Western economies have become stuck in a protracted depression that began long before the 2008 crash. Low productivity, which started in the 1970s, has prevented durable rises in living standards.
Phil Mullan shows that the only way to ensure a better future is to create one, calling for a comprehensive economic restructure backed by political and cultural change. This means embracing the uncomfortable disruption involved in progressive change, rekindling in democratic form a spirit of Enlightenment thinking. The votes for Brexit and in the US presidential elections in 2016 indicate that many people desire change, offering greater opportunity for this public discussion.
What is needed is a new industrial revolution which develops a broad range of emerging and yet unimagined services and products, provides decent jobs and restores prosperity. Providing examples of the new technologies needed to drive change, backed up by a wealth of data, this important book calls for a sea-change in imagination and thinking.
Phil Mullan is an economist and business manager, who researches, writes and lectures on economic, demographic and business issues.
Currently working independently, in 2014 Mullan completed eight years in senior management roles with Easynet Global Services, an international communications services company. Previously he had been chief executive of the internet services and training company Cybercafé Ltd.
Introduction: A decade after the Western financial crisis
Part I: The state we’re in
1 Decay and resilience
2 Productivity in decline
3 Innovation puzzles
4 Why investment matters
Part II: The Long Depression
5 The problem of profitability
6 The end of growth
Part III: How we got stuck
7 Contained depression
8 The zombie economy
9 The intellectual crisis of capitalism
10 Discomfort with change
11 The appeal of muddling through
12 The limits of muddling through
Part IV: The way out
13 Escaping the Long Depression
"Of the hundreds of economic books published since the financial crisis began, this is the most important and insightful in making sense of the travails of 21st-century capitalism and pointing towards a possible escape from the stasis Mullan calls the 'Zombie Economy.'" Spiked
"With clarity and originality Phil Mullan’s book – packed with serious analysis and a wealth of references - is much more than a brilliant description of zombie capitalism. It bravely challenges fatalistic orthodoxies and not only helps us all to understand economic stasis but even better, it is packed with ideas about how to change it." Claire Fox, Director, Institute of Ideas
"Mullan...propose[s] a creative solution, while at the same time explaining some basic concepts in small boxes, thus allowing anyone to read his book." Market Plus
"Deserves to be read by political leaders of all stripes and corporate leaders of all kinds. It clearly shows the need for daring economic thinking rather than incremental adjustments to create the hitherto elusive new economy and could not have appeared at a more opportune moment in light of the popular economic discontent now sweeping America and Europe. No one can afford to ignore the author's bold vision." Iwan Morgan, University College London
"Phil Mullan explains how western economies can embark on a new growth wave after the financial crisis. A very challenging and stimulating analysis." Andrew Sentance, Price Waterhouse Coopers
"Phil Mullan is right that more productive cooperation between government and business is part of the answer for achieving sustainable growth." Vicky Pryce, Centre for Economics and Business Research
"An excellent study of the malaise plaguing western economies. Mullan provides a bold call for strategy of economic disruption in order to lay the foundation for a 21st century industrial revolution." Frank Furedi, University of Kent
"A tour de force call for a new industrial revolution, and a rallying cry for the zombie economy to be stabbed in the neck to enable a truly productive future." Lesley Curwen, broadcaster
"A wide ranging and thorough diagnosis of the problems besetting the UK economy." Philip Sadler CBE, Tomorrows Company
"After Brexit the economic question is back with a vengeance, Mullan’s case for public-led political change is timely and essential." Bruno Waterfield, Brussels correspondent