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The Complacent Class

The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream

by Tyler Cowen
Walter Dixon

Audiobook

Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs.

The problem, according to legendary blogger, economist and best selling author Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition...we're working harder than ever to avoid change. We're moving residences less, marrying people more like ourselves and choosing our music and our mates based on algorithms that wall us off from anything that might be too new or too different. Match.com matches us in love. Spotify and Pandora match us in music. Facebook matches us to just about everything else.

Of course, this "matching culture" brings tremendous positives: music we like, partners who make us happy, neighbors who want the same things. We're more comfortable. But, according to Cowen, there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create.

The Complacent Class argues that this cannot go on forever. We are postponing change, due to our near-sightedness and extreme desire for comfort, but ultimately this will make change, when it comes, harder. The forces unleashed by the Great Stagnation will eventually lead to a major fiscal and budgetary crisis: impossibly expensive rentals for our most attractive cities, worsening of residential segregation, and a decline in our work ethic. The only way to avoid this difficult future is for Americans to force themselves out of their comfortable slumber to embrace their restless tradition again.


Expand title description text
Publisher: Gildan Audio
Edition: Unabridged

OverDrive Listen audiobook

  • ISBN: 9781469066271
  • File size: 220510 KB
  • Release date: April 5, 2017
  • Duration: 07:39:20

MP3 audiobook

  • ISBN: 9781469066271
  • File size: 220510 KB
  • Release date: April 5, 2017
  • Duration: 07:42:18
  • Number of parts: 8

Formats

OverDrive Listen audiobook
MP3 audiobook

subjects

Business Nonfiction

Languages

English

Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs.

The problem, according to legendary blogger, economist and best selling author Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition...we're working harder than ever to avoid change. We're moving residences less, marrying people more like ourselves and choosing our music and our mates based on algorithms that wall us off from anything that might be too new or too different. Match.com matches us in love. Spotify and Pandora match us in music. Facebook matches us to just about everything else.

Of course, this "matching culture" brings tremendous positives: music we like, partners who make us happy, neighbors who want the same things. We're more comfortable. But, according to Cowen, there are significant collateral downsides attending this comfort, among them heightened inequality and segregation and decreased incentives to innovate and create.

The Complacent Class argues that this cannot go on forever. We are postponing change, due to our near-sightedness and extreme desire for comfort, but ultimately this will make change, when it comes, harder. The forces unleashed by the Great Stagnation will eventually lead to a major fiscal and budgetary crisis: impossibly expensive rentals for our most attractive cities, worsening of residential segregation, and a decline in our work ethic. The only way to avoid this difficult future is for Americans to force themselves out of their comfortable slumber to embrace their restless tradition again.


Expand title description text
  • Details

    Publisher:
    Gildan Audio
    Edition:
    Unabridged

    OverDrive Listen audiobook
    ISBN: 9781469066271
    File size: 220510 KB
    Release date: April 5, 2017
    Duration: 07:39:20

    MP3 audiobook
    ISBN: 9781469066271
    File size: 220510 KB
    Release date: April 5, 2017
    Duration: 07:42:18
    Number of parts: 8

  • Creators
  • Formats
    OverDrive Listen audiobook
    MP3 audiobook
  • Languages
    English
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