The complacent class : the self-defeating quest for the American dream


The complacent class : the self-defeating quest for the American dream

Tyler Cowen

Picador, 2018

  • : pbk

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Originally published: New York : St. Martin's Press , c2017

Includes bibliographical references (p. [225]-239) and index



The problem, according to legendary blogger, economist and bestselling author Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition. Working harder than ever to avoid change, seeking more security and more safety. Moving homes less, making children play inside more, choosing their music and friends on algorithms that wall us off from anything that might be too new or too different. While this might feel rational and be good individually, it spells trouble collectively. 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. Postponing change, due to 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 the 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.

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