review of J. Bradford DeLong’s book Slouching Towards Utopia

DeLong narrates world history from 1870-2010 as a sort of push and pull between the perspectives of Hayek and Polanyi, which he gives these pithy summaries for:

He highlights the period of 1938-1973 as a golden age of social democracy in the G-7 countries, with exceptionally rapid economic growth, reduction in income inequality in the US, and strong welfare systems in the other countries. But the growth rate started to fall, and governments shifted to neoliberal approaches in the hope (among other reasons) of restoring it. DeLong notes that this did not work—the growth rate only improved for the wealthiest citizens—and he clearly views this shift as a big mistake.

Some random claims/facts I found interesting: