Jeff Madrick: Decline of America
A lecture and book signing by noted economist Jeff Madrick "Greed will always be with us," he writes, "but it rises and falls with the times." In Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, Madrick brings a narrative history of how greed bred America's economic ills over the past forty years—and in so doing tells us how we got to the crisis of 2008 and to the perilous situation we now face. He talks about the impact of the 1970s—a decade of punishingly high inflation and unemployment.
Madrick addresses how tax and economic policies contributed to the nation's ills. A 50-year-old, free-market economic theory was resurrected to justify weakening or eliminating government regulation and social programs. Businesses organized aggressive, well-financed lobbying efforts to support such views. The single-minded pursuit and justification of self-interest has risen to levels of increasing destructiveness. Age of Greed is a history of this era, told through the lives of the individuals most responsible for it.
Jeff Madrick is a professor of economics at Cooper Union, contributor to The New York Review of Books and former economics columnist at the New York Times. Event at Cooper Union Rose Auditorium June 2, 2011. Camera Joe Friendly