Customer Reviews: Size Matters: How Big Government Puts the Squeeze on America's Families, Finances, and Freedom
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on December 28, 2005
Joel Miller has done it again! A razormouthy, easy to read - yet not dumbed down - treatise against the ever-increasing size of government. Joel makes each chapter enjoyable by offering interesting examples and anecdotes to make each point. A real page-turner, this is the best book on government available today.
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on March 30, 2006
I want to buy 535 more copies of this book. One for every member of Congress. Rep. Feeney and Sen. Coburn can send their copies back signed if they wish. Santorum and every Democrat need to read and submit to me a 5-page book report, self-written, on their reaction to how they are slowly poisoning this country. If only I had $8,362.05. Joel Miller's "Size Matters" is essential reading for taxpayers.

First, for a book called "Size Matters," it is a small volume. However, within its 200+ pages, it manages to go beyond the traditional arguments against Big Government, and explain how exactly how it affects the average American everyday. He roots it all to the Pursuit of Happiness, the most oft-neglected segment of Jefferson's "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." While the Happiness was written off as 'property' in my high school history classes, but Miller looks at it as a specific freedom. If your pursuit of happiness is infringed upon by the government, via regulation, taxes, and red-tape, what can we do? We can choose to fight, or we can simply accept it. Acceptance seems to be the current mentality.

Miller, however, does not prescribe an easy solution. Since markets push back, and people are inclined to pursue happiness whether the government infringes upon it or not, not to mention the power lobbies in Washington, immediate, quick reform is unlikely. The best way to fight back, then, I imagine, is through extra-government sources. Private retirement plans. Wal-Mart. VOIP (not as regulated as regular phone service). Abandon the need for bureaucracy.

Highly recommended.
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on December 29, 2005
Joel Miller puts in plain, fun language what many of us have believed for a long, long time but have been unable to articulate ourselves: There is an inverse relationship between the size and scope of government and our God-given right to the pursuit of happiness.
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on November 4, 2008
This book never garnered the attention it should have. Mr. Miller is passionate about facts and data, and he is impartial and non-partisan in his approach. This is a book that should be read by every American to understand that Government, in it's largess, is the reason we all suffer a loss in life quality.

As the author points out that Thomas Jefferson was a champion of small government, he is famous for his triad in the Declaration of Independence of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." But what did Mr. Jefferson mean by this, perhaps if we read part of his first inaugural address we might just understand.

"What more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Stile one thing more, fellow-citizens - a wise and FRUGAL government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. (gasp) This is the sum of good government. . ."

However our idea of government has changed substantially. Today Obama was elected president and with it his promises of increasing governments intrusion into our life's, businesses, liberty and pursuit of happiness goes against the very foundation that this country was built upon.

All one needs to do is to ascertain the cost of today's government (not the more improved and expensive one coming up.)

Own a house - approximately $40,486 of a $ 223,600 home can be attributed to government regulations and fees. (82)

Rent an apartment then say goodby to $118 dollars every month that the government gets in regulations and fees.

Do you work at a small business (employing less then 20 people), well the average small business pays $6975 in regulatory costs PER EMPLOYEE every year. (121)

Want to buy an American car, well you will have to pay $ 3,845 extra for that vehicle just to pay for government fees and regulations that foreign car companies do not have to.

Let's talk about health care, I have the typical (blue Shield) insurance that covers my family and I pay very close to the national average of $ 5484 a year. (Sorry Obama supporters his $ 10,0000+ figure was a lie conjured up to help create fear.) Any how over $ 1,500 of that premium is used to cover government regulations and fees.

Let's put this into perspective shall we, in 2000 the indirect cost of federal regulation came to a whopping $ 843 BILLION. In 2004 the total cost of federal regulations was $913 BILLION, of which only about $ 36 Billion is for the federal agencies and funding their policing duties. (120)

To understand this more businesses were saddled with MORE cost of regulatory fees then they their total pretax profits were ($745 billion).

The bottom line is that there are people like myself, that see government as a necessary evil, but one that is to be our masters and not the other way around. The government when it becomes bloated as it has, and if promised will become exponentially more only reduces the working classes income, drives up cost of houses, cars, energy and healthcare. It will hurt employment and misdirect the efforts of entrepreneurs and most importantly it stifles vital marketplace creativity and innovation.

Fellow Citizens it took America nearly 50years to overcome the burdens put upon by the new deal, our children afford another 50 years of stagnant innovation placed upon us by the largess of inefficient government. Let us learn from our past mistakes and may God have mercy on us and this country and we head into an eara of what could be unprecedented growth, regulations and burdens placed upon the American people.

"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." Benjamin Franklin

Remember that people, President Obama has promised to make sure that 60% of the people pay no taxes but in fact receive money from the 40% that do, could this be the end of this republic?
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on April 8, 2007
Apparently Preston C. Wright hasn't heard about the fact that the antitrust legislation of Theodore Roosevelt was practically supported by businesses, or about how the Meatpacking Inspections were supported by the big meatpackers in order to put the squeeze on their smaller competitors in local communities (something that Upton Sinclair noted). This book is chalk full of various government regulations that primarily stamp out, oppress and destroy small businesses, which is what allows big corporations to grow so big, by stamping out their competition, thus creating shortages and raising prices. If you love or even just have your curiousity piqued by this book, then you should read Gabriel Kolko's "The Triumph of Conservatism", "In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938" by Butler Shaffer, "Wall Street, Banks, and Foreign Policy" by Murray N. Rothbard, "The Suicidal Corporation" by Paul H. Weaver, and best of all, "The Big Ripoff: How Big Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money" by Timothy P. Carney
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on May 3, 2006
Size does matter, and since corporations have grown to be enormous and transnational, controlling their predations requires a large institution. Government is failing the US population in many ways, primarily because it's been seized by an army of industry lobbyists and corporate lawyers; but, at least in theory, government provides opportunities for public participation, oversight, and protection from the excesses of Big Business. To read figures like Joel Miller, one would think he'd never heard of Teddy Roosevelt who is well-known for his critique of corporate power. In April of 1906, Roosevelt said, "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of statesmanship of the day." Unlike today's right-wing "free" marketeers, Roosevelt understood the harm caused by plutocracy.

And before Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson said, "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

The way out of corporate tyranny is to regain our government from the plutocrats. DVDs like "The Corporation" provide plenty of the background people need on the real threat to this country. Although, since about 20% of this country benefits from the existing corporatocracy, they avoid uncomfortable realities and prefer to be deceived by business PR hacks like Miller.

I'd also recommend the radio program and books of Thom Hartmann.
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on December 26, 2009
Written in 2005/2006, it's a little outdated now that we have Obama/Reid/Pelosi governing in America.

Still, good message about downsizing government and releasing people's individual initiative and creative energies.
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