5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative Perspective, Very Naive on US Reality, January 30, 2012
I *like* this book. I've been running for the Reform Party nomination for President (there were three of us, now there are two, and I might drop out soon if I get a federal job and the Hatch Act kicks in). I mention that mostly to emphasize that everything I have learned in the six weeks I've been registered with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC ID C00507756) is relevant to the second half of my review. This book came to my attention via a press clipping service that helps me follow any mention of a third party — this book calls for a new third party Of, By, and For Workers — we used to call that Communism (just kidding), but seriously, the last part of my review is a pitch for what workers should do if they really want to take charge, as workers finally did in Norway and Sweden (it took them 25 years).
I would normally rate this book at four stars, there is a lot missing, but I have to say that in terms of earnest honest patriotic down-to-earth common sense and indisputable pro-labor attitudes, this book is solid, so I am putting it at five stars and linking below to some books that add the missing “weight” to this read. My reviews of all of the books I list are summary in nature, to help those with little time or little money.
The book is scattered, providing snapshots of all of the issues, showing very clearly where neither party, but especially the Republicans, can be trusted to look out for workers. Politics is theater–nothing is decided in the open, the real deals are behind closed doors and the taxpayer ALWAYS loses. I certainly give the book high marks for distilling a very complicated corrupt mess into a simplified structure, and I totally agree with the author that there are no reliable statistics from the government or corporations, but let me give you three that matter:
01 The current unemployment rate across the USA is 22.4%. Paul Craig Roberts and many other honest economists have made this clear. The government is lying to us and the Republican candidates are playing along [or even more frightening, their “experts” are stupid]. Jim Rodgers, another authority, tells us the economy is being “juiced” to try to squeeze a second term in for Obama (a total puppet), and we will have a MASSIVE economic set back in 2013.
02 In the military, 4% of the force (the infantry) takes 80% of the casualties and costs 1% of the military budget. The cuts Leon Panetta has announced essentially shaft the people and reward Lockheed Martin and the other vendors of vaporware and stuff that simply does not work, is not affordable and is not needed. 50% of the other 99% of the military budget is waste, and could be redirected to real jobs on real domestic needs.
03 50% of every health care dollar, every energy dollar, every food dollar, is documented waste. The number varies from 45-55% but is remarkably consistent. We have a government and an economy that are both hollow–we've been sold out. Labor needs to turn to the local level, and start focusing on coming together with community banks and community hackers to create localized resilience–local agriculture, local energy, local water purification and protection.
The Manufacture Of Evil: Ethics, Evolution, and the Industrial System
Pathology Of Power
State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence
The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny
National Suicide: How Washington Is Destroying the American Dream from A to Z
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe
I'm not allowed to link to my own books (11 of them), but they are all free online as well as here at Amazon and I especially encourage anyone interested in learning a lot fast, to look up ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog. You can also use the Books page at Phi Beta Iota to rapidly get to the books I have reviewed on Capitalism (Good and Bad), Crime (Corporate) and Crime (Government).
Now to the naive part (I hasten to add, I've only learned this stuff since I've been running for President, not because I expect to get anywhere, but to set the gold standard for what a coherent honest presidential campaign should offer We the People). Ours is the ONLY campaign–and I include Ron Paul–that is all substance, coherent, and totally honest. It's also the only campaign designed to allow anyone–you–to be a great president, because it puts the integrity into the system. You can learn more at BigBatUSA (org).
01) We live in a two-party tyranny. Even if money were taken off the table, between ballot access, gerrymandering (where Congress picks the voters its wants, rather than letting voters pick the Congress they want), and electoral fraud (high end electronic by the Republicans, low end ACORN-ish by the Democrats), there is NO WAY a third party can win in this country at this time [but a third WAVE *can* win–this is vital distinction].
02) Occupy, the Tea Party, and Americans Elect are wild cards. If the unions were to ignore their totally corrupt leaders (less Firefighters) and “go to the mattresses,” they would a) embrace Occupy as some have done; b) invite the Tea Party to see what real sweat looks like; and c) flood Americans Elect with delegates while also joining the Reform Party en masse.
03) The REASON workers should join the Reform Party is because we have the power, in the aggregate, before the 4th of July, to FORCE Congress to pass the Electoral Reform Act of 2012, something I and many others have been working on for a decade. This is why it matters: Congress has the power to mandate that all accredited national parties be on all state ballots for federal offices; that Electoral College votes be apportioned across the parties as earned rather than winner take all; and finally, that all accredited national parties be included in all debates pertaining to federal office. There are six active national parties, four of them are excluded (Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Reform), only ONE of them (Reform) is totally centrist common sense pro labor. A new party such as the book suggests would never get accredited or make it to the finals [the book was published in 2010, but is only now getting noticed here and there].
I'll stop there. The labor union leaders are in my view mostly corrupt, they have sold out just as the non-governmental organizations and “think tanks” have sold out. Everyone is a second-class hooker for the first-class pimps (Congress and the Executive). Right now there are two scenarios: Romney as nominee, Obama wins; Jeb Bush as “surprise” nominee, a toss-up, depending on how far Obama is willing to go in exposing the Bush Crime Family. Ron Paul is side-lined, and even if he runs with Jesse Ventura and Dennis Kucinich, they could not come up with a Coalition Cabinet and Balanced Budget and a serious commitment to the General Welfare of the labor force if we held guns to their heads. It takes ALL of us, and as much as I admire these three guys in particular, they do not have the personal discipline to play well with others and create a TEAM campaign. I do, we have, but I expect us to die before 4 July 2012.
The more I think about it the more I like this book as an entry point for labor into the biggest gambling casino on the planet, where up to this point We the People have been the chips, not the players. We have the power to change this but ONLY if we can all come together, ONLY if we can all agree to focus on Electoral Reform Act of 2012, and ONLY if we can all agree to focus on a reform coalition that can capture Americans Elect (a great idea badly executed).
Any questions? I'm easy to find, start with <robert david steele spy hacker populist>. I'm in this to the end.