Slackonomics is a new book by Lisa Chamberlain.
An explication on Generation X. Just my kind of thing, I’d normally run right out and buy it, but the economy being what it is I wanted to make sure it was worth the scratch before laying down any green. I’m only a couple or chapters into it but already I’m sure it is worth the $25 cover price, although on Amazon.com it is $16.50 plus shipping. So…
I was a little leery before reading it, dreading that it might be another dull book about economics, even if it was the economics of Generation X. It is anything but dull. I dig the inside dust cover description that describes it as “One part Freakonomics, on part Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.” Of course, I’ve only read Freakonomics, not Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. But still.
The thing was I was feeling pretty good that I was going to dig this book from the beginning. First, the dedication reads thusly:
For my mother, who taught me very little about money but a lot about creativity.
And then in the introduction she explains how she, when shopping the idea for this book around, resisted making it a self-help book, but eventually relented, teaming up with a personal finance planner, although luckily, she says, that idea never came to pass. Chamberlain was relieved. Because….
Bookstores shelves are already littered with Suze Orman-like personal finance how-tos for the “young, fabulous and broke.” But Generation X is not so young anymore, and when we were, “fabulous” was not cool.
With or without the self-help crap, the book I would have written shortly after having penned an article for the New York Observer in January 2004 titled “Generation X: Born Under a Bad Economic Sign,” would not have been this one.
Specifically, it was the line in bold — With or without the self-help crap — that let me know that I was in good Generation X company. And that I would get this book.
Chamberlain’s premise for the book, as she lays it out in the introduction:
The premise of Slackonomics is that not since the Industrial Revolution has a generation been so whipsawed by the economy, from Mcjobs to outsourcing, mind-boggling income inequality to two unprecedented back-to-back bubbles (with more to come?). But that isn’t the whole story. IN this book’s subtitle is the phrase “creative destruction,” a concept developed by the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpter to describe how caitalism renews itself through seemingly sudden economic convulsions. Stagnant industries are destroy and people get hurt in the churn (think General Motors), while creative ideas and new industries — driven by entrepreneurs — are able to flourish (think Google). This happened during the Industrial Revolution, and it’s happening again with the information/technology revolution. Creative Destruction 2.0.
If there was any further doubt in my minds it was instantly wiped away, because you know you’re dealing with a true Generation X woman when she titles one of the chapters in her book, specifically the chapter about feminism and GenXer women, Cunt.
In any case, Slackonimcs is the author’s term for Generation X’s particular economic predicament, history, mind-set, etc. And it is more than just some hip, pop culture, ironic wink. There’s good, quality stuff in here.