Yes. I have listened to the trial several times. It is and will forever be one of my favorite classical works.
It is the story that made Plato famous... and it may be the only time where truth spilled from the quill of Plato... that cousin of the thrity, that was hell bent on destroying the Athenean Democracy that had thwarted every attempt at forceful overthrow.
When Socrates suggests his punishment, he knows he is sealing his fate. He does not fear death, and he believes that the impact of his death in this manner will be far greater than the few years of life he has left.
Socrates thought the message would be heard quickly after his demise, but it has been almost 2500 years, and he has yet to be avenged.
Perhaps the trouble in Greece right now will bring about the world Socrates dreamed of... a world ruled by philospher kings, where every person is a king.
Democracy was assassinated by a stream of propaganda. When only the powerful possess the means to spread a message, that message is hostile to the common man. The meek shall inherit the earth. That will happen when we take the message of Socrates to heart. It is also the message of a craftsman from Nazareth.
I grew up thinking FDR saved the nation. In my twenties, I was shocked to find that, one after another, the things I thought about the 1930's were wrong, especially concerning the nature, character and honor of our government. This title is a compendium of what is wrong with politics, as relevant today as it was in the 1930's.
It leaves the reader thinking, "How did he get away with this?", and causes you to think, "How can we fix this?"
The issue is not how destructive FDR and the New Deal were, but rather, how this unfolded right under our noses. We hear politicians clammer today for a New New Deal today, and it leaves this listener thinking... are they FOOLS?
There are so many parallels between Hoover/FDR and Bush/Obama, it is baffling.
While not a raving socialist, the professor focuses a lot on how the government can step in and save the world. We see how that's going now, and I think he favors more of the same.
This book seems to be a moderate but firm justification for the core concepts of socialism. He focuses a lot on market failures and the idea that perfect competition is the exception rather than the rule.
He mentions government failures, but spends far to little time talking about incentives and their effect on productive performance. This gives the impression that he is a socialist appologist, trying to convince the world that the government is a great tool to guide businesses toward economic efficiency.
Disregarded is the two thousand years of history that compels any reasonable reader to admit that the government, overall, has done more harm than good when it attempts to intervene in markets.
He seems to make the case that only a minority of businesses should be left on their own, while all the others are valid targets for government intervention. Some of his points are valid. However, in practice, the political incentives that typically guide interventionist policies generally do not resemble the types of responsible and effective intervention that he talks about.
As for the Harvard economists, I'm just about done listening to any professor from that school. This isn't to say that they're all quacks, but Chicago seems to produce much more scholarly work on the subject of economics.
Read some Smith, Hayak, Sowell and Friedman. If you want hard evidence to support this authors version of economic dogma, then this book neither succeeds or attempts to provide proof of its assertions. Look elsewhere. If you lean towards the heterodox, go straight to Marx and skip this luke warm intermediary.
Still, there is a lot of good information if you already know enough to know which of his assertions are misleading... but if you already know that... why read? Cheers.
As a fan of data driven policy, I wanted to hear what Crunch had to say about American economics. Warning - This is a VERY partisan book. If you are a far left liberal and want to hear someone with some credentials tell you what you want to hear, you'll like this.
The overwhelming concensus of this book is that we can tax those with money to take care of all of our social needs. Unions good... free market bad! He often cites studies that have been debunked. For example, he leans heavily on the Card-Krueger study of minimum wage for its effects on unemployment. Google most studies you hear him talk about and you will find a convincing rebuttal.
He points out the disproportionate spending in America on health care, which DOES need to be fixed, but his kneejerk reaction is to advocate national healthcare for everyone! More government=solution.
Missing is any international analysis or reliance on regressions in states that provide health insurance.
He hits home on a few issues, but the answer to some issues IS more government control/spending... but that's his answer to everything... Yay, socialism!
The poor are victims and the rich are bastards. If you already believe this, you will find this book entertaining. You already have a mirror, though.
I thought this would be a good spirited romp through the political landscape, but I was very very wrong. I agree with some of the other reviewers that say Franken is a really angry person. It was kind of like listening to someone belittle their ex-girlfriend(boyfriend). I'm sure we've all been on the receiving end of one of these tirades. First, Franken enumerates what is wrong with a person politically (which is sometimes mildly amusing). Then, when the ammunition runs low, he descends to really low jabs at things like their appearance or their mannerisms. If it was only occasional, it would be bearable (sp?), but there are entire segments where you must suffer his attempts to be brutally vendictive and humorous at the same time.
I give this two stars because it is politically charged, and I don't think people have that high of standards when listening to books by people they agree with politically.
This book was rather hard to get through. I was at least a moderate fan of the series until I had to sit through this. There was nothing really bad about this book, but there wasn't anything all that interesting, either. The cliff notes for this book would take up less space than this review, with room left over. The premise was contrived and the pace was so slow that I found myself just wishing the thing would end. It's not one star because it is bearable and mildly creative. Did I mention it was slow?
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