A clear demonstration that the kids are all right. Now lead, follow, or get out of their way.

WINNING THE GREEN NEW DEAL

WHY WE MUST, HOW WE CAN

Founders and supporters of the progressive Sunrise Movement join forces to argue for the Green New Deal.

In this urgent collection, edited by Sunrise leaders Prakash and Girgenti, the contributions cohere into a difficult-to-disparage—logically, at least, if not politically—argument for immediate change. “The Green New Deal,” writes Rhiana Gunn-Wright, who helped create the concept with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “is a proposal for a ten-year economic mobilization to rapidly transition the U.S. to a zero-carbon economy, and in doing so to regenerate and reorganize the U.S. economy in ways that significantly reduce inequality and redress legacies of systemic oppression.” She continues later, “[it] is a new policy vision—one that will guide government and society through the biggest task in modern history: decarbonizing our global economy within the next ten to twenty years.” It seems like an inarguable, necessary proposition, but not in a political system that perpetuates economic inequality and ensures that the poor stay poor and the rich get richer. Addressing politics, science, economics, racism, and income inequality, among other topics, the contributors eviscerate the opposition to a movement that could not only change everything for the better, but save a world moving toward extinction. Though the reading is sometimes intellectually intense to the point of exhaustion, the editors wisely break up the rhetoric with personal stories from people whose regions will be inevitably affected by climate change. There are also moving personal narratives from the children who occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office in 2018. Arrested by Capitol Police, they earned acclaim from Ocasio-Cortez and others. These incisive essays provide a clear blueprint for creating solutions regarding the climate crisis, standing up for appropriate representation, and uniting disparate forces to build a better world. Among the other contributors are Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, William Barber II, Joseph Stiglitz, Kate Aronoff, and David Wallace-Wells.

A clear demonstration that the kids are all right. Now lead, follow, or get out of their way.

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982142-43-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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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

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