Reviewed by Stefan Vucak for Readers' Favorite
This book is an excellent summary of American business culture, which inevitably led to the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath, still being felt and exacerbated by Federal government ineptitude. The book decries lost opportunities after the Cold War was won to wean the country off fossil fuels, financial deregulation, corporate greed, and spending beyond national means. All of which will cripple the government when the baby boomer generation starts retiring, leaving the Y generation to carry an impossible burden and America left to stagnate by emerging giants like China and India.
The author maligns the American Federal system as being wasteful, insensitive and out of control, ignoring the social and economic benefits that has made America the envy of the entire world. His solution to America’s problems is to ask the Democrats and the Republicans to unite in solving the country’s problems. But this ignores history and fundamentally differing ideologies that drive these parties, regardless of the utopian benefit of such a union in a perfect world. He urges individual sacrifice to reduce the national debt, fiscal responsibility and a return to business ethics, again ignoring the basic market economy mechanisms on which America, as a culture in all its facets, is based. The author blames the Federal government for the 14 trillion national debt, forgetting that only 4.5 trillion is government borrowing, the rest incurred by the private sector. He cites monetary hyperinflation because America is printing so much money to ameliorate the effects of the Global Financial Crisis, but the reality is that America is not suffering inflation at all. The author’s idealism may be laudable, but it is not grounded in sound understanding of American politics, nor of its economic and social drivers.
In many respects, Orest A. Harrison presents a lurid, if simplistic and popularly digestible, critique of current American economic woes that is easy for the reader to understand and sympathize with. However, the narrative often descends into verbal and emotional hyperbolae that detracts from an otherwise sound analytical work. As is often the case with these types of books, the author succinctly enumerates America’s problems but does not offer any workable solutions. Nevertheless, the book is an eminently readable snapshot of the American economic system and the business culture that almost brought it to its knees.