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The Road to Prosperity: How to Grow Our Economy and Revive the American Dream Hardcover – August 3, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470394390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470394397
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,558,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This essential perception—that incentive-driven growth rather than government-sponsored redistribution is the key to real prosperity—is at the heart of former Pennsylvania congressman Patrick Toomey’s lovely little book The Road to Prosperity: How to Grow Our Economy and Revive the American Dream. It's a capitalist manifesto for everyman: clear, concise, down-to-earth and wonderfully compelling. A book to read and absorb, and to consider giving to clients." (Financial Advisor Magazine)

From the Inside Flap

Capitalism is under attack by leftists who want to remake the United States into a European-style welfare state. The Obama administration's corporate bailouts, excessive spending, and sweeping expansion of government interference in the private economy are undermining our economy and the hopes and dreams of future generations. History suggests these policies—if left unchecked—will prove disastrous.

The Road to Prosperity is a clarion call for a return to the principles that support economic growth, individual opportunity, and freedom. Written by former Pennsylvania congressman and president of the Club for Growth, Patrick Toomey, The Road to Prosperity is a masterful critique of leftist economic fallacies and an eloquent exposition of the superiority of free market capitalism as a creator of prosperity and human happiness.

Throughout these pages, Toomey argues we should cut taxes, reduce government spending, and end the government micro-management of banks, carmakers, and other troubled companies. Specifically, a simple, three year moratorium on corporate taxes or a two year, 50% reduction in payroll taxes would cost the same as the stimulus bill, but would provide far more stimulus to the economy. And instead of propping up failing companies with taxpayer money, Toomey asserts we should allow these companies to file for bankruptcy and reorganize, which would free up investment capital for new, more promising enterprises.

A brilliant exposition of today's economic problems and a spirited defense of capitalism, The Road to Prosperity explains what we need to do to revitalize our economy and restore the American Dream.

More About the Author

Pat is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania.

Growing up the third of six children in a blue-collar, working class family--his father a union worker and his mother a part-time secretary at the family's parish church--Pat was taught the values of hard work and self-reliance. His dedication and discipline as a student earned him entry to Harvard University; his perseverance and part-time jobs allowed him to earn his degree.

Pat's determination served him well as an entrepreneur and a small business owner when he and his brothers started a successful family-owned restaurant chain from scratch in several locations in Pennsylvania. Pat again found success and fulfillment representing Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District in Congress for three consecutive terms.

Pat was one of Congress's leading advocates for limited government and personal freedom. He led efforts to expand tax cuts and reduce wasteful spending. And because of his exemplary leadership on the economic front, he received top scores from national fiscal watchdog groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste, Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Most recently, Pat served as president of the limited government, free-enterprise advocacy organization, The Club for Growth.

Pat lives in Zionsville, Pa. with his wife Kris and their two children.

Customer Reviews

This book offers a sound course in basic economics, as well.
George H. Blumel
For those wishing to better understand what we need to do to turn our country around, this book is for you.
The economy will be deprived of investment as well as permanently losing manufacturing jobs.
James R. Holland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tom Wilson on August 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
An eloquent defense of the moral and material superiority of free market capitalism and a powerful counter-argument to the Obama adminstration's big government/nanny state agenda. Toomey begins by discussing in a philosophical manner the principles that are the foundation of economic prosperity, namely: respect for property rights, free markets, restrained government spending and taxation, and a stable currency. He then discusses these principles in context of historical events, demonstrating that adherence to these principles has generally produced positive results, while violation of these principles has created negative outcomes. On the positive side, he discusses the startling growth of Ireland's economy over the last 20 years or so. On the negative side, he shows how FDR prolonged the Depression of the 1930s by interfering in free markets and chilling investment. It's clear as day reading this section that Obama is making many of the same mistakes as FDR. Toomey then discusses taxes, government spending, free trade, and social security, providing cogent policy alternatives that are pro-growth and anti-debt. He devotes a chapter to school choice and argues that a free market approach to eduction would benefit students and ultimatly better prepare American for international economic competition. Finally, he discusses the causes behind the economic meltdown of 2008 -- most of which were government induced -- and argues that the policy response by the Bush and Obama Adminstrations has been wrong-headed and counterproductive. I enjoyed the book. It's engaging and a pleasure to read; it makes strong arguments that are connected to philophical principles and real data; and it does so without demonizing opposing views. I'm going to have my 16 year old read it to counter what he hears in high school. It's a great foundation in free market economics and a powerful statement about what we need to do to reverse the present course and re-invigorate the American economy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James R. Holland VINE VOICE on September 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an important and very readable review of basic economics and history. Toomey does a terrific job of summing up economic history in America. We are the only nation on Earth that has had true freedom. Others point to ancient Athens, but a huge slave class supported that ancient Democracy. The normal situation in history has been few freedoms and dictatorships of one form or another. America is the gleaming, beckoning exception to history.
Toomey lists the four most important things needed for freedom and prosperity. "They are: private property rights; a relatively unfettered free market; low tax burden and government spending levels; and a stable currency." He examines these four basic points in detail and then returns to them throughout the 254 pages of his book. They are the yardstick he uses to judge whether a government policy will be successful or flop big time.
This reviewer's favorite chapter was the one entitled "Lessons from History: The Great Depression, the Reagan Revolution, and the Celtic Tiger." In that chapter the author states, "How ironic that the very federal government credited with savings us from the Depression actually triggered the stock market crash of 1929, and then turned what probably would have been a brief and ordinary recession into the worst economic contraction in American History." The true causes of the Great Depression are "compounded many times over by our popular misunderstanding of our own history."
After explaining in detail the terrible goofs of Hoover, FDR and Congress that practically destroyed America, Toomey then goes on to show that the present administration is repeating every single one of those economic mistakes and may well turn this recession into another Depression.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the Introduction, Larry Kudlow lays out what is at stake in Pat Toomey's economic approach (Page xi): "'The Road to Prosperity' by Pat Toomey is an important salvo in the fight for traditional American free-market economics against the Obama -led, European-style collectivist policies."

Toomey begins the volume by laying out four key principles that are required for healthy economic growth and prosperity: (1) Private ownership of policy; (2) Allowing markets to operate freely; (3) Low taxes; (4) Stable money. Each chapter following uses these principles to explore a variety of issues.

Chapter 2 observes that our understanding of FDR's New Deal is wrong; it actually exacerbated the Great Depression. Chapter 3 considers tax policy and how to improve it, based on his principles. Chapter 4 examines government spending, with special distaste registered for earmarks, pork, and deficits. Chapter 5 considers trade policy, with an argument in favor of free trade. In Chapter 6, he addresses Social Security, arguing for citizens to have more control over their investments. Chapter 7 focuses on school choice, applying market principles to education. Chapters 8 and 9 evaluate why the great economic crash occurred and how President Obama's response was precisely the wrong approach.

This book is an eloquent statement of conservative values applied to prosperity. Much of the content is not particularly new, but the work is a good statement of conservative principles applied to various problems/issues.

Personally, I see contestants in the debate over economics--from people like Toomey on the right to those like Krugman on the left--as overly simplistic. Simply to "let the market" be unfettered is too simplistic.
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