Turbo-Capitalism: Winners and Losers in the Global Economy

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9780060931377: Turbo-Capitalism: Winners and Losers in the Global Economy

In this incisive and controversial exposť of the hidden effects of today's free-market capitalism, Edward Luttwak describes in powerful detail how it vastly differs from the controlled capitalism that flourished from 1945 to the 1980s. Turbo-capitalism is private enterprise liberated from government regulation, unchecked by effective trade unions, unfettered by concerns for employees or communities, and unhindered by taxation or investment restrictions. The winners in this free-for-all are getting much richer, while the losers are becoming poorer and are forced by downsizing to take the traditional jobs of the underclass. Led by the United States, closely followed by Britain, turbo-capitalism is spreading fast throughout Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world without the two great forces that check its enormous power in the United States: a powerful Legal system and the stringent rules of American calvinism. Luttwak exposes the major societal upheavals and inequities turbo-capitalism causes and the broad dissatisfaction and anxiety that may result.

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Review:

A new kind of capitalism is raging around the globe--and its economic and social consequences could be crippling. In Turbo-Capitalism, Edward Luttwak, a noted international strategist and consultant, warns that the free market has gone amok. He predicts possible massive increases in poverty, crime, and unemployment, especially in the Third World, which lacks the political and legal systems of the U.S. Unlike the benign, carefully controlled capitalism that ruled from the 1940s to the 1980s, this new whirlwind capitalism will eventually create tremendous social upheaval. "Allowing turbo-capitalism to have its way, as in the United States and the United Kingdom, results in widening income differentials in exchange for not-so-rapid growth," writes Luttwak, who provides plenty of statistics to support his argument. Luttwak acknowledges that economic progress could be crippled if the world returns to the old model of government regulation, and this he calls the "great dilemma," with no easy answers.

While Luttwak's interest is more global, he offers some domestic examples to illustrate the effects of capitalism unleashed. He points to Boeing, which suffered from massive layoffs in the 1990s, even as aircraft orders soared. And he ridicules the notion that high-tech will come to the rescue with thousands of new jobs for downsized blue-collar and white-collar workers, calling these hopes "The Microsoft Mirage." A sweeping, sometimes densely written treatise, Turbo-Capitalism raises important questions for policymakers and business leaders. --Dan Ring

About the Author:

Edward Luttwak is a strategist, consultant, and writer. He is the author of ten books, including Coup d'…tat, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, The Pentagon and the Art of War, Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace, and The Endangered American Dream. He is Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and international Studies in Washington, D.C

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