This post is part of a series of posts that summarizes the book Angrynomics by Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth.
If you found this post via search, it probably makes sense to start with the link to the full series, which is both here, and above.
This is especially true of this post, as this is the last post in the series.
Table of Contents
What do the Angrynomics authors conclude?
Politics leads – Economic policy follows
As stated previously, if you can’t reduce your economic policy ideas to something voters can easily understand and digest, they will NEVER be voted for.
What is different between Bernie Sanders’s “Democratic Socialism” and Andrew Yang’s “Human-Centred Capitalism”? Mostly messaging. Bernie Sanders sucks at marketing. Andrew Yang doesn’t.
Additionally, one reason the rich and powerful get their way is that they ARE rich and powerful.
While “tax the rich” may provide real economic benefits (as long as the policies require spending into the economy to avoid tax bills) the rich have shown they have ways of convincing both lawmakers and VOTERS not to go there.
So whatever policies are considered to make sense MUST fit into the political climate of the nation in question.
Is the US ever going to implement universal healthcare? Maybe, but not now.
The US needs solutions that fit the language of “free-market capitalism” even though the politics and economics of the US are today fueled by campaign finance funded oligopoly and not by free-market capitalism.
The policy recommendations made by the authors, which I’ve described in the past few posts, do fit the language of free-market capitalism.
People mobilize behind politics
Just look at what’s happening in the US today within the umbrella of “conservative values”.
Pro-life means “pro-birth”. Fetuses MUST be protected, but children already born, not so much.
Covid freedom means “get your ass back to work” even if minimal steps are taken to minimize the spread of Covid infections.
Covid freedom also means “rules to wear masks and get vaccinations are tyranny”. I’m old enough to remember when Americans thought in terms of “responsibilities”, but today, some political leaders are promoting rights without any mention of responsibilities to others. And their supporters are going along.
And CRT (critical race theory) means “do not teach THOSE parts of our history”.
And, it’s working. People are mobilizing behind the politics of all of the above.
But, fixing angrynomics takes big solutions
And, because of the highly politically polarized environment in the USA today, the political talking points that describe those solutions MUST cut across the two-party system.
Which I believe the policies the authors recommend do.
And anger is a motivating force
This can be seen via the “conservative values” mentioned above.
Anger is today fueling political divisiveness not seen in the USA since the 1960s.
If only we could find a way to harness that anger towards solutions that would benefit most Americans, rather than mostly lawmakers and their donors.
The Angrynomics ideas are not without critcism
And while I’ve read several criticisms that I feel are valid, I wish to acknowledge their existence while simultaneously saying that since this series of posts is a summary of the book, detailing them is beyond the scope of this set of posts.
A very brief list is:
- The book makes no mention of the effect of race and power (they do MENTION power, but almost in passing).
- The book asks good questions, but the prescriptions leave out some important stuff.
- The authors give short shrift to the effects of culture and identity politics.
- The division of anger into “moral” and “tribal” is a subjective matter of perspective.
But you can easily find more via an Internet search.
If you’ve got any comments or suggestions…
Please share. I’m very interested in what people think.