By Joshua Kim, here are a few excerpts:
An oddity of Stubborn Attachments is that Cowen is reluctant to apply his pro-economic growth philosophy to real-world political choices.
[TC: that is on purpose of course]
Stubborn Attachments would have been more persuasive if Cowen was more willing to explore the implications of his philosophy on the political and policy choices before us. The question is, are progressive values are at odds with the belief that long-term economic growth is the engine of progress?
Nor does Cowen answer the question of at what point a wealthy society should be able to provide a measure of economic security to all of its citizens? Does the guarantee that work should come with a living wage and that everyone deserves access to health care and education incompatible with a long-term focus on economic progress?
As is always the case with a Cowen book, his writing will make you think. Stubborn Attachments is too abstract for my tastes. But I’m happy to have spent 3.5 hours arguing with Cowen.
If he reads MR, he can always spend more.