Are robust economic growth and tight social cohesion something of the past, or is contemporary stagnation simply part of a long economic cycle that is bound to bring brighter days? Should government step in to boost productivity and income, or does economic globalization necessitate a new laissez-faire model for the twenty-first century? The Misfortunes of Prosperityelucidates the current debates on these and other questions in a fast-paced and incisive tour of the dominant ideas in political economy, summarizing historical and theoretical perspectives on the causes of economic growth in the United States, Western Europe, Japan and elsewhere as the twentieth-century draws to a close. Daniel Cohen discusses the effects of the showdown of productivity in Europe and the United States and explains the origin of the apparent tradeoff between unemployment in Europe and wage inequalities in the United States. On questions of economic policy and the competing academic views (new classical and Keynesian) of the efficacy of government intervention, Cohen inverts the Keynesian belief that government intervention causes growth, and explains why waves of government interventions (including wars) usually follow upward economic trends (rather than create it). But he also advocates government discretion rather than government neutrality by showing the disastrous consequences of hands off approach to debt, inflation, and social security.Cohen, Daniel is the author of 'Misfortunes of Prosperity An Introduction to Modern Political Economy' with ISBN 9780262032308 and ISBN 0262032309.