CAREERS

BE SAVVY, BE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND DON’T BE A MORON: TURN WORK INTO A HOBBY (VOLUME 1)

Minter compiles advice and reflections that he has told his children into a short, easy, entertaining read geared to young adults who appreciate a little sass in their reading material.

Each chapter of the book provides advice on a different theme, everything from knowing your strengths to making goals to networking. Despite these commonplace topics, Minter delivers content that feels different and new due to his writing style; whereas other books in the genre rely on a friendly tone, Minter goes a step further and injects snarky comments and stories into the text. The author walks the fine line of sarcasm, sounding like a cooler, older sibling and never coming off as a condescending adult. In places, the book becomes comical; his chapter on morons in the workplace and other anecdotes are entertaining and illustrate his points well. Snappy chapter titles such as “Don’t Race Cows” and “Do What Unsuccessful People Won’t” are screwy enough to allude to the chapters’ contents while also enticing the reader. The style could easily appeal to those who enjoy plucky horseplay, but may come off as tedious to a more serious reader looking for a handbook of professional advice. Although the author reads as a sibling, when he discusses college and international travel, he calls himself a bit of a dinosaur. Here, Minter deviates from popular sentiment that college should be an experience. Instead, he argues that college should be geared toward getting a career, and it seems, in Minter’s opinion, that career should be in the private sector. Whereas other books treat service and public sector jobs with a range of deference to acknowledgement, Minter completely ignores these types of positions. Although the omission is noticeable, it doesn’t distract from the other advice and messages that, together, make up a quick, amusing read. A useful blend of friendly and snarky advice from an older sibling.

 

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2011

ISBN: 978-1461095897

Page Count: 113

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more