After a turbulent century of unprecedented social and technological change, capitalism has emerged as the dominant ideology and model for economic growth in the richest, most developed countries. But only thirty years ago economic growth was faltering, inflation rising, and the Left were arguing for greater state intervention in industry. How did this transformation happen? And what price have we paid in the process? This book provides a history of the problems facing the economies of Europe, Japan, and the US during the latter half of the 20th century, and questions whether capitalism has really brought the levels of economic growth and prosperity that were hoped for. The book then looks at the impact the rapidly developing economies of China and the South are likely to have on the older economies of the North. As the race is on to maintain growth and protect competitive advantage, the book asks: is the ‘race-to-the bottom’ inevitable, with welfare states being dismantled to meet competitive demands? Or is there an alternative model that sees a strong commitment to welfare provision as essential to economic growth? Can we afford not to tackle inequality at home as well as abroad?