Balance – The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America

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In this groundbreaking book, two economists explain why economic imbalances cause civil collapse—and why America could be next.

From the Ming Dynasty to Ottoman Turkey to Imperial Spain, the Great Powers of the world emerged as the greatest economic, political, and military forces of their time—only to collapse into rubble and memory. What is at the root of their demise—and how can America stop this pattern from happening again?

A quarter century after Paul Kennedy’s Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane present a bold, sweeping account of why powerful nations and civilizations break down under the heavy burden of economic imbalance. Introducing a profound new measure of economic power, Balance traces the triumphs and mistakes of imperial Britain, the paradox of superstate California, the long collapse of Rome, and the limits of the Japanese model of growth. Most importantly, Hubbard and Kane compare the twenty-first century United States to the empires of old and challenge Americans to address the real problems of our country’s dysfunctional fiscal imbalance. Without a new economics and politics of balance, they show the inevitable demise ahead.

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