The Decline and Fall of the U.S. Economy
How Liberals and Conservatives Both Got It Wrong
by William McDonald Wallace
July 2010, 134pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38379-3
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38380-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The conservatives wanted unfettered free markets and liberals wanted easy money for all. Both got what they wanted—and the world’s economy came crashing down. Did it happen, at least in part, because Charles Darwin unwittingly misled economists about how economies evolve? What we can do to ensure that it doesn’t happen again?

This highly original book puts the crash of 2008 into a broad perspective by digging deeply into the misguided theories behind the policies that allowed it to happen.

Who was responsible for the 2008 crash? The Decline and Fall of the U.S. Economy: How Liberals and Conservatives Both Got It Wrong makes it clear that both parties were at faul—and explains how and why. This broad and far-reaching book is the first to analyze the crash from the perspective of evolution, or “punctuated equilibrium.” As it explains, the punctuated boom brings on change, the bust leads back to a tightly constrained equilibrium. Both conditions pose risks and both—as William McDonald Wallace argues—can be managed to reduce the odds that economic imbalances will arise.

Focusing on the policies that created bubbles in housing, stocks, and more, Wallace pinpoints historical events that gave rise to unrealistic theories and ideologies, showing how they, in turn, gave rise to policies that led to collapse. He explains how Darwin’s now-discredited theory of “uniformitarianism” (evolution as a continuous, smooth process) led economists to ignore how evolution actually influences economies and economic behavior, and he shows what we can do so it doesn’t happen again.


  • Numerous charts and graphs
  • Case studies of various economic upheavals
  • A bibliography
William McDonald Wallace has an MBA and PhD from the University of Washington in Seattle. He served as a management and economic consultant, mostly overseas, for 10 years; was chief economist for commercial airplanes for Boeing for 20 years until retiring in 1992; and taught economics and business at Saint Martin's University, Lacey, WA, until retiring in 2008. Dr. Wallace now lives in the Palm Springs area of California with his wife, Patricia.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.