Bestselling author and economist Jay W. Richards makes the definitive case for how the free market and individual responsibility can save the American Dream in an age of automation and mass disruption.
For two and a half centuries, America has been held together by the belief that if you work hard and conduct yourself responsibly in this country, you will be able to prosper and leave a better life for your children. But over the past decade, that idea has come into crisis. A recession, the mass outsourcing of stable jobs, and a coming wave of automation that will replace millions of blue- and white-collar jobs alike have left many people worried that the game is rigged and that our best days are behind us.
In this story-driven manifesto on the future of American work, Jay Richards argues that such thinking is counterproductive–making us more fragile, more dependent, and less equipped to succeed in a rapidly changing economy. If we’re going to survive, we need a new model for how ordinary people can thrive in this age of mass disruption. Richards pulls back the curtain on what’s really happening in our economy, dispatching myths about capitalism, greed, and upward mobility. And he tells the stories of how real individuals have begun to rebuild a culture of virtue, capitalizing on the skills that are most uniquely human: creativity, resilience, and empathy for the needs of others.
Destined to take its place alongside classics like Economics in One Lesson, The Human Advantage is the essential book for understanding the future of American work, and how each of us can make this era of staggering change work on our behalf.
Books available for purchase at the CIC.
Co-sponsored by The Busch School of Business
About the Author:
Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is author of many books including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013) and Indivisible (2012). He is also the author of Money, Greed, and God, winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; and co-author of The Privileged Planet with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez. His most recent book, co-authored with Jonathan Witt, is The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom that J.R.R. Tolkien Got and the West Forgot.
Richards is an Research Assistant Professor in the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and executive editor of The Stream. In recent years he has been Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, Contributing Editor of The American at the American Enterprise Institute, a Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and Research Fellow and Director of Acton Media at the Acton Institute.
Richards’ articles and essays have been published in The Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Washington Post, Forbes, The Daily Caller, Investor’s Business Daily, Washington Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Huffington Post, The American Spectator, The Daily Caller, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and a wide variety of other publications. He is a regular contributor to National Review Online, Christian Research Journal, and The Imaginative Conservative. His topics range from culture, economics, and public policy to natural science, technology, and the environment.
He is also creator and executive producer of several documentaries, including three that appeared widely on PBS—The Call of the Entrepreneur, The Birth of Freedom, and The Privileged Planet.
Richards’ work has been covered in The New York Times (front page news, science news, and editorial), The Washington Post (news and editorial), The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Nature, Science, Astronomy, Physics Today, Reuters, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Enterprise, Congressional Quarterly Researcher, World, National Catholic Register, and American Spectator.
An experienced public speaker, Richards has appeared on several hundred radio and television programs, including Larry King Live (CNN), Huckabee, Dayside, Fox and Friends, Studio B with Shepard Smith (Fox News), Glenn Beck TV, Yahoo Finance, Life Today, PBS, CBN, and TBN, The Michael Medved Show, The Mitch Albom Show, The Thom Hartmann Program, The Dennis Prager Show, Linda Chavez, The Mark Davis Show, The Bible Answer Man, Janet Parshall’s America, Al Kresta, Teresa Tomeo, Drew Mariani, Cardinal Dolan, and many others.
He has lectured at conferences as diverse as the Western Economic Association, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the Evangelical Theological Society; on dozens of college and university campuses; at think tanks, including the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education, the New America Foundation and the Heritage Foundation; at numerous public policy meetings, such as the Heritage Resource Bank, the Council for National Policy, and the Atlas Freedom Forum; in Christian forums such as Legatus and Catholic Professionals, and on several occasions to members of the U.S. Congress and U.S. congressional staff. In January 2008, his debate with the late Christopher Hitchens at Stanford University, moderated by Ben Stein and Michael Cromartie, was broadcast live to several hundred North American churches.
Richards has a Ph.D., with honors, in philosophy and theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also has an M.Div. (Master of Divinity), a Th.M. (Master of Theology), and a B.A. with majors in Political Science and Religion. He lives with his family in the Washington DC Metro area.
Editorial Reviews of “The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines”:
“The blistering pace of technological change has left many Americans uncertain about their place in the 21st-century economy. But as Jay Richards wisely reminds us, no machine will ever be able to replicate what makes us truly human: Our creativity, and our virtue. The Human Advantage masterfully demonstrates that we need not fear the future, and that a life of happiness still awaits those with the courage to pursue it.”
-Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute
“Boldly upends what Richards calls ’the greatest delusion of our age…the paradoxical penchant to deny our own agency while attributing agency to the machines we create.’ Richards commands all the wisdom of Michael Novak and transcends it with a Renaissance range of mastery of the sciences and an infectious genius for storytelling.”
-George Gilder, bestselling author of Wealth and Poverty
“Jay Richards brings an agile pen and a synthetical mind to the task of outlining and defending the basis of human flourishing in this new age of Smart Machines. In The Human Advantage, Richards gives us a concise history of revolutions in human work, from prehistory to the present, and how they have changed our world and our lives. He addresses the latest economic and moral challenges and opportunities presented to us by the rise of thinking machines. The way forward he charts is firmly grounded in the unique dignity, strength, and destiny that make us truly human.”
-Rev. Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute