Friday, June 15, 2018

The Art of Destroying A Country

Since last fall I have been working on my next book manuscript, which is about the risk for a Greek-style fiscal disaster here in the United States. However, I have decided not to publish it as a book, at least not at this point in time. The story of this new book is simply too serious and too urgent to put through the slow-moving grinds of another book publication period. My two latest books, on Gower and Routledge, took almost a year from acceptance to availability.

This is normal for a peer-reviewed publication, but this time around I do not think my message can wait that long. Over the course of the summer, I am going to publish the material in the form of four openly available, comprehensive essays.

To maintain quality I am submitting key parts of the analytical work to peer review through conference papers; the first part was discussed at a conference in Amsterdam last month, with very helpful feedback from a strong selection of sharp-minded economists. The second part is discussed in another conference paper, due out later this summer. 

While maintaining scholarly standards, I also want to tailor the message for a broad audience. The story of this book is simply too brutal to be kept confined to scholarly circles:

1. The United States will experience a Greek-style fiscal crisis. It is no longer a matter of if - it is a matter of when, and how bad it will be. We meet all the conditions for a crisis. All we need is a "trigger point", and it is only a matter of time before we hit one.
2. Our political, academic and think-tank elites are almost unanimously in shocking denial over the seriousness of the situation. This even includes those who raise their voices in protest over big government spending.
3. When we combine the ripe-for-crisis conditions in our economy and the denialistic mentality among policy makers, we have the perfect recipe for a crisis with devastating consequences.
4. We must educate ourselves about this situation, not because we can do much to prevent the crisis but because we can learn how to ride it out, mitigate its consequences and - most importantly - take the necessary, painful steps to make sure it never happens again. 

There is still a slim chance that we might avoid a Greek-style fiscal crisis, but the room for preventative measures is shrinking rapidly. This is why I want to get my analysis out in the public as soon as humanly possible. Therefore, over the summer I will roll out my four comprehensive essays and for free. 

I am not an alarmist. I am simply sharing my scholarly analysis, based on almost two decades of Ph.D.-level academic and public-policy research, peer-review publications and production of policy solutions to complex macroeconomic and fiscal problems. Frankly, in the particular case of this very project, if I kept my work to myself in order to publish it as yet another book by another academic publisher, I would not be doing my job.

The common title for the essay series will be:

The Art of Destroying A Country

and the first essay will be published next week.

Those who wish to gain some valuable background can pick up a copy of my latest book, published this past winter on Routledge:


You do not have to read it to follow my new series of papers, but it helps in understanding the background of America's looming Greek-style fiscal crisis. 

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