56 of 70 people found the following review helpful
A Short, but Hard Hitting Defense of the Free Enterprise System
, May 23, 2010
This review is from: The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future (Hardcover)
This short book or collection of four essays with an introduction by Newt Gingrich is long on facts gleaned from various National Polls and Surveys. The four chapters are entitled "The 70-30 Nation:" "A Bill of Goods: The 30 Percent Coalition's Story of the Financial Crisis:" "Free Enterprise and the Pursuit of Happiness:" and the "Moral Case for Free Enterprise." The main text comprised 128 pages of the total 174 pages that include an excellent notes section and index.
The United States is in the midst of a cultural war. "It is a struggle between two competing visions of American's Future. In one, America will continue to be a unique and exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, increasing income redistribution, and government-controlled corporations. These competing visions are not reconcilable: We must choose."
Backed up by a large number of national polls, the author divides the two warring factions into groups of people with 70% favoring the side of "Free-Enterprise" and 30% favoring socialism, redistribution and a big brother government. He provides plenty of documentation to demonstrate this 70-30 division of sides. For example while most voters mistrust big government, big business, large corporations and Wall Street banks, "The 2010 Gallup Survey found that 95% of Americans have a positive image of small business. One doubts whether `motherhood' would even score so well."
He then breaks down the two armies of thought. The people in the 30% coalition are "led by people who are smart, powerful and strategic. These are many of the people who make opinions, entertain us, inform us, and teach our kids in college...and work in intellectual industries such as law, education, journalism, and entertainment."
This intellectual elite is the leaders of the rest of the 30%ers. Those people are largely found in extremely liberal geographic locations such as San Francisco, Seattle, Washington and Boulder. Another strong part of the 30% is comprised of ethnics, especially blacks and Hispanics. Why this is so is demonstrated by the author with lots more poll, focus group and study data.
The real core of the 30%ers is young "adults under 30. This is not just a fifth of the adult population: It is the future of our country. And this group has exhibited a frightening openness to statism in the age of Obama."
"There are three long-term strategies to keep the young in the 30% coalition: pay off their debts, give them government jobs, and make sure they never have to pay for the services that the government provides." Obama intends to make government jobs, which already pay 73% more than the average private sector worker earns for the same job, even more attractive than private industry employment. Their college debts will be paid off if they work for the government and they will end up paying less in taxes of any kind because of more government worker tax-free perks.
The author also enjoys buttressing his thoughts by quoting the Founding Fathers such as in the following: "'The natural progress of things,' Thomas Jefferson warned, `is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.'" It's interesting to learn that these same problems existed centuries ago and that the founders of the United States tried to save future generations from repeating the mistakes of the past. Ben Franklin wondered if we'd be able to keep our freedom from government.
Obama and his fellow radicals are planning to tax the wealthy, except for the very politically connected, out of existence and then hide the other taxes that will be needed to help the new, perfect welfare state survive. The Left doesn't really know whether there will actually be enough income to support their Utopian State but that will a problem for the future, not now, when every crisis allows the government to take more control of every citizen and redistribute their wealth equally, except of course for the government leaders and public worker class and to add another nail in the coffin of the golden goose that was capitalism.
The author shines a spotlight on the five false claims of the Obama Narrative and as with vampires, the light vaporizes them. The five main claims are "Government was not the primary cause of the economic crisis:" (Actually the government has been the cause of most of this nation's economic crisis throughout its history.) "The government understands the crisis and knows how to fix it:" (Baloney) "Main Street Americans were nothing more than victims of the crisis:" (Except for the millions who took full advantage of the government's obviously stupid idea to give away trillions of dollars of other people's money) "The only way to save the economy is through massive government growth and deficit spending:" (Double down on the bad bet) and "The middle class will not pay for the stimulus package. Only the rich will." (Yes, there is free lunch and health care, etc.) The author methodically dismantles these false claims one by one. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of screwing things up with the best of intentions as well as their simple power grabs designed to further enrich and entrench themselves or their patrons. There is plenty of blame to go around, but as the author so clearly demonstrates a mere 30% of society is now enslaving the 70% majority.
It's particularly interesting how the author explains what happened in the recent financial crisis involving sub-prime mortgages. Basically that was Utopian social engineering gone terribly wrong--the government's attempt to provide mortgages to people with bad credit, no jobs and no real desire or ability to pay back a mortgage backfired. Contrary to what the government now claims, Wall Street bankers who bundled those worthless mortgages and took them off the hands of the quasi-governmental agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were actually considered saviors by the politicians who had set in motion the sub-prime mortgage fiasco. The government enabled Wall Street to make money by saving the government from it's own unsustainable, flawed socialistic policies. The risk was spread out around the entire world. It makes the reader curious as to whether Wall Street is again in the process of saving the very politicians who are pointing fingers at them and accusing them of being greedy? It makes the reader wonder about the accuracy of recent news reports that the government has been using Wall Street and Chicago Commodity Brokers to hold down the price of gold and silver in order to protect the world's paper money supply? Is Wall Street willingly playing the scapegoat while at the same time still collecting mountains of fees from the government for saving their as...Ur, paper assets?
What, if anything, can be done about the current crisis mindset that is allowing the 30% to set in motion policies that would never be permitted in the United States during normal economic conditions? There is hope, but the readers of this review will have to get the book and discover the solutions for themselves. That won't take too much time out of busy schedules because this pithy book is really only a one-day read. Even when a reader, like me, scratches and scribbles so many notes in the margins and between the lines of the book that it appears like a gang of graffiti artists had a messy ball point pen party inside this book's covers, the short time it takes to read the book is well worth the effort. It's nice to occasionally experience common sense enlightenment via true brevity.
A trivia item from the book: "Tea" in the Tea Party Movement stands for "Taxed Enough Already."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you?
Location: Boston, MA
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,149