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The Age of Insecurity

The Age of Insecurity

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Описание
If the economy is booming, why is Britain increasingly a nation in therapy? Unemployment is falling. House prices are on the rise. Inflation remains low. But despite the continuing bright news from the economic front, a tangible uneasiness hangs over theBritish and American public. People remain anxious about their job security, mistrustful of the apparent rising value of their assets, skeptical of government blandishments about the bad times being firmly in the past. Welcome to the age of insecurity. It's not difficult to trace the origins of the acute wariness in the public's mood. The world -- pulled out of shape by the culture and values of big business and finance -- has become a volatile place. The 1987 stock market crash, the early nineties collapse in house price, Norman Lamont's panicked withdrawal of sterling from the ERM, these memories are all still fresh. Riptides of capital swirling around the globe can ruin entire economies overnight as any Malaysian or Mexican will testify. Companies setloose by free trade agreements can relocated their businesses at a whim, ask any downsized worker. The customary corollary of declining unemployment -- rising wages -- seems to apply only to directors and chief executives cashing in stock options for unimaginable fortunes. In the face of these by-products of a planetwide takeover by untrammeled finance, voters have turned increasingly away from the political champions of the free market to those whose social democratic traditions might seem to offer somesense of protection and order. Hitherto they have been sorely disappointed. Traditionally left-leaning parties now in power have directed their regulatory enthusiasm not at the behemoths of finance and industry, but at individual liberty and public morals. Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the first year of Tony Blair's Labour government. In The Age of Insecurity, Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson provide a coruscating argument for government to turn rapidly developing surveillance technology and strictures concerning ethics away from the citizen and on to a financial system that is making society ever more precarious. The relevance of The Age of Insecurity sparkles brighter for its stunning originality. Here is a book of our times, for our times -- a blueprint for a world where tomorrow is a word without associations of fear.