Edward N. Luttwak

Turbo-Capitalism: Winners and Losers in the Global Economy Translated from english (United States) by Michel Bessières et Patrice Jorland. Publication date : May 1, 1999

This is a brilliant analysis of modern capitalism and capitalist society, showing how we work and live, and describing the most recent international developments. The world economy today is characterised by increasing upheaval and ever-faster changes brought on by deregulation, privatisation, technological change, and globalisation. Those who support such upheavals say they are the product of market forces – the author contends that they are caused by "turbo-capitalism". Originating in the United States, turbo-capitalism then spread to the United Kingdom, to western Europe, and later to Asia and the rest of the world. Only France and Japan have partially resisted it. More than ever before, today’s world is divided between the haves and the have nots. The winners – the architects and acrobats of the current technical-organisational changes – are becoming richer and richer while the rest stagnate. Countries who import this tough form of turbo-capitalism rapidly discover that they cannot fight against newly-created inequalities by relying on the two major safety valves that traditionally been used in countries such as the United States: law and morality.Edward Luttwack thoroughly examines the difference between turbo-capitalism and the more restricted forms of capitalism that we are familiar with. He argues against the view that cutting back on the number of jobs in traditional sectors will be counterbalanced by the creation of jobs in new ones. And he contests the myth that the service sector is an excellent source of jobs, since wages in this sector are notoriously low.At first sight, turbo-capitalism may seem highly effective, but when one considers the human cost of turbo-capitalism, the inequalities it generates, and how destructive it can be of the institutions that shape our social fabric, then the price to be paid seems exorbitantly high. Unfortunately, there are no easy, clear-cut solutions, and the challenges raised by turbo-capitalism are still to be faced.In this book, the author, known as a free-market economist, has succeeded in putting the free-market economy on trial.Edward C. Luttwak is a specialist in economics and strategy for many institutions in the United States and Europe.