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A Nation of Moochers: America's Addiction to Getting Something for Nothing Hardcover – January 17, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Charlie Sykes has hit another home run. The author of Profscam and A Nation of Victims takes aim at America's growing culture of entitlement and delivers a fusillade as hilarious as it is sobering. Sykes shows in devastating detail how we have slipped from being a nation of independent men and women to being a nation of moochers, happy to feed on the labors of others. A Nation of Moochers is partly the report of a cultural pathologist, partly the tough-love prescription of a skilled social physician. Sykes outlines the nature and depth of our malady and expertly lays out the recovery plan. Buy it. Read it. Everyone not part of the welfare-industrial complex will be glad you did.” ―Roger Kimball, author of Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Politicized Our Higher Education and The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America

“Charlie Sykes' A Nation of Moochers provides a much-needed wakeup call for a nation approaching two perilous tipping points: a moral one and a fiscal one. With our country facing unprecedented challenges and stark political choices, principled leaders will benefit from Sykes' clear vision, keen insight and intellect. If we're serious about getting our nation back on track, then we would be wise to follow the lessons laid out in A Nation of Moochers.” ―Paul Ryan, Member of Congress

“Brilliant… A nation of moochers really does encapsulate our problem about a schizophrenic electorate that understands that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but still wants to get the free candy.” ―Michelle Malkin

About the Author

CHARLES J. SYKES is senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and a talk show host at WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today and is the author of six previous books: A Nation of Victims, Dumbing Down Our Kids, Profscam, The Hollow Men, The End of Privacy, and 50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312547706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312547707
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Book Fanatic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When I picked up this book I was afraid it was going to be a tirade against what we traditionally think of as the welfare state - aid to the poor. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Sykes's book. Yes, he does address the traditional welfare underclass in the first part of the book, but the vast majority of the book and its major argument is that a mooching culture is becoming entrenched in every economic class. He seems particularly upset with the mooching of corporations and the middle and upper classes.

The front jacket contains this description: "Sykes's argument is not against compassion or legitimate charity, but distinguishes between definable needs and the moocher culture, in which self-reliance and personal responsibility have given way to mass grasping after entitlements, tax breaks, benefits, bailouts, and other forms of feeding at the public trough. Persuasively argued and wryly entertaining, 'A Nation of Moochers' is a rallying cry for Americans who are tired of playing by the rules and paying for those who don't."

In many ways this is a very disturbing book. Yes, I was basically aware that some of this was going on but I really had no idea to what extent. The examples and trends described in this book are enough to make anyone reel, from progressives to conservatives to libertarians. It made me sick reading it.

This is a quick and easy read but delivers a punch to the stomach if you care about responsibility and justice. I don't see how anyone from any political persuasion can support this nonsense.

This book is 270 pages of text but it reads quickly and easily. Highly recommended.
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A Nation of Moochers: America's Addiction to Getting Something for Nothing by Charles J. Sykes

"A Nation of Moochers" explores the "mooching" culture, its societal implications and what can be done to curtail it. The book includes countless examples of mooching from many walks of life guaranteed to make your blood pressure rise. Thought-provoking, insightful but misses the mark on some key issues but overall a worthwhile read. This interesting 320-page book is broken out in six parts: Part One. Moocher Nation, Part Two. The Joys of Dependency, Part Three. At the Trough, Part Four. Bailout Madness, Part Five. Middle-Class Suckers and Part Six. What's Fair?

1. Straightforward prose. The book is accessible to the masses.
2. Thought-provoking book that covers many political/economical issues of interest.
3. Generally fair and even-handed despite espousing libertarian principles. Mooching goes on at all levels.
4. A good format. The author provides many great quotes and mixes things up to keep the narrative interesting. As an example, a moocher checklist.
5. The problem of dependency, agreed. "More programs of dependency generate more reliance on ever more and varied handouts, as the habit of dependency becomes ingrained and increasingly attractive to others".
6. Sykes makes it very clear, we have become a "moocher" society. Government reliance is at an all-time high. Many compelling examples and many that will make your blood pressure go up. Infuriating at times.
7. Many great facts and tidbits throughout the book. " By tax day in 2010, nearly half of U.S. households paid no federal income taxes. After years of cuts, credits, and outright rebates, 47 percent of households had no net liability at all". Troubling.
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Format: Hardcover
Parents who grew up during the Depression and WWII were always saying that they did not want their children to be deprived like they were. Dr. Spock's theories were timely for changing the ideas about discipline and beginning the "lets reason with the upset child and talk to him/her as if we are addressing an adult." Opponents issued warnings that spoiled, selfish children would become materialistic, ego-driven adults without self discipline. What used to be called character would disappear.

Well Sykes is taking a close look at how those children and their offspring turned out. He sees 2 very different cultures today. He refers to one as traditional or conservative that believes in principles. An example would be that a person buys what they can afford and are willing to be satisfied. The second group thinks that if you want it, you are entitled to have it, which means it is a right, and if no one will just give it to you, then the government is obligated to provide it free of charge.

Sykes points out that the description of the second group is closely identified with the younger generation. However, many of the Boomers feel this way. In addition, he sees the mindset of many people in both groups thinking, "As long as the money lasts until I die, that is all that matters." Most adults believe that at some point this country will go bust but hope that it will be after their lifetime.

The author discusses 2 kinds of moochers: individual and corporations. If you add up all the money spent on individual moochers, you still would not equal what corporations have finessed in a multitude of schemes. Individuals game the system or falsify their eligibility while corporations own the system.
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