Book Bits: 4 December 2021

Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail
Ray Dalio
Review via Forbes
America’s domestic issues and decline as the world’s leading superpower are more than simply a matter for debate to Dalio. They underpin the core thesis of his latest book, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: How and Why Nations Succeed and Fail, that comes out on November 30. In it, he builds the case that the confluence of rising U.S. debt and income disparities, along with America’s diminished influence, has put the country at risk of not just economic hardship but war. Specifically, he points to growing debt and near-zero interest rates that have led to a massive printing of money ($16 trillion of debt at negative interest rates this year, by Dalio’s estimates), increased conflict and polarization due to widening wealth gaps and China’s increased ability to challenge U.S. hegemony on the world stage.

Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives
Alex Berenson
Summary via publisher (Regnery)
The most important fact about the coronavirus pandemic that turned the world upside down in 2020 is that our response to it has been an epic overreaction driven by a disastrous confluence of public and private interests—all of them purporting to “follow the science.” The product of relentless investigation and research, Pandemia explains how an illness that many people will never even know they had became the occasion for economically ruinous lockdowns and the suppression of personal freedom on a previously unimaginable scale. Dispassionate, factual, and untainted by any agenda other than telling the truth, this is the account that pandemic-weary Americans desperately need.

The Great Lockdown: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic from Organizations Around the World
Shivaji Das, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
In The Great Lockdown: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic from Organizations Around the Globe, expert strategists Shivaji Das, Aroop Zutshi , and Janesh Janardhanan deliver an insightful exploration of this once-in-a-lifetime event to unearth invaluable learnings for the future. Told through the experiences of CXOs at billion-dollar companies, star start-ups, and non-profits from around the world, the book chronicles the ups and downs of sophisticated organizations as they navigated the COVID-19 crisis through initiatives impacting people, processes, and technology.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Power, Profits, and Productivity in Modern America
Samuel Evan Milner
Summary via publisher (Yale U. Press)
Concentrated market power and the weakened sway of corporate stakeholders over management have emerged as leading concerns of American political economy. Samuel Milner provides a historical context for contemporary efforts to resolve these anxieties by examining the contest to control the distribution of corporate income during the mid‑twentieth century. During this “Golden Age of American Capitalism,” apprehension about the debilitating consequences of industrial concentration fueled efforts to ensure that management would share the fruits of progress with workers, consumers, and society as a whole. Focusing on wage and price determination in steel, automobiles, and electrical equipment, Milner reveals how the management of concentrated industries understood its ability to distribute income to its stakeholders as well as why economists, courts, and public policymakers struggled to curtail the exercise of that market power at its source.

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