Customer Review

11 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars clinton/obama white house feuds in book form, April 19, 2012
This review is from: The Escape Artists: How Obama's Team Fumbled the Recovery (Hardcover)
This is a bad book. But the book ironically and unintentionally points to the true problem in the Obama Administration. Since elected, Obama has been overseeing what can best be considered a coalition government with the Clintons. Rather than creating an administration of his people loyal to him, Obama created an administration with rival camps inside. And nowhere did that divided white house create more problems than in the area of economic policy.

The author of this book rather obviously takes sides in a blatent way. The book might have been better titled "the tears of Christina Romer". She was correct about everything. She the poor frail victim. Her life was just soo tough. I mean she actually had to work long hours in the middle of a massive economic crisis. She had to attend way too many meetings. And we as a country were so ungreatful in the face of her genius. As much as I dislike Summers & company and would normally have sympathy for anyone feuding with them, the book gradually made me dislike Romer just as much.

There is nothing added in terms of the basic understanding of the issues. Its all down to how many dollars to throw at the economy to magically fix things. The deeper (and more important question) of how to stimulate the economy with money is addressed in a meaningful way. Equally important as the question of how much stimulus was necessary was the (generally ignored) question of what form that stimulus should take. In my opinion, the stimulus was deployed in the worst possible ways to create economic growth. Too many nickel and dime tax cuts, too much money getting spread around as patronage dollars to institutions and too much money on ineffective projects like road construction where lots of money creates few jobs.

The author also rather poorly understands the dynamics between the president and the democratic congress. Parts of the democratic party in the house and senate is nowhere near as far to the left as the national party. Many of them rightly feared for the their political futures if they got out ahead of their voters on issues like stimulus spending. And the massacre in the 2010 election showed that their concerns were correct. Nancy and Harry would always sign up for anything Obama wanted. But that doesn't mean the party in the house and senate will follow the leaders regardless.

Might Obama have found a more effective policy? Probably. Was that policy the more-stimulus and tax-hikes-on-the-middle-class that certain people wanted? Probably not. Stimulus has been presented as a cure-all for the US economy but the Japanese experience after their property bubble burst suggests that its not capable of the magic some believe in.

Noam Scheiber in the book somewhat tries to be Bob Woodward. But he lacks Woodward's ability to keep everyone happy by giving everyone their say and not overtly getting behind one player. We don't any more books that are just cannon fodder for the Clintonistia/Obamite feuds inside the administration.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.7 out of 5 stars (22 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Everywhere

Top Reviewer Ranking: 25,388