Why you should listen
Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University, and partners with Alex Tabarrok to write the economics blog Marginal Revolution, where he hunts for clues to whatever is coming next, in the space where economics and culture entwine. His outlook is fairly libertarian, but it's not ivory-tower -- in fact, he's been accused of "cute-o-nomics" for daring to use economic models to explain real-world problems instead of theoretical abstractions.
His latest book is a short ebook called The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better. In it, he suggests that while the days of easy growth are probably over for the US, it's probably not in a death spiral just yet.
Cowen is also a passionate foodie (check out his blog Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide); in fact, his next book is An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies.