Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity

Finished reading this:


It was ok, but I have some nits to pick:

  • He really lays into Italy. Granted, Italy has not done very well at all over the past 20 years, but the "Italy bad, US good" refrain gets a bit old in the book. A much more thorough look at Italy can be had via "Good Italy, Bad Italy" by Bill Emmott ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008F86HBK/?tag=dedasys-20 )
  • Markets are good, sure, I get that and agree with it, but he really glosses over some of the things they're not so good at. For instance, with the health care system here in Italy, no matter if I lose my job, I will *always* be able to take my children to the doctor. With no waiting lists. Now, granted, health care is a complex subject with a lot of tricky corners, but it's one example that springs to mind.
  • Some of his proposals seem a bit hand-wavy: eliminate the income tax in favor of value-added tax type mechanisms, somehow pro-rated for those who are not well off. So where's all the needed money going to come from? Seems a bit of a fantasy.

That said, one of his central points really bears repeating: being pro market does not necessarily signify being pro business, as most businesses would only be all too happy to squelch the competition. He favors government intervention where it would serve to keep the playing field open to new competitors.

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