Sylvia Nasar talks about the birth of modern economics, and how it rescued mankind from squalor and deprivation. In Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius Nasar looks at the role of Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew in bringing to light the conditions of the poor majority in mid-19th-century London, the richest city in the world. She describes how activist thinkers—from Marx, Engels, Alfred Marshall, Beatrice and Sydney Webb, and the American Irving Fisher to John Maynard Keynes and American economists Paul Samuelson and Milton Freedman to India’s Amartya Sen—transformed the world.
In uncertain financial times, it seems every economist has their own opinion on how to revive the economy. But the idea that we could study the marketplace and deduce how to control and improve it was once radical. Decades before the Great Recession, students studied economics in order to become masters of their own fate. A new book examines the development of economic theory, from the Age of Industrial Revolution to World War II.
President Obama will announce a deficit reduction plan that will reduce government spending by $3 trillion through cutting entitlements, tax increases, and war savings. The plan is the White House's opening offer to the Congressional "super committee," which has until Dec. 23 to reach a deal on deficit reduction. GOP lawmakers have already labeled the proposed tax hikes "class warfare," particularly the so-called "Buffet Rule" — a minimum tax rate on those earning more than $1 million per year named for billionaire Warren Buffett.