Policy Press

Publishing with a Purpose

The Lies We Were Told

Politics, Economics, Austerity and Brexit

Published

7 Nov 2018

Page count

320 pages

ISBN

978-1529202137

Dimensions

216 x 138 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%) Add to basket

Published

7 Nov 2018

Page count

320 pages

ISBN

978-1529202151

Dimensions

216 x 138 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Published

7 Nov 2018

Page count

320 pages

ISBN

978-1529202144

Dimensions

216 x 138 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%) Add to basket

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“This is a book you should read, for understanding what went wrong in the past is our only hope of doing better in the future?”

- Paul Krugman, Nobel prize-winner

Why did governments adopt austerity policies, and why were they so harmful?

Why did the media largely ignore the experts who opposed these policies, and allow politicians to get away with lies?

And why did voters choose Brexit when the economic consensus was that it would harm living standards?

Simon Wren-Lewis, winner of the SPERI/New Statesman Prize for Political Economy, is one of Britain's most respected economists. Since 2012, his widely-read Mainly Macro blog has been an influential resource for policymakers, academics and social commentators around the world. This book presents some of his most important work, telling the story of how the damaging political and economic events of recent years became inevitable.

Simon Wren-Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and author of the widely read Mainly Macro blog. In 2015 he was invited to join the Labour Party’s Economic Advisory Committee, and in 2016 he won the SPERI/New Statesman Prize for Political Economy.

Preface – Paul Krugman;

Introduction;

The Macroeconomics of UK Austerity;

Eurozone;

The Consequences of Austerity;

The 2015 UK General Election;

The Transformation of the Labour Party;

Brexit;

The Media, Economics and Electing Donald Trump;

Economists and Policy Making;

From Neoliberalism to Plutocracy;

Conclusions.

"We tend to agonise over the new forms of darkness unleashed by the internet. But we must also remember the points of intense light it has also allowed into our intellectual lives. Of those lanterns of enlightenment, few shine brighter than Simon Wren-Lewis' blog." Ben Chu, Economics Editor of The Independent

"Since the financial crisis, Simon Wren-Lewis' pioneering blog has been essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the economics, and crucially the politics, of austerity and Brexit." Jonathan Portes, Kings College London

"Readers of this book will swiftly learn why Simon Wren-Lewis has become such an important and influential blogger. In it, he skewers the falsehoods used to justify premature austerity and other blunders. Read and weep." Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

"A very exciting book based on Wren-Lewis's blog that has captivated audiences across the globe since 2011…. compulsive reading on issues that will shape the British economy and politics for years to come." Gulcin Ozkan, University of York

"Simon Wren-Lewis might just be Britain's answer to Paul Krugman. He writes with clarity, authority and no small amount of anger, and I have learned a lot reading and thinking about what he has to say." Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist

"Simon Wren-Lewis's blog Mainly Macro already has a legendary status and a cult following. If you don't know it, read these collected posts and then follow the blog regularly; even if you do know it, read these collected posts and admire once again the analytical power and cumulative force of his take on the political economy of the UK and the country's fateful embrace of Brexit." Tony Payne, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI)

"Crisply-written and controversial, this book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a challenge both to their own comfortable preconceptions and to the media's conventional wisdom." Tim Bale, Professor of Politics, Queen Mary University of London

"Simon Wren-Lewis is the rare economist of both the science and the craft of his field. In this exemplary collection of his blog-writings, Wren-Lewis shows how economic theory, evidence, and sound judgement can be combined to produce good economic policy. Unfortunately, austerity policies, which Wren-Lewis opposed from the beginning, shared none of those features. This is an admirable and accessible guide to where macroeconomic policy in Britain (and elsewhere) has gone wrong in the last decade." Dani Rodrik, Harvard University