John Kay

Greed Is Dead
  • Greed Is Dead

  • Two of the UK's leading economists call for an end to extreme individualism as the engine of prosperity

    Throughout history, successful societies have created institutions which channel both competition and co-operation to achieve complex goals of general benefit. These institutions make the difference between societies that thrive and those paralyzed by discord, the difference between prosperous and poor economies. Such societies are pluralist but their pluralism is disciplined.

    Successful societies are also rare and fragile. We could not have built modernity without the exceptional competitive and co-operative instincts of humans, but in recent decades the balance between these instincts has become dangerously skewed: mutuality has been undermined by an extreme individualism which has weakened co-operation and polarized our politics.

    Collier and Kay show how a reaffirmation of the values of mutuality could refresh and restore politics, business and the environments in which people live. Politics could reverse the moves to extremism and tribalism; businesses could replace the greed that has degraded corporate culture; the communities and decaying places that are home to many could overcome despondency and again be prosperous and purposeful. As the world emerges from an unprecedented crisis we have the chance to examine society afresh and build a politics beyond individualism.

John Kay is one of Britain's leading economists and a fellow of St John's College Oxford. His career has spanned academia, business, finance and public policy. He was the founding head of the Oxford Said Business School and the Institute for Fiscal Studies - Britain's most respected think tank. He is the author of The Truth About Markets, Obliquity, Other People's Money and other books and for twenty years contributed a regular column to the Financial Times.


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