reads a bit biased and elitist. Not as well researched and backed up as its contemporaries.
Peter Clancy
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding. Should be compulsory reading for everywhere in the failing Western world
Jim Blessing
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a very interesting read, but had a rightwing tilt.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I just finished the book this Sunday morning. Todd Buchholz starts by a common saying in the US that people would move to Canada if one's best candidate doesn't get elected. He mentioned that this time might be different by analyzing the rise and falls of great nations in the past.
Tim Kohn
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure, I received a Galley copy thru though I was excited to have won a copy as Mr. Buchholz's prior work New Ideas from Dead Economists was one of my favorite primers on the great economic thinkers through history and their current relevance.

This book was a departure but a welcome one. It had a similar structure and feel to Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane's Balance in that it identified a substantial weakness in US governance and political priorities while providing some int
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, economics
This book is ideal for history buffs. Extremely carefully written and meticulously researched, every point that Buchholz makes is supported directly by historical examples. Overall, his thesis is supported by the given evidence. However, despite being a great piece of persuasive writing, readers can still make independent conclusions. Thus, Buchholz's conclusions are sufficient to explain the given evidence, but are not necessary (allowing for distinct conclusions by readers).

Structurally, the b
Jun 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
While having some interesting ideas and keeping the content interesting with modern cultural references, my biggest complaint in this book is that it seems very anecdotal. The book provides repeated historical examples, but each one has the caveat – “this is not the only factor”. Though still illustrative and showing a pattern, it would have been nice to see additional statistical analysis of his examples to show more conclusive theses.

That being said, I think this book provides some interesting
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought this book would be a more detailed look into the current situation in the US. It was part economics, part history but much of the historical component in Part II is focused on individual leaders from the past and how the uniquely served their countries/empires. I found it a bit much and frankly thought the stories to be way too long and sometimes off topic. Seemed like it took forever to get to the point. In terms of trying to prove out his thesis, felt like the author could have eithe ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it
It's been a very long time since I struggled so much while reading a book. The messages included here are nuanced and provocative, and really get you thinking. I do not agree with the underlying assumption that the nation is a holy thing that must be maintained. Even without that assumption though there's enough to wrestle with. Just..... make sure you're aware that this is an economic historian. The reverence for history can be a bit much sometimes :)
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: misc-read
I won this book through Goodreads. This is not a normal read for me. Too deep. This book was really very thoughtful and interesting. Very enjoyable and not hard to read at all.
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A well-known American economist and a former senior economic advisor at the White House, Buchholz holds advanced degrees from Cambridge University and Harvard, where he won the Allyn Young Teaching Prize. Buchholz is known for being on the short list for Federal Reserve considerations in 2006. He frequently writes for newspapers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, in addition t ...more

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