Book Bits | 1 August 2015

Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China’s Economic Miracle
By Jeremy R. Haft
Summary via publisher (Polity)
If you look carefully at how things are actually made in China – from shirts to toys, apple juice to oil rigs – you see a reality that contradicts every widely-held notion about the world s so-called economic powerhouse. From the inside looking out, China is not a manufacturing juggernaut. It s a Lilliputian. Nor is it a killer of American jobs. It s a huge job creator. Rising China is importing goods from America in such volume that millions of U.S. jobs are sustained through Chinese trade and investment.

The Rise and Fall of Carbon Emissions Trading
By Declan Kuch
Summary via publisher (Palgrave)
The results of the first full-scale emissions trading schemes are in, and their achievements have been modest. The author retraces the steps that have made carbon emissions trading the default climate policy mitigation response in Australia and internationally. Kuch examines environmental regulation and climate change at a critical time in thinking about pollution control, arguing that emissions trading schemes will not be sufficient to ‘civilize markets’ and prevent dangerous climate change.

The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream
Review via New America
Once seen as the Great Equalizer, the value of higher education in the era of soaring college debt has come into serious question.
In their new book, The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream, authors William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis argue that our current system of financial assistance imposes debt on vulnerable students in exchange for the promise of a college degree that may never materialize. Ultimately, the greatest costs are borne by the low-income students who must rely on this system, while students from more affluent families emerge unscathed. As a result, the Great Equalizer is becoming the Great Reinforcer.

The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger
By Greg Steinmetz
Review via The Economist
Albrecht Durer’s portrait of Jacob Fugger shows a man with thin lips and unforgiving eyes. He wears a fine fur tippet about his shoulders and a brown cap; for the time, his dress is strikingly plain. Greg Steinmetz, formerly a journalist with the Wall Street Journal and now a securities analyst in New York, declares that he was the most influential businessman who ever lived. He makes a better case for this extravagant claim than for his assertion that Fugger was also the richest man in history.

2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials Are Breaking Down Age Barriers and Changing the World
By Stacey Ferreira and Jared Kleinert
Summary via publisher (Macmillan)
2 Billion Under 20 is a book, online community, and movement inspired by the 2 billion people in the world currently at or under the age of twenty. We stand for Millennials, Gen Z’ers, and those who want to better understand them and their unique potential. This book shows how we can all act on our passions and make a difference at any age. Young entrepreneurs Stacey Ferreira and Jared Kleinert have brought together seventy-five stories from ambitious young people like Paige McKenzie, who started her own YouTube channel at sixteen that now has more than 55 million views.