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Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin... And How to Bring It Back Paperback – October 14, 2016
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I could not put the book down. It's the book I wish I had written if only I had time. If you want to know where we have been, why people are really angry, and what we should do about it, then do yourself a favor, set aside whatever political beliefs you have, and read Trumped! A Nation on Brink of a Ruin and How to Bring it Back. --Mike "Mish" Shedlock, Macroeconomic Analyst, Founder of MishTalk.com
About the Author
David A. Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider-turned-iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.
He has a reputation for zesty financial straight talk that defies right- and left-wing boxes while cataloguing both as corrupters of sound money, fiscal rectitude and free markets. He's the editor of David Stockman's Contra Corner, a subscription-based daily news and commentary service, and Bubble Finance Trader, a premium financial research publication. Stockman was born in Fort Hood, Texas. He received his B.A. from Michigan State University and pursued graduate studies at Harvard Divinity School. He lives in Aspen, Colorado, with his wife, Jennifer Blei Stockman. They have two daughters, Rachel and Victoria.
Web: davidstockmanscontracorner.com | Twitter: @DA_Stockman
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Top Customer Reviews
I gave the book only four stars because it has no index or footnotes (although Mr. Stockman does provide sources for his charts.) This lessens the overall usefulness of the book
As an example of where I disagree with Mr. Stockman I offer his assertion that the US working class can be made prosperous and competitive in the world market by lowering their wages. He asserts that their lower wages would be offset by an even larger decrease in their cost of living. I could not find any place where he supports this assertion by some facts. It is my experience and my reading of history that when there are economic crises the weak and poor suffer more than the rich and powerful. Therefor I would expect that wages would fall faster than prices.
As a further argument against the viability of the above assertion, one must realize that when wages fall the principal on debts owed by workers does not fall. This would push them into insolvency causing them further damage and making the fact that they still have “jobs” less important. There would be a wholesale loss of houses, cars, and anything else bought on credit. Mr. Stockman states that the working class is at max-debt, meaning that their insolvency would be devastating.
In sum Mr. Stockman, the best spokesman for a plausible libertarian economics, has proven that libertarianism would be a disaster for the working class. I highly recommend the book.
"No!" he argues, the neo-Keynesians/neo-liberals have not relegated the business cycle to the trash dumps of history; the current feeble upticks in economic metrics are the product of insane monetary policy engineered by bankers, and aren't creating the new products and family-wage jobs needed to restore "fly-over" America to prosperity. Quite the opposite--a crash that will make 2008 look like child's play looms imminent, and is likely to be triggered by the explosion of China's gargantuan bubble of over-investment and over-production, if not by the explosion of the Eurozone's fraught single-currency experiment and the prolific and insane bond-buying that's keeping Greece's nose barely above water and all manner of zombie corporations afloat via junk bond issuance. Contrary to popular notions, the US has not "de-coupled" from Europe and China, and the intricate web of financial entanglements will sink us all.
His observations on Japan, which is marching "resolutely toward its destiny as the world's first bankrupt old-age colony," with its sovereign bonds having "morphed into risk-free gambling chips," paint a grim portrait of the nation which has exhausted every fiscal and monetary trick in the Keynesian arsenal--yet continues to sink ever deeper into debt and stagnation.
As timely as are Stockman's alarm bells about the global economy, Part 3: "Imperial Washington and its Global Depredations" is equally topical. His succinct history of the Ukraine (for the last 700 years "a meandering set of borders in search of a country") and its complicated relationship with Russia should invoke serious concern about the "War Party's" (military-industrial complex and their neo-con boosters) effect on American foreign policy. Similarly, he castigates our febrile obsession with Iran going back to the CIA's overthrow of its populist leader back in 1953, and argues persuasively that it should be an natural ally in the fight with Islamic extremism, rather than a perennial boogeyman.
I had to set aside my disdain for many aspects of Stockman's libertarian, bare-knuckled capitalism to fully appreciate his important contribution to dialogues we should be having. In chapter after chapter he points out one naked emperor after another in an energetic attempt to wake up the slumbering masses. "Flyover America" knows the neo-liberal policies of the Clinton's and Obama were more palliative than curative, and that establishment Republicans offer an even more dismal future. Trump has stirred them from their stupor, but thus far seems to have been co-opted by the Christian Right and the neo-liberal consensus he once purported to loathe. I'd love to see Bernie, Rachel Maddow, and other progressives address the issues Stockman raises before all hell break loose.