Book Bits | 11 April 2015

Generation Jobless?: Turning the youth unemployment crisis into opportunity
By Peter Vogel
Summary via publisher (Palgrave Macmillan)
Generation Jobless? uniquely explores the characteristics of both today’s and tomorrow’s youth and the causes of the youth unemployment crisis. The book takes a global, multi-stakeholder perspective to showcase proven solutions to tackle the crisis. Featuring interviews and input from business leaders, policy makers, educators, entrepreneurs and the Next Generation itself, it offers a positive and constructive look at change by directing each group to become part of the solution and in particular youth to take on responsibility for themselves and their peers by turning into job creators rather than job seekers.

End the IRS Before It Ends Us: How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America
By Grover Norquist
Review via The National Interest
Norquist cites a scholarly study by academics at Harvard and Stockholm University that seems to demonstrate that Tea Party rallies had a significant impact on driving anti-tax voters to the polls in 2010. By comparing areas where rallies were held with those where rallies had been thwarted by rainfall, they could calculate how Tea Party rally attendance actually affected vote totals in the subsequent elections. The researchers concluded that the rallies drove between 3.2 million and 5.8 million additional voters to the polls in 2010 House elections. “It turns out rallies really do matter,” writes Norquist.

The Future of the Euro
Edited by Matthias Matthijs and Mark Blyth
Summary via publisher (Oxford University Press)
The Future of the Euro is an attempt by political economists to analyze the fundamental causes of the euro crisis, determine how it can be fixed, and consider what likely futures lie ahead for the currency. The book makes three interrelated arguments that emphasize the primacy of political over economic factors.

The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis
By Darryl Cunningham
Review via Publishers Weekly
This work is both a highly effective example of graphic nonfiction and a strong critique of the connection between Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism and the 2008 financial collapse. Cunningham (Psychiatric Tales, How to Fake a Moon Landing) tackles this essential but byzantine subject with admirable clarity. The book examines how the attitudes and approaches of people—including former Federal Reserve Chairman and Rand disciple Alan Greenspan—helped establish the conditions for a worldwide financial meltdown…. This book is a superb example of how powerful graphic nonfiction can be in taking complex events and making them frighteningly clear.

John D. Rockefeller on Making Money: Advice and Words of Wisdom on Building and Sharing Wealth
By John D. Rockefeller
Summary via publisher (Skyhorse Publishing)
Advice and words of wisdom from the greatest American businessman and philanthropist. John D. Rockefeller is considered to be the wealthiest man to have ever lived, after adjusting for inflation. An American businessman who made his wealth as a cofounder and leading figure of the Standard Oil Company, he also had a pivotal role in creating our modern system of philanthropy. Collected in John D. Rockefeller on Making Money are the words from the man himself, offering advice on how to successfully start and manage a booming business, as well as the most efficient ways to preserve your wealth once you have acquired it.

Measuring Happiness: The Economics of Well-Being
By Joachim Weimann, Andreas Knabe and Ronnie Schöb
Summary via publisher (MIT Press)
Can money buy happiness? Is income a reliable measure for life satisfaction? In the West after World War II, happiness seemed inextricably connected to prosperity. Beginning in the 1960s, however, other values began to gain ground: peace, political participation, civil rights, environmentalism. “Happiness economics”—a somewhat incongruous-sounding branch of what has been called “the dismal science”—has taken up the puzzle of what makes people happy, conducting elaborate surveys in which people are asked to quantify their satisfaction with “life in general.” In this book, three economists explore the happiness-prosperity connection, investigating how economists measure life satisfaction and well-being.