* Austerity: The Great Failure by Florian Schui

Austerity: The Great Failure is an ambitious book, that starts with a sweeping review of austerity as a philosophical value (that never was very popular with the masses, per the author) before honing in on austerity as a policy (where it has also failed, he says).

I had a hard time embracing his arguments, mostly because he seems to pick and choose his examples to suit his thesis. Surely the current problems of Greece, say, were not caused by too much austerity, but rather not enough restraint (whether the problems can be solved by austerity is another issue, but it’s hard to argue that some restraint would not have avoided the problems entirely). He also makes the argument that state control is wonderful, which could be debated a lot more, as in whether a balance of state and economic actors may not work better than an all-powerful, supposedly wise state.


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