About Brad DeLong, & About Grasping Reality—The SubStack Newsletter
Coming September 6, 2022: my economic history of the long 20th century, 1870-2010:
“History provides the only data we have for charting a course forward in these turbulent times. I have not seen a more revealing and illuminating book about economics and what it means in a very long time. It should be required reading for anybody who cares about the future of the global system, and that should be everyone…”—Larry Summers, Harvard University, Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton
“Brad DeLong learnedly and grippingly tells the story of how all the economic growth since 1870 has created a global economy that today satisfies no one's ideas of fairness. The long journey toward economic justice and more equal rights and opportunities for all shall and will continue…”—Thomas Piketty, EHESS & l’Ecole d’économie de Paris, author of Le Capital au 21e Siècle.
“What a joy to finally have Brad DeLong's masterful interpretation of twentieth-century economic history down on paper. Slouching Towards Utopia is engaging, important, and awe-inspiring in its breadth and creativity.”—Christina Romer, U.C. Berkeley, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama
“Brad: You have a distinct angle of vision, encyclopedic knowledge, and wonderful facility with the language…. Appreciate [the book’s] audacity and reach.… Let it go [to the publisher] with confidence and joy…”—Fred Block, U.C. Davis
“Brad: I remember reading an earlier draft 30 years ago. You haven't wasted the 30 years. This book is vastly improved. It is, in my view, an amazing accomplishment…”—Robert Waldmann, U. of Rome “Tor Vergata
“Brad: Reading Slouching Towards Utopia, I am struck again at what a lovely writer you are. I find myself just marveling at how well you express things and how alive your prose feels. I am having trouble putting it down (even though I need to be preparing for Econ 2!)…”—Christina D. Romer, U.C. Berkeley, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama
“Brad: I love it. The grand story you are looking to tell makes a lot of sense to me, and it is very engagingly told…”—Tim O’Reilly
Before 1870, humanity lived in dire poverty, with a slow crawl of invention offset by a growing population. Then came a great shift: invention sprinted forward, doubling our technological capabilities each generation and utterly transforming the economy again and again. Our ancestors would have presumed we would have used such powers to build utopia. But it was not so. When 1870÷2010 ended, the world instead saw global warming; economic depression, uncertainty, and inequality; and broad rejection of the status quo. Economist Brad DeLong’s Slouching Towards Utopia tells the story of how this unprecedented explosion of material wealth occurred, how it transformed the globe—and why it failed to deliver us to utopia. Of remarkable breadth and ambition, it uncovers the last century to have been less a march of progress than a slouch in the right direction.
What Am I Hoping to Do Here?
What will I use this—the latest platform to hold my long-running “Grasping Realit” weblog—for? To tell you what I am most interested in—and what most struck me—in the moment, given who I am and what I am seeing.
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About Brad DeLong
James Bradford DeLong is an economic historian & macroeconomist. He is Professor of Economics <http://econ.berkeley.edu> at the University of California at Berkeley, & was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury during the Clinton Administration
He used to host his weblog on TypePad:
He can be found on Twitter at @delong. In fact, go take a look right now:
Why should you read & engage with him? At the moment, Google says he is best known for:
Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets—how Milton Friedman's claim that irrational investors must in equilibrium have no impact on market prices is simply, well, wrong <http://ms.mcmaster.ca/~grasselli/DeLongShleiferSummersWaldmann90.pdf>
Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy—how when inflation is as quiescent & interest rates as low as they have been since 2001, bond- & money-financed expansions of government purchases are, when properly hedged, truly a win-win free lunch that competent governments would pursue <https://www.brookings.edu/about/projects/bpea/papers/2012/fiscal-policy-depressed-economy-delong>
Did J.P. Morgan's Men Add Value?—reputation, managerial competence, oversight, & the benefits to society of long-term greedy plutocratic investment banks <https://www.nber.org/chapters/c7182.pdf>
Speculative Microeconomics for Tomorrow's Economy—how the "Smithian" image of the economy that we economists have held in the forefront of our minds since 1776 is obsolete <http://osaka.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/spec.htm>