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Download The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Tyler Cowen
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (661 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tyler Cowen Narrator: Paul Boehmer Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN:
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America has been through the biggest financial crisis since the great Depression, unemployment numbers are frightening, median wages have been flat since the 1970s, and it is common to expect that things will get worse before they get better. Certainly, the multi-decade stagnation is not yet over. How will we get out of this mess? One political party tries to increase government spending even when we have no good plan for paying for ballooning programs like Medicare and Social Security. The other party seems to think tax cuts will raise revenue and has a record of creating bigger fiscal disasters than the first. Where does this madness come from?

As Cowen argues, our economy has enjoyed low-hanging fruit since the 17th century: free land, immigrant labor, and powerful new technologies. But during the last 40 years, the low-hanging fruit started disappearing, and we started pretending it was still there. We have failed to recognize that we are at a technological plateau. The fruit trees are barer than we want to believe. That's it. That is what has gone wrong, and that is why our politics are crazy. Cowen reveals the underlying causes of our past prosperity and how we will generate it again. This is a passionate call for a new respect for scientific innovations that benefit not only the powerful elites, but humanity as a whole.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen | 2/13/2014

    " For one of the oh-so-trendy economist doomsayers, Cowen does a pretty good job of making his argument. With that said, I still didn't buy it. Basically the sum of his argument is 'it was easy then, now it's hard'. His most interesting example is high-school graduation rates. He says the first 50% is easy, the next 50% is hard, because they're so unfit for school as to not graduate even when there is clearly opportunity to. I don't really understand how that doesn't apply to the first 10% and other 90%. If anything the fact that we have lower graduation rates now seems to indicate more 'low-lying fruit' available in the future, only an educational-reform away. With that said, the book was nice a short, not belaboring any points. I liked it as much as one can like a book whose thesis one entirely rejects. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 2/10/2014

    " very insightful. this was an essay that was elongated into a short book. takes all of one afternoon to read and is quite a conversation starter "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Manish Goel | 1/30/2014

    " I was not the intended audience of the book. But surely cowen is looking at bigger picture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy Howard | 1/28/2014

    " The perfect introduction to the US's current stagnation and how it came about. I look forward to more from Prof Cowen in the future on how to resurrect the US from its slump. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fred R | 1/23/2014

    " I missed the part where we he explained how we'll eventually feel better, but it all fits in my developing theory about the Neo-Malthusian situation in which we find ourselves. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/21/2014

    " Great read. Big fan of Cowen's blog. Shows us the potential problems facing our country. However I fear people will not listen and instead place blame on political party ( not to say they don't need to be blamed on certain aspects). Cowen is a smart guy. I would recommend this book to anyone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marnix Surgeon | 12/29/2013

    " If you ever stumble upon this book, then step away. Simply step away. It is not worth your time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arthur | 12/18/2013

    " Interesting theory on the cause of the current recession. Bad banking plays a role, but the author argues convincingly for a bigger-picture view. Also a critique of the popular view of the internet. It's a fun tool, but a far lesser innovation than pharmaceuticals, transportation, or electricity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nuveen | 12/13/2013

    " It's concise and cheap, and while it is as interesting as Tyler Cowen always is, I think its release Kindle "single" was more groundbreaking than anything in it. But at four bucks and an hour or two of your time, it's worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 11/18/2013

    " This book got a lot of talk last year in economics blogs. It has an interesting hypothesis: that the current economic downturn is because our innovation is slowing down. It's definitely worth a read if you're interested in how the job market has been changing over the past 30 years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Francine | 7/4/2013

    " This was a stimulating, though-provoking read. It's only 89 pages...read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robbie Williams | 6/30/2013

    " Really nicely written and provocative, thought provoking content. More of this kind of thing please! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel | 3/6/2013

    " I read this book on my phone. Amaaaazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gearoid | 11/19/2012

    " A succinct and well-articulated argument that I found myself nodding in agreement with. Good points on Japan right at the end too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 8/14/2012

    " Offers a good attempt to explain why the US is in the state that it's in at the moment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 KO | 4/21/2012

    " Some good ideas, but not great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank Voisin | 3/4/2012

    " One of the clearest, most concise and value-added books I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 6/27/2011

    " Great read. Big fan of Cowen's blog. Shows us the potential problems facing our country. However I fear people will not listen and instead place blame on political party ( not to say they don't need to be blamed on certain aspects). Cowen is a smart guy. I would recommend this book to anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heath | 6/20/2011

    " A short, straight-forward explanation of America's current economic situation. Cowen's argument made a lot of sense to me as someone with no background in economics and I especially appreciated his non-partisan angle.

    4 stars for the content, extra star for the distribution method. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 5/30/2011

    " One of the clearest, most concise and value-added books I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neil | 5/22/2011

    " Really good short piece on the declining presence of pro-growth factors in the economy. Our lack of awareness about this lead to the Great Recession. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 5/21/2011

    " Excellent...and short...and inexpensive if purchased electronically. Seriously, Cowen makes a lot of sense (as usual). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gareth | 4/28/2011

    " A depressing read. I'm often annoyed by this authors blog so I was bit skeptical going in. Still clear writing and interesting premise. I think like many ideas that try to explain something huge it's partially right. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nuveen | 4/4/2011

    " It's concise and cheap, and while it is as interesting as Tyler Cowen always is, I think its release Kindle "single" was more groundbreaking than anything in it. But at four bucks and an hour or two of your time, it's worth a read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennie | 3/31/2011

    " Interesting premise, but if I read the phrase "low-hanging fruit" one more time, I would scream. "

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About the Author
Author Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University. His blog, Marginal Revolution, is one of the world’s most influential economics blogs. He also writes for the New York Times, Financial Times, and the Economist. He is the cofounder of Marginal Revolution University and the author of several books. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

About the Narrator

Paul Boehmer is an American actor best known for his numerous appearances in the Star Trek universe. He began his audiobook work in 2000 and has since lent his voice to many fiction and nonfiction titles. He has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2009 and 2014. Between books, he is active in regional theaters across the country. His television appearances include guest spots on Nip/Tuck and Numb3rs.