About the bookNov 19th, 2007
“The Guide to Reform” addresses a fundamental issue in today’s policy debate:
“We all know what to do, but we don‘t know how to get re-elected once we have done it.”
This simple statement by Jan-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, throws light on a key political conundrum. Why have proven successful reforms not spread like a grass fire from country to country?
The purpose of this book is to solve this alleged mystery. The fact is that many purported political obstacles to reform are not obstacles at all. For example, almost all reform-embracing governments in OECD countries have been re-elected – at least once.
It is also untrue that liberalising reforms have socially adverse consequences; on the contrary, incomes and employment have often increased the most in low-income groups.
The common view that an economic crisis is a necessary catalyst for reform is also a myth. Crises often lead to harmful policies. Moreover, a number of countries have reformed in good times.
This book shows that all OECD countries need reforms – to varying degrees. It also reveals a broad consensus among experts concerning the direction those reforms should take. We visit more than a dozen reform countries, and describe the astonishing results.
Every country has its opponents to reform – from those who generally resist change to special interest groups. But these obstacles can be overcome; it’s all about strategy. This book offers hands-on tips on how to get it done.
The main aim is to inspire policymakers to embrace reforms that lead generally to progress and specifically to wealth creation. Timbro has published this book in association with the Institute of Economic Affairs.