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The Courageous State: Rethinking Economics, Society and the Role of Government [Kindle Edition]

Richard Murphy
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Courageous State is a vision of a country in which politicians strive to give everyone the chance to achieve their potential. So what's the book about? Three things. First, it says that neoliberalism has given us feeble politicians who think anything they do will be worse than the market outcome, so they do little or nothing. They fail us as a result. Second, it argues that this is wrong and a whole raft raft of new economic thinking from Richard shows why. And third, it contains a whole range of economic policy proposals that Courageous politicians could adopt to get us out of the neoliberal mess we're in. Why buy it now? Because everyone says that we're living in a world where there are no alternative ideas to counter neoliberalism - and now there are lots of them, all wrapped up in The Courageous State. Who is Richard Murphy? Richard is a chartered accountant, political economist, adviser to the TUC, PCS, The Tax Justice Network and others, and the person who put the Tax Gap on the UK policy agenda. He's also well known for his Tax Research UK blog - now ranked the number 1 economics blog in the UK.


Product Description

Review

"Conventional economists have run out of ideas. But Richard Murphy abounds with them.He writes with electric clarity about what went wrong and what could be done to put things right. He is a new economic thinker, and guided by a sharp and practical accountant's eye he knows where the money is hidden, who has it and how to release it. Murphy is is as courageous as he says our politicians should be." --Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

Rich individuals, corporations, well-funded special interest groups and much of Fleet Street is on one (the wrong) side and then there is Richard Murphy..the heroic figure. Tireless and forensic, driven by an admirable moral fervour, I take my hat off to a campaigner with Duracell batteries --Kevin Maguire, Sunday Mirror

From the Back Cover

What is the Courageous State?

The Courageous State is Richard Murphy's vision of a country in which politicians strive to give everyone the chance to achieve their potential.

So what's the book about?

Three things. First, it says that neoliberalism has given us feeble politicians who think anything they do will be worse than the market outcome, so they do little or nothing. They fail us as a result.

Second, it argues that this is wrong and a whole raft of new economic thinking from Richard shows why.

And third, it contains a whole range of economic policy proposals that Courageous politicians could adopt to get us out of the neoliberal mess we're in.

Why buy it now?

Because everyone says that we're living in a world where there are no alternative ideas to counter neoliberalism - and now there are lots of them, all wrapped up in The Courageous State.

Who is Richard Murphy?

Richard is a chartered accountant, political economist, adviser to the TUC, PCS, The Tax Justice Network and others, and the person who put the Tax Gap on the UK policy agenda. He's also well known for his Tax Research UK blog - now ranked the number 1 economics blog in the UK.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3355 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Searching Finance (13 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0067M8CUU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,210 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Rebel with a cause. 27 Nov. 2011
Format:Paperback
Having read this book once, I need to re-read it to fully appreciate the range and depth of the ideas Richard Murphy offers. There are books which analyse the economic crisis and those which deprecate the tax havens and activities of the bankers. This book does that to an extent but also offers solutions based on a through rejection of the Washington Consensus which has dominated political and economic thinking over the last thirty years. The Consensus says the government should be restrained to vital functions and its attempts control the economy are bound to be ineffective. The markets know what's best. De-regulation, privatisation, low taxation and abandonment of capital controls will liberate entrepreneurial energy. Of course,(as it seems to me) it may also mean 'downsizing and five people taking on the work of ten for no extra pay while the CEO and shareholders receive large rewards. Final income pensions may have to go and government social expenditure restrained but that is the price worth paying. He says 'politicians of the cowardly state think it is true that we should trust the market and not politicians.'
Murphy rejects all that, what he calls 'neo-liberalism', saying democracy means the state has a right to demand taxes to be used for the general good. The courageous state is one where politicians act to carry this out. The first part of the book deals with the failings of the present system. This is not done in depth as, he says, one either recognises it and agrees with it or one does not. The second part is about his economic analysis which looks at our needs, emotional, mental,purpose as well as material needs. Conventional economics doesn't usually do this. He does this using a series of diagrams employing a circle divided into a quadrant.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
A great read for anyone looking for concrete, left-wing solutions to the present economic crisis and to counter the neo-liberal political trends of the past 30 years.

Like one of the other reviewers, I was led to Richard Murphy's work after reading the excellent Treasure Islands by Nicolas Shaxson. I particularly liked the circular diagrams Murphy uses to explain his theory of how people and societies can achieve their potential in the 4 key areas of life: Material, Emotional, Intellectual and Purpose.

The only criticisms I have of the book are:

a) as someone without formal training in economics, a few more concrete examples woven into the text would have helped me understand the more complex arguments and have saved me re-reading some passages;

b) some of the arguments are repeated in different sections and I feel the book could have been edited together a bit more coherently;

c) it's fair to say that the Kindle edition of the book is riddled with errors (missing words, superfluous words, sentences which seemed to have been hacked many times and left in an unreadable state etc.) I can only imagine is down to the short time frame that the book was written in (Murphy acknowledges as much in the prologue) and maybe some poor character recognition technology, if this was scanned in.

This doesn't distract from the fact that this is an important book and a must-read for anyone looking for an alternative take on how we can restructure our society to face the challenges of the 21st Century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unintelligible drivel 2 April 2015
By PA
Format:Paperback
I had high hopes for this but much like other reviewers I was left very disappointed. It's unstructured and repetitive, some sentences make no sense whatsoever even after rereading several times.
Where I was expecting some reasoned argument for his opinions, it was more like a rant with little substance to back up what is said. Very disappointing, I think I'll stick to books by recognised economists in future instead of an accountant with an axe to grind.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment 10 Dec. 2012
Format:Paperback
This is a disappointment. Murphy is a tireless, passionate, lucid, well informed and influential campaigner on tax reform. I had hopes for a persuasive way out of our current mess. But this isn't it.

In part, the reason is not hard to seek. Murphy says he wrote the book in 3 months , seemingly without an editor. It shows. The writing, unlike his blog, is often uneven, prolix, repetitive, lumpy, and in places saloon bar hectoring ('I could spend a long time exploring this thesis...I am not going to because you, the reader, either...agree with it or you don't'). It feels like chunks were dictated late at night, and sent off without revision. A characteristically over-extended sentence that seems to have left the rails:

"How has the consensus that built out post war prosperity been replaced by a consensus that built the deregulatory environment which resulted in the near collapse of the UK economy in 2008 - and which treated the mechanisms of state that prevented that collapse with such extraordinary disdain that the status quo of contempt for government, that has resulted in a near universal demand for cuts in public services, come to pass?"

(If there was an editor, I demand he/she be brought to trial).

Murphy contrasts the 'cowardly state' (the minimalist state, oppressor of the poor and friend of the rich) that we have now with an ideal 'courageous state' (that looks after everyone).

The first part analyses where we are. No one needs persuading that we are in a hell of a mess, and there's diminishing support for what he describes as 'neo-liberalism'. But is it really so simple as: ''The rot set in with Thatcher and has continued unabated ever since"?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars If you ignore history, you live its mistakes again and again and again...
How can anyone reheat the utterly disastrous policies of corporatist 70s Europe and of the Soviet bloc? Read more
Published 9 months ago by DH
5.0 out of 5 stars change your mind
Richard Murphy adeptly dissects the absurdity of the pro-deregulation, pro-austerity, neo-liberal agenda, offering instead a progressive economic basis for a 'Courageous State'
Published 19 months ago by track66
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for anyone who cares about the role of the state
Brilliant intro to how we got to where we are today with the dominance of right wing neoliberal politics and fantastic end chapters on what the state should be doing now. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Shirley Loth
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful account of necessary reforms
Richard Murphy is a political economist, chartered accountant and an adviser to the TUC and others. His Tax Research UK blog is ranked the UK's number 1 economics blog. Read more
Published on 15 May 2012 by William Podmore
5.0 out of 5 stars A coherent solution to our current economic predicament - at last.
The Courageous State: Rethinking Economics, Society and the Role of Government

After reading Nick Shaxson's excellent book 'Treasure Islands and the men that stole the... Read more
Published on 29 Dec. 2011 by T-runner
4.0 out of 5 stars A Book which attacks the right targets
Richard Murphy is very good at picking out the problems for our society and economy. He was one of the first to realise and highlight the pernicious effects of tax havens or... Read more
Published on 10 Dec. 2011 by D. Bamford
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic
In only three months, the highly respected tax expert Richard Murphy has completed a task that most economic geniuses would struggle to complete, even if they were to dedicate... Read more
Published on 30 Nov. 2011 by Feyd
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