The Mandibles

A Family, 2029-2047

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Author: Lionel Shriver

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062328263

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 9321

With dry wit and psychological acuity, this near-future novel explores the aftershocks of an economically devastating U.S. sovereign debt default on four generations of a once-prosperous American family. Down-to-earth and perfectly realistic in scale, this is not an over-the-top Blade Runner tale. It is not science fiction. In 2029, the United States is engaged in a bloodless world war that will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Overnight, on the international currency exchange, the “almighty dollar” plummets in value, to be replaced by a new global currency, the “bancor.” In retaliation, the president declares that America will default on its loans. “Deadbeat Nation” being unable to borrow, the government prints money to cover its bills. What little remains to savers is rapidly eaten away by runaway inflation. The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their ninety-seven-year-old patriarch dies. Once the inheritance turns to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also—as the U.S. economy spirals into dysfunction—the challenge of sheer survival. Recently affluent, Avery is petulant that she can’t buy olive oil, while her sister, Florence, absorbs strays into her cramped household. An expat author, their aunt, Nollie, returns from abroad at seventy-three to a country that’s unrecognizable. Her brother, Carter, fumes at caring for their demented stepmother, now that an assisted living facility isn’t affordable. Only Florence’s oddball teenage son, Willing, an economics autodidact, will save this formerly august American family from the streets. The Mandibles is about money. Thus it is necessarily about bitterness, rivalry, and selfishness—but also about surreal generosity, sacrifice, and transformative adaptation to changing circumstances.

Aftermath

Seven Secrets of Wealth Preservation in the Coming Chaos

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Author: James Rickards

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735216967

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 336

View: 5678

In his most prescriptive book to date, financial expert and investment advisor James Rickards shows how and why our financial markets are being artificially inflated--and what smart investors can do to protect their assets What goes up, must come down. As any student of financial history knows, the dizzying heights of the stock market can't continue indefinitely--especially since asset prices have been artificially inflated by investor optimism around the Trump administration, ruinously low interest rates, and the infiltration of behavioral economics into our financial lives. The elites are prepared, but what's the average investor to do? James Rickards, the author of the prescient books Currency Wars, The Death of Money, and The Road to Ruin, lays out the true risks to our financial system, and offers invaluable advice on how best to weather the storm. You'll learn, for instance: * How behavioral economists prop up the market: Funds that administer 401(k)s use all kinds of tricks to make you invest more, inflating asset prices to unsustainable levels. * Why digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are best avoided. * Why passive investing has been overhyped: The average investor has been scolded into passively managed index funds. But active investors will soon have a big advantage. * What the financial landscape will look like after the next crisis: it will not be an apocalypse, but it will be radically different. Those who forsee this landscape can prepare now to preserve wealth. Provocative, stirring, and full of counterintuitive advice, Aftermath is the book every smart investor will want to get their hands on--as soon as possible.

Capitalism and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century

A Global Future Beyond Nationalism

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Author: Gavin Kitching

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1000681351

Category: Philosophy

Page: 138

View: 9938

This short book makes a connection between recent ‘tectonic shifts’ in the world economy and the political problems currently confronted by western democracies. The shift of manufacturing away from the West, allied to the pressure to keep costs down in an increasingly competitive global economy, has led to economic inequality, reliance on service industry employment and public sector austerity. All this has in turn produced large numbers of desperate citizens attracted to a populist economic nationalism accompanied by xenophobia. However, the originality of this text lies not in the above argument, but in the philosophical reflections which drive and derive from it. These include reflections on history as a supposed causal process; on the need to make ethical judgements of economic activities and the difficulties of doing so; and on the problems confronting modern citizens in understanding complex economic processes and their political implications. Capitalism and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century endorses Wittgenstein’s ‘praxis’ approach to human social life and its study. Accordingly, it not only analyses economic and political problems but suggests ways of solving or mitigating them. In doing so it relies on Marx’s conviction that our capacity to see certain phenomena as problems is at least a priori evidence that they can be solved. This book will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students of politics, comparative politics, political economy and international relations.

Designing Social Equality

Architecture, Aesthetics, and the Perception of Democracy

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Author: Mark Foster Gage

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351249649

Category: Architecture

Page: 132

View: 3196

Political polarization and the unequal distribution of rights and massive economic inequality continue to dramatically divide today’s societies. As such, there is a pressing need for those who design the physical fabric in which we co-exist to challenge these divisive trends by imagining more than just frameworks for living. The question is how. While aesthetic discourse has long been part of art, design, and architecture’s intellectual histories, it has, for nearly a century, been largely dismissed as the mere superficial pursuit of only visual pleasure. In Designing Social Equality, Mark Foster Gage proposes a dramatic realignment between aesthetic thought, politics, social equality, and the design of our physical world. By reconsidering historic concepts from the deep history of aesthetic philosophy and deftly weaving them with emerging intellectual positions from a variety of disciplines, including those of Xenofeminism, Object-Oriented Ontology, Dark Ecology, and others, the book introduces a ground-breaking intellectual framework. Through what used to be known as the practice, teaching, and discourse of architecture and design, this framework sets out to reconfigure a more encompassing social theory of how humanity perceives its very reality and how it might begin to more justly define that reality through new ways of reconsidering the built environment.

The Logics of Healthcare

The Professional’s Guide to Health Systems Science

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Author: Paul Lillrank

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 135185903X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 9803

Most of the current literature on healthcare operations management is focused on importing principles and methods from manufacturing. The evidence of success is scattered and nowhere near what has been achieved in other industries. This book develops the idea that the logic of production, and production systems in healthcare is significantly different. A line of thing that acknowledges the ingenious characteristics of health service production is developed. This book builds on a managerial segmentation of healthcare based on fundamental demand-supply constellations. Demand can be classified with the variables urgency, severity, and randomness. Supply is constrained by medical technology (accuracy of diagnostics, efficacy of therapies), patient health behavior (co-creation of health), and resource availability. Out of this emerge seven demand-supply-based operational types (DSO): prevention, emergencies, one-visit, electives, cure, care, and projects. Each of these have distinct managerial characteristics, such as time-perspective, level of co-creation, value proposition, revenue structure, productivity and other key performance indicators (KPI). The DSOs can be envisioned as platforms upon which clinical modules are attached. For example, any Emergency Department (ED) must be managed to deal with prioritization, time-windows, agitated patients, the necessity to save and stabilize, and variability in demand. Specific clinical assets and skill-sets are required for, say, massive trauma, strokes, cardiac events, or poisoning. While representing different specialties of clinical medicine they, when applied in the emergency – context, must conform to the demand-supply-based operating logic. A basic assumption in this book is that the perceived complexity of healthcare arises from the conflicting demands of the DSO and the clinical realms. The seven DSOs can neatly be juxtaposed on the much-used Business Model Canvas (BMC), which postulates the business model elements as value proposition; customer segments, channels and relations; key activities, resources and partners; the cost structure; and the revenue model.

Property: A Collection

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Author: Lionel Shriver

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0008265240

Category: Fiction

Page: 336

View: 3093

The first ever story collection from the inimitable Lionel Shriver ‘Genius’ Stylist ‘Phenomenal’ Observer ‘Brilliant’ The Times

The Book Club Bible

The Definitive Guide That Every Book Club Member Needs

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Author: Lionel Shriver

Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books

ISBN: 9781843172697

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 224

View: 1235

Every book club member has felt the pressure to pick out a new title for the whole group to read and enjoy. Wouldn't it be great if there was a book that helped you to make that all-important decision and maintain your place of respect in the book club? Fear no more, this comprehensive guide is here to help, shining an illuminating light on the treasures of the literary world, from The Bell Jar to Brick Lane, Mrs. Dalloway to Middlesex. Containing a diverse selection of books to choose from, the guide includes a non-spoiler synopsis, background information on the author, historical context, interesting discussion points and facts, and potential companion volumes. Compiled by a range of English literature experts and avid readers, this informative and enthusiastic guide is guaranteed to inspire.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

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Author: Lionel Shriver

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

ISBN: 9781582438870

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 6636

That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility for a child's character is self-evident. But generalizations about genes are likely to provide cold comfort if it's your own child who just opened fire on his feellow algebra students and whose class photograph—with its unseemly grin—is shown on the evening news coast-to-coast. If the question of who's to blame for teenage atrocity intrigues news-watching voyeurs, it tortures our narrator, Eva Khatchadourian. Two years before the opening of the novel, her son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and the much-beloved teacher who had tried to befriend him. Because his sixteenth birthday arrived two days after the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is currently in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York. In relating the story of Kevin's upbringing, Eva addresses her estranged husband, Frank, through a series of startingly direct letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son became, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general—and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault? We Need To Talk About Kevin offers no at explanations for why so many white, well-to-do adolescents—whether in Pearl, Paducah, Springfield, or Littleton—have gone nihilistically off the rails while growing up in the most prosperous country in history. Instead, Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story with an explosive, haunting ending. She considers motherhood, marriage, family, career—while framing these horrifying tableaus of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.