By Jeffrey Sachs
In this passionate and powerful book—part manifesto, part plan of action—the renowned economist Jeffrey D. Sachs offers a practical strategy to move America, seemingly more divided than ever, toward a new consensus: sustainable development. Sustainable development is a holistic approach that emphasizes economic, social, and environmental objectives in shaping policy. In focusing too much on economic growth, the United States has neglected rising economic inequality and dire environmental threats. Now, even growth is imperiled.
In Building the New American Economy Sachs explores issues that have captivated the nation and political debate, including infrastructure, trade deals, energy policy, the proper size and role of government, the national debt, and income inequality. Not only does he provide illuminating and accessible explanations of the forces at work in each case, but he also presents specific policy solutions. His argument rises above the pessimism born of political paralysis, economic stagnation, and partisanship to devise a brighter way forward, achievable both individually and collectively. In Building the New American Economy, Sachs shows how the United States can find a path to renewed economic progress that is fair and environmentally sustainable.
Hazel Henderson on Seeking Alpha wrote:
"New Economy presents a straight-forward, systems-based approach to enacting change. The plan of action contained in this book is clear and does not contain highly technical descriptions. It is meant to be understood and enacted by the average reader. [...] the integrative systems approach offered as a solution struck me as unique. It is not uncommon for the major issues addressed in the book, such as climate change, healthcare, infrastructure and the budget to be broken down into isolated legislation. [...] One value of the plan set forth in New Economy, is the refusal to view each issue as singular, but rather to view the larger, and arguably more accurate, picture in which all of the major issues are intricately interrelated. The author advocates for a systematic change of policy while analyzing the big picture. The book goes on to state that whether this change is made voluntarily now, or made involuntarily later, many of the proposed changes will become mandatory because climate change and the energy crisis are a reality. In looking at the book as a whole, the author presents a bird’s eye view of each of the major issues in order to explore the interplay of these issues and the overarching changes that must be made to policy in order to move forward to a sustainable future [...] This book should be read by those interested in any of the major issues currently facing America"
"Sachs has transcended his earlier advocacy of economic orthodoxy in the 'shock treatment' policies that shifted post-communist countries to capitalism after the fall of the Soviet Union. These policies led to auctioning off many public assets and resources to a new generation of robber barons, such as today's Russian oligarchs and to the kleptocracies in former Soviet dominated countries. Sachs overcame his reliance on these top-down textbook macroeconomic recipes for capitalist market-driven, GDP-measured 'growth'. After assuming the leadership of the Earth Institute funded by critics, Sachs also opposed this model of globalization: deregulation, privatization and 'free' trade promised in the 1980's by President Reagan in the USA and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Britain. The Earth Institute, now folded into the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, expanded Sachs earlier economic view by embracing global issues of inequality, poverty and environmental destruction---often worsened by the orthodox economics fraternity. [...] With this latest book Building the New American Economy [...] Sachs conversion beyond economics is complete. [...] Sachs masterfully critiques all the errors of market-led globalization and it's textbook financial models that led to the excesses of speculation, securitization, derivatives, high-frequency trading and their collapse in 2008. [...] Solutions Sachs outlines in this latest volume follow closely the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the climate accords in Paris at COP 21--- all now ratified by 195 nations since 2015."
Table of Contents of Building the New American Economy
- Foreword by Bernie Sanders
- Why We Need to Build a New American Economy
- Investment, Saving and U.S. Long-Term Growth
- Decoding the Federal Budget
- Sustainable Infrastructure after the Automobile Age
- Facing Up to Income Inequality
- Smart Machines an the Future of Jobs
- The Truth about Trade
- Disparities and High Costs Fuel the Health Care Crisis
- A Smart Energy Policy for the United States
- From Guns to Butter
- Investing for Innovation
- Toward a New Kind of Politics
- Restoring Trust in American Governance
- Prosperity in Sustainability
About Jeffrey Sachs
Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development. He is widely recognized for bold and effective strategies to address complex challenges including debt crises, hyperinflations, the transition from central planning to market economies, the control of AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, the escape from extreme poverty, and the battle against human-induced climate change. Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he holds the rank of University Professor, the university’s highest academic rank. Sachs held the position of Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University from 2002 to 2016. He is President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, and an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. From 2001-18, Sachs served as Special Advisor to UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan (2001-7), Ban Ki-moon (2008-16), and António Guterres (2017-18). Sachs has authored and edited numerous books, including three New York Times bestsellers: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). Other books include To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013), The Age of Sustainable Development (2015), Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair & Sustainable (2017), A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism (2018), and most recently, The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020).