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Stealing You Blind: How Government Fat Cats Are Getting Rich Off of You Hardcover – July 11, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (July 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596981539
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596981539
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,621,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Stealing You Blind

“Where do all your hard-earned tax dollars go? You don’t know the half of it! . . . This must read manual takes you on a maddening tour that starts at Al Gore’s mansion, winds through the ever-expanding empire of Nanny State busybodies in Washington, and dives into bloated municipal payrolls from the Big Apple to Bell, California. Murray outlines imperative reforms to rein in these new robber barons. If you believe public servants should serve the public and not themselves, get this book.”
—Michelle Malkin, Fox News Contributor and author of Culture of Corruption

“A powerful government, the liberal myth goes, places a check on special interests and provides a counterbalance to the power of the wealthy. In truth, government growth instead creates a new class of Robber Barons—handsomely paid ‘public servants’ who soon monetize that service to become obscenely paid revolving-door lobbyists and ‘consultants.’ Recovered bureaucrat Iain Murray paints the unseemly picture of ‘our new leisure class’ in vivid—and often rage-inducing—detail.”
—Tim Carney, author of Obamanomics and Senior Political Columnist, The Washington Examiner

“Iain Murray eviscerates what he calls the new robber barons, the great empire-builders of the public sector. It is a story of greed, arrogance, and power that would make even a domineering nineteenth-century industrialist blush. This isn’t just a smart and entertaining take-down, but a call to action.”
—Rich Lowry, editor of National Review

From the Back Cover

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Before Obama’s election, only one employee at the Federal Department of Transportation earned $170,000 or more; a year later, nearly 1,700 did
  • The average Federal worker is paid double what his private sector counterpart earns
  • One city administrator was paid $800,000 a year—and wrote himself a pension plan paying $1 million a year
  • Los Angeles spent $111 million in stimulus money—to create 55 jobs
  • And there’s so much more...


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It contains story after depressing story of government officials responding to their incentives.
Ryan Young
Whether or not you agree with the author's case, these facts and examples will make you think and question - and that's the whole point of reading a book of this type.
I. Toner
Murray's writing style and in depth research provides something for everyone from the political notice to policy wonks in Washington.
Vinnie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Young on June 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Disclosure: the author is a colleague.

Stealing You Blind is a depressing read, though a necessary one. Murray only uses the phrase once, but he has written an excellent introduction to the branch of economics called public choice theory. That alone makes this book a worthwhile (and surprisingly quick) read.

One of the basic lessons of economics is that people respond to incentives. The trouble is that many people forget that insight when it comes to government employees. Politicians, and bureaucrats, the thinking goes, are dispassionate, objective, and (usually) act in the public interest. The public choice theorist's job is to remind us that bureaucrats and politicians are people, too. They have incentives, and they respond to them.

Murray does a lot of reminding in this book. It contains story after depressing story of government officials responding to their incentives. A politician's incentive is to win re-election. A regulator's incentive is to expand his agency's turf and budget. A public sector labor union's incentive is to gain members -- usually by growing government and supporting allied politicians.

This has consequences. When regulators have the power to tilt the playing field, businesses have an incentive to come to Washington and see that the field is tilted their way. This is called regulatory capture, and it is a huge source of Washington corruption.

Another incentive that public sector employees share with the rest of us is to get paid. Murray gives many examples of pay-related corruption, such as a city manager in a small California city with an $800,000 salary.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Vinnie on July 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Murray exposes the incestuous relationship between special interest and politicians in Stealing you Blind. Whether it is so-called research grants, government unions, rent seeking corporation, or simply over regulation, Murray shows the political process that is hosing the American Taxpayer.

The book is a must read for anyone concerned about our runaway budget and the debt we are leaving our children. Murray's writing style and in depth research provides something for everyone from the political notice to policy wonks in Washington.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Fred L. Smith Jr on July 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Iain Murray's new book unveils a really inside-Washington story -- how unelected bureaucrats expand their turf to gain power and prestige, to the detriment of the American public. Yes, it's the public that pays for more and more regulations that are not only onerous and costly but also that substitute bureaucrats' judgments for individual choices. And Murray shows that it's not just the "public officials" who head the federal agencies. It's also a legion of highly paid government workers who give little pause to the public they serve.

Murray's book gives a much-needed look at one of the main drivers of the bloated regulatory state -- the people who benefit from its growth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ron Higby on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ian Murray is a British ex-patriate and a former member of the British Civil Service. With an unerring eye, he cleanly and decisively identifies how the ruling class in America is parrotting the disadvantages of the former ruling class in Britain, the aristocracy. The ruling class in America is composed of the politicians, the bureaucrats, the public sector union leaders, and the academics who live off of taxpayer funded compensation and funding for projects. This is an important book that should be read by all Americans who would like to reverse the trends of excessive government and the ruling class that it has spawned.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on July 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 6:34 Mins
Stealing You Blind is an easy and educational read. It has to be one of the most important books of the year because it showcases how and why government is corrupting the economy. What makes this book special is that Murray also has a chapter which reveals how to get out of the situation we're in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Van Stijn on January 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Iain Murray confirms what many already suspected. Namely that the bureaucrats are making our situation worse instead of better. The only luck those bureaucrats have that in western societies they will not be dragged out into the streets and lynched.

But at least, the information is out. Now we need to change it and reverse the damage they have done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Seaotter on January 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Stealing You Blind," is a well written, thoroughly researched look at corruption in government. The figures speak for themselves and give you a detailed look at where all your tax dollars go. According to the author, public service robber barons are in fact "stealing you blind." But the author doesn't just detail the problem, in the final chapter he gives "A Program for Public Sector Reform" which gives the most thorough overview of any I have read on steps that need to be taken to turn our financial woes around. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book. The time for halfhearted spending cuts is long past. We need to cut whole departments and make a number of other serious regulatory reforms.
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