I’m often asked to recommend books to read. When it comes to understanding the economy the two books that have helped me the most to understand the nature of the fundamental change we are going through are:
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. It still is the best book I know of to understand the big picture of what is happening to the economy. It provides the best explanation I have read on the forces that are transforming the economy and what is required to succeed in it. Read the paperback. In each edition, Friedman had the luxury of updating the book to both reflect questions he got on his book tours and his own reflections on a constantly changing economy.
A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. For how a flat world is changing jobs this is the best book I have read. Pink help us understand that globalization and technology are fundamentally changing the work that will be done in America. The big transformation is from left brain to right brain. As Pink illustrates its not just low skill work that can be automated or outsourced, but also lots of high skill, high paying, but also rule driven and routine, work. New good paying jobs increasingly will go to people who are creators, empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers.