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The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy: And Everything Else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs, and Corporate America Paperback – September 1, 2010
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From the Back Cover
"Who knew that the daily gusher of corporate myths and right-wing lies could be boiled down to just fifteen big ones? Holland and Team AlterNet toss up all fifteen for us and knock 'em out of the park, while also teaching us how to detect any new twists they might throw out at us. What a handy book!"
—Jim Hightower, author of Swim against the Current
"A valuable antidote to the brazen lies, calculated deceptions, and vacuous sound bites of those who want to use our government for their own gain rather than to benefit us all."
—David Cay Johnston, author of Free Lunch
"Most of the basic facts that people need to know about the economy are straightforward, as this book demonstrates. It is only the bad guys who make things complicated."
—Dean Baker, author of False Profits
"Joshua Holland's brilliant, data-rich, accessible, and in-your-face book, The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy, should be required reading for every American livid about floating a political-financial system that benefits powerful institutionsand megalomaniac leaders."
—Nomi Prins, author of It Takes a Pillage
By nearly every conceivable standard, the American economy has gotten steadily worse from the time Reagan took office to the present. The anti-government, pro-corporate agenda has damaged our nation for too long, and yet, turn on Fox News and you'll find them still hawking the same foolish theories, baseless accusations, and bald-faced lies. The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy dissects each malicious fiction to reveal how the Right is just plain wrong on the economy — wrong on jobs, wrong on the deficit, wrong on taxes, wrong on trade. However, Holland goes beyond the most recent Republican talking points to explain the issues with the depth and nuance that you'll need to see through the nonsense rhetoric you're going to hear about the nation's economy for some time to come.
About the Author
Joshua Holland is a senior writer and editor at AlterNet, responsible for coverage of the economy, globalization, and immigration. AlterNet is a highly trafficked news portal with a readership of over two million visitors per month.
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Top Customer Reviews
Which is fine by me.
The lies, in order, each given a chapter, are:
...that limited government means anything would be better for you, personally.
...that America is still the land of opportunity.
...that modern markets exist without government.
...that tax cuts are a magic bullet for the economy.
...that there is a budget apocalypse just over the horizon.
...that women choose motherhood over work (or vice versa).
...that we have, or had (pre-Obamacare), the greatest health care in the world.
...that those poor oppressed corporations need saving from that socialist Obama.
...that environmental activist want to ruin the economy.
...that more progressive governments are always on the brink of bankruptcy.
...that a border-crossing Mexican stole your job.
...that the U.S. economy is a postracial meritocracy.
...that organized labor is corrupt, lazy, and an artifact of a different age.
...that corporations want fewer rules and everyone else is an isolationist Luddite.
This last one is fascinating; Holland shows in detail how "Free Trade" agreements are bad for both developed and developing economies. Actually, they're all fascinating, and together they debunk a lot of the crap the Right's noise machine puts out daily.
It's readable, fairly dense with examples and numbers, and thoroughly feetnoted. I recommend it to anyone with a "conservative" friend. (Note: this book is five years old; some of its facts need updating before use in argument.)
"The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy" is a very good book that debunks the most outrageous right-wing claims about the economy. This 304-page book is composed of the following fifteen chapters: 1. Conservatives Don't Want Good Government, 2. It's Not Your Fault There Aren't Enough Good Jobs, 3. There Is No Free Market, 4. How Could Anyone Believe The Big Banks Are Victims, 5. Tax Cuts Aren't A Solution To Every Problem, 6. Republicans Have Never Cared About The Deficit, 7. America Has No Respect For Family Values, 8. Our Health-Care System Is A Huge Rip-Off, 9. Obama Is Not A Socialist, 10. Green Jobs Are A Great Idea, 11. The Europeans Are All Right, 12. "Illegal" Immigration Isn't Hurting Your Prospects, 13. Blacks Still Kept Back, 14. Unions Still Matter, and 15. There's Nothing Free About Free Trade.
1. A very well-written book that covers the most important myths about our economy.
2. Very accessible book. The author does a wonderful job of conveying his thoughts in a lucid manner without being unintelligible.
3. A very good resource for progressives.
4. Mr. Holland does a wonderful job of debunking right-wing myths about the economy through the use of compelling data, sound arguments and at times even graphs.
5. The rise of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his economical Roadmap.
6. The economical mobility of Americans explained.
7. Thought-provoking book, "Now, in the era of No Child Left Behind, most kids are being taught to take tests, rather than to think".
8. One of the biggest myths of conservative economics, the existence of an organic "free market".
9. The importance of regulation in the markets and some very good examples.
10. The truth behind the mortgage mess.
11. The truth behind what the rich pay in income taxes.
12. Interesting take on the federal budget.
13. The truth about Social Security and Medicare.
14. Taxes owed but not collected and why!!
15. The truth about the gender gap.
16. The healthcare debate.
17. The myth about the "death panels" arrggg!
18. The truth about lobbyists.
19. "Corporate personhood".
20. The importance of environmental protections. Some examples that will make you mad.
21. The true leaders of renewable energy.
22. The truth about the impact of immigrants to our economy.
23. The impact of NAFTA.
24. The impact of unions.
25. Who really controls trade policy? Find out.
26. Kindle links worked!
27. Great notes section.
1. This book is clearly one-sided and not even-handed.
2. The portrayal of Ann Rand portrayed as a serial killer groupie was unfortunate and unnecessary.
In summary, "The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy" was an interesting read. Mr. Holland does a very good job of making his case by providing logical arguments. The book of course is completely biased to the left but since I'm in agreement with most of his positions it was agreeable to me. Ultimately, the book did meet my expectations. It was thought-provoking, interesting and educational.