Review: The Pro-Growth Progressive–An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity (Hardcover)

4 Star, Economics, Politics

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Ignores Health, No Budget–Reflections Not Solutions,

April 30, 2006
Gene Sperling
Anthony Gibbens’ review is superb, and I endorse it and amplify on it. THis book loses one star to two flaws: it begs too many key issues (such as health care, and corporate accountability), and it has no budget and no section on tax reform and increasing government revenue by eliminating fraud, waste, loopholes, and bribery-induced subsidies. That is always my litmus test for serious books about economic policy. One can use the National Budget Simulation, for example, and actually test all these ideas. I, for example, have taken the trouble to identify $550 billion a year in readily available increases in federal tax revenue, and another $300 billion a year in defense and intelligence spending that could be redirected toward soft power and open source intelligence/revitalization of education and national research. It’s not real until it’s in the budget. This book is platitudinous, worthy of consideration, but not legislatively enactable.

There is no question but that Gene Sperling performed ably for President Clinton EXCEPT that he sacrified the American worker by opening the door for broad indiscriminate lay-offs (see my review of The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences by Louis Uchitelle) and he evidently did not see the economic urgency of completely recasting our national educational system (including exile of the stake-holders in the old system to Chinese re-education camps near Mongolia).

On balance, Sperling is now one of those “has experience, listen to him” guys, but he is part of the last gasp of the old guard in the Democratic party, and for my money, a combination of Return of Rubin and Elevation of Matthew Miller would do more good. See my reviews of the books by both these stars.

The author lacks real familiarity with emergent technologies, especially bio-technologies that are CRTICIAL to reducing poverty and illiteracy (see my review of Tofflers Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives), and over-all the book does not represent a comprehensive strategy that reflects an understanding of system dynamics, both internal to the Republic and globally.

Bottom line: worth reading, 30% of this will be useful, somewhat tired. Rubin is more mature, Miller more innovative. Sperling needs to be in the car, but not driving.

Vote on Review
Vote on Review