Can Cause Discomfort, But This Book MATTERS, May 17, 2008
I was given this book as a gift, along with Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies and to my great surprise, being an estranged moderate Reagan Republican, I found that I am much more of a Libertarian than I realized, and this author, although he causes me great discomfort in some areas (such as privatizing Social Security), he makes complete sense. I learn he has been voted one of the 50 most powerful people in DC by GQ (2007) and I believe it. Senator McCain has better listen this time around. I urge all who are enthused with Senator Obama to read Obama – The Postmodern Coup: Making of a Manchurian Candidate. Senator Obama is NOT transparent and I consider his top foreign policy advisors to be dangerous–Dr. Strangelove (Brzezinski) has one last war with Russia left in him, and seriiousl believes he can confront the Chinese in Africa–this is lunacy (search for my Memorandum online <Chinese Irregular Warfare oss.net>.
The book lacks an index. This is a HUGE MISTAKE on the part of the publisher because there are too many important ideas in this book. The publisher should create and post online an index to this book. The publisher can also be criticized for failing to provide Library of Congress cataloguing information. This is a REFERENCE work. The author should consider holding the publisher accountable for such fundamental incompetencies that detract from the book's lasting value.
The five core reforms that he builds up to are:
1) Portable pensions
2) Competitive health care
3) Educational choice including home schooling
4) Outsourcing of all government functions possible
5) Transparency (see not only Groundswell, but also Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations)
The author posits a stark choice between the Leave Us Alone movement, that appears to be growing daily (and included 27 secessionist movements that meet annually at a conference organized by Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale, and what he calls the Takings Group, the tax and spend elected officials both Republican and Democratic.
This is a serious reference work with an even mix of books, articles, and online citations.
There are some areas where the author could benefit from knowledge that is not yet mainstream–for example, we can blow away the Medicare unfunded obligations by negotiating prices that are 1% (ONE percent) of what we foolishly pay now, and as a recent PriceWaterHouseCooopers study documented so well, also eliminating the 50% of the medical professional that is waste, including (the author does address this–the tort lawyers like Senator John Edwards who make millions putting good doctors out of business so bad doctors can do more elective operations).
On balance–and this was my first exposure to this individual–I put the book down thinking to myself that this author deserves his reputation, and that he combines a very powerful intellect with an equally powerful moral force.
Other books I recommend:
The Thirteen American Arguments: Enduring Debates That Inspire and Define Our Nation
The Revolution: A Manifesto
Don't Start the Revolution Without Me!
Crashing the Party: Taking on the Corporate Government in an Age of Surrender
Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America
The Vermont Manifesto