"Pity the Billionaire" by Thomas Frank

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Mustang, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Mustang
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    Mustang Gold Member

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    The full title is "Pity the Billionaire: The Hard Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right."

    Frank was the author of the 2004 book, "Whatever Happened to Kansas," (which I read last year). That particular book looked at how the RW managed to align itself with the working class, getting elected primarily on social issues, and then pushing an economic agenda that actually hurt the very people who put them in office.

    In many ways, this book is an extension of his earlier book, except that it chronicles how the RW managed, against all odds (and common sense, I must say), to corner the working class outrage at the economic collapse of 2008.

    Unlike the aftermath of the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression when Democrats established a solid coalition of voters who kept the Democrats in power for decades, the new Right has managed to capture the hearts (but some would say, certainly not the minds) of average Americans who are angry at the state of the nation and our economic fall from the grace of good times.

    But do they blame the corporations and high flyers who gamed the system and almost took it down in the process? Not really. At least not as much as you would think they would. They blame gov't, and regulation(s), and, of course, liberals.

    It's an interesting (and funny) read. But it's also a head-scratcher because it's just so difficult to understand how so many people can be so mistaken about who the real villains were. I mean, after Wall St ran wild and unchecked for years, you would think that most average conservatives would rethink their love for deregulation and/or a lack of regulation, especially since the consequences of that philosophical approach to governance has been such a bust (no pun intended). Apparently not. It seems that the resurgent Right is now in love, more than ever, with capitalism in its purist unregulated form. Yup, their solution seems to be that gov't should get out of the way because gov't, in their view, is the problem. But isn't that exactly what the lobbyists paid the gov't to do in the deregulation frenzy of the last couple of decades? Gov't got out of the way (for campaign contributions, of course), and look what happened!

    There is also a beautiful deconstruction of Ayn Rand's book, "Atlas Shrugged," that is worth experiencing.

    And, of course, the conservative media and erstwhile RW tea party groups get a closer examination since their ascendency has become a cash cow for just about anyone starting a so-called grass roots group or PAC.

    Frank employs his usual acerbic dry wit in the process.

    Published Jan 2012. 192 pages.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  2. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    How does letting families keep more of their money hurt them?

    Can you explain that to me?
     
  3. Mustang
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    Mustang Gold Member

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    Did you read the book?
     
  4. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    did you?
     
  5. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Of course not, nor do I intend to. Why would i bother reading stuff I know is wrong in the trillion column?

    The "right wing" wants people to keep more of their own money and make more of their own decisions.

    Why are you threatened by that?
     
  6. Leweman
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    Leweman Gold Member

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    [​IMG]

    written by this guy?
     
  7. Mustang
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    Mustang Gold Member

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    Of course.
     
  8. Mustang
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    Mustang Gold Member

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    I didn't think you had read it. That's because your comment was a textbook example of a non sequitur.

    Yeah, why would you read it? You might learn something. You might actually have your preconceived assumptions challenged in a meaningful (we can only hope) way.

    Even your parting comments in this, your last post, aren't relevant to the topic the book addresses. But feel free to cut and paste it in any thread as if it's topical.
     
  9. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    man, all THAT over a book
    sheesh
     
  10. g5000
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    g5000 Diamond Member

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    "Pity the Billionaire". Somehow, I don't think the subject was about taking money from families. You are on the wrong wavelength.

    Section 117 of the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000:

    Do you know what a bucket shop is? It's a kind of gambling parlor where the people running the parlor have rigged the game to steal from the rubes who walk in off the street to bet on the movement of commodities.

    You really should be asking yourself, "Why does a bank need exemptions from gaming laws?"

    Why did not one Republican bitch about states rights over this provision? Probably because they wrote it, with the financial services industry holding their elbow.

    Guess who is taking money from families. There is a massive redistribution of wealth going on, my friend. Uphill. It's one giant trickle up going on.

    But not to "the rich". To the financial services industry. And they are sucking you dry by way of your insurance bill, your kid's college tuition bill, your tax bill, and your retirement account.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012

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