Here's the good news: Democracy is spreading, and most economies in the world are now free. Superpowers are competing economically rather than fighting militarily. Stuff we need is getting better and cheaper. Increased opportunities for women are doubling the world's supply of ideas. Here's the downside: Internationally linked computerized economies mean twenty-four-hour stress. Frequent shakeups in industries will cause more job insecurity. Climate change is about to accelerate global disruption. Writing with the lively wit and contrarian insight ( The Wall Street Journal ) that are his trademarks, Gregg Easterbrook welcomes you to the Sonic Boom Economy: an explosive time of unprecedented growth, progress, and change that will leave all of us at one time or another anxious, uneasy, and stressed out of our minds. The financial crisis that started in 2008 was just the beginning-and a bellwether for the future. As we make our way out of the recession, continuing globalization, interconnectedness, and technological advances will mean great prosperity, ingenuity, dislocation, instability, and financial distress-all at once. Shenzen, China, has become the fourth largest port in the world, in a single generation creating both income and upheaval; Waltham, Massachusetts, is booming as New England's answer to Silicon Valley, but it's no longer hospitable to workers in fading mercantile industries; and Yakutsk, Russia, the coldest major city in the world, may benefit from global warming while Houston becomes too stifling to inhabit and Florida a swampland. Yet with crucial optimism, Sonic Boom offers concrete examples and indispensable advice on how to be on the winning side of these dizzying times. Here's how to innovate (in Erie, Pennsylvania, a huge old-fashioned factory uses new methods to build high-efficiency, low-polluting railroad locomotives), diversify (General Electric went from selling lightbulbs to jets to green tech), and use common sense (the French health-care system, which pays doctors for phone and email consultations, ultimately makes treatment faster and cheaper). Gregg Easterbrook, whom Forbes called the best writer on complex topics in the United States, definitively captures this unnerving period in economic history in an important book that's as eye-opening as it is hopeful, as provocative as it is ultimately positive.
by : Gregg Easterbrook