Review: Economics of the 1%

4 Star, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

John Weeks

4.0 out of 5 stars While Relevant and Pointed, Suffers from Hyperbole and Lack of Clarity, February 16, 2014

On balance, Lionel Tiger’s book The Manufacture Of Evil: Ethics, Evolution, and the Industrial System is the better book, along with those by William Greider, John Bogle, and Matt Taibbi:

The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism

Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History

I found this book unclear and guilty of at least as much hyperbole as those the author seeks to criticize. I would have been much more impressed has the author taken the top ten canards (unfounded rumor or story) of fake economics as he calls it (in virtually every paragraph, an annoying pretense) and very simply made the case pro and con. Instead — I am not a rocket scientist — I found 70% of his words, graphics, and claims to be on a par with those he seeks to ciritize….unclear and unsatisfying.

This is the reason he loses one star, and he almost loses a second for championing the Federal Reserve (neither federal nor a reserve, only a front for the private banks) and for embracing US Government statistics on unemployment when any intelligent person remotely interested in the title of this book can easily find that the actual unemployment rate is 22.4% if one accepts the clear calculations at shadowstats.com.On balance I agree with the author and I certainly agree with the following opening quote.QUOTE (xiii): “In great part the widespread credibility of economists results from the systematic fostering of ignorance over the last 30 years.The entire book consists of one third hyperbolic ranting about fake economics, one third articulation of the view that every aspect of the theory is wrong — which I accept — and one third graphics I frankly did not have the patience to attempt to understand.Below are some of my notes.- No such thing as perfect competition — unregulated capitalism leads to fascism

– Theory is fraudulent, there are no market fundamentals and no universal rules

– There is no justification for the view that unregulated markets produce social benefits

– Competition AND cooperation play roles in healthy economies

– Competition radically incentivizes and rewards fraud

– Worker cannot be separated from his work — discounting his wages discounts the worker

– Unions help establish sustainable renumeration, duration, and pace of work

– Lack of regulation — not the guilty themselves — is the root cause of crashes

– Financial fraud is vastly more costly than all disasters combined, on a par with a world war or global epidemic

– Scarcity is contrived

– Right has sought to devalue citizenship a nd redefine humans as consumers and taxpayers

– Deficit spending by government is good and proper; the real deficit today is in government’s failure to invest in public education, public health, public infrastructure, and the solvency of state and local governments

– Government should strive to maintain full employment

– The right is wrong to criticize government regulation, if the government is of, by and for the public, then it is pursuing the public interest.

Here are four books the author relied upon and recommended:

Debunking Economics – Revised and Expanded Edition: The Naked Emperor Dethroned?

Economists and the Powerful: Convenient Theories, Distorted Facts, Ample Rewards (Anthem Other Canon Economics)

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism

On balance this was not a fun read and I did not feel particularly enlightened, only reinforced in some of my own convictions about the depth of the financial fraud that has been legalized by a two-party tyranny not at all interested in serving the public.

Other books I have reviewed and recommend more highly (in addition to those mentioned earlier):

State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence

The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future

I have grouped a number of my Amazon reviews together in various lists, they are easily found by looking for the following, with each review leading back to its Amazon home page:

NEGATIVE:

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Bankruptcy of US Economy, Federal Reserve Malfeasance

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Blue Collar

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Class War (Global)

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Corporate & Transnational Crime

POSITIVE:

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Bio-Economics

Worth a Look: Book Reviews of Capitalism Reincarnated

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Civilization-Building

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Collective Intelligence

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Common Wealth

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability

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