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Greedy Bastards: Corporate Communists, Banksters, and the Other Vampires Who Suck America Dry | [Dylan Ratigan]

Greedy Bastards: Corporate Communists, Banksters, and the Other Vampires Who Suck America Dry

Dylan Ratigan is mad as hell. Infuriated by government corruption and corporate communism, incensed by banksters shaking down taxpayers, and despairing of an ailing health care system, an age-old dependency on foreign oil, and a failing educational system, Ratigan sees an America that has allowed itself to be swindled and robbed. In this book, his first, he rips the lid off our deeply crooked system—and offers a way out.
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Publisher's Summary

Dylan Ratigan is mad as hell. Infuriated by government corruption and corporate communism, incensed by banksters shaking down taxpayers, and despairing of an ailing health care system, an age-old dependency on foreign oil, and a failing educational system, Ratigan sees an America that has allowed itself to be swindled and robbed. In this book, his first, he rips the lid off our deeply crooked system—and offers a way out.

This country, now more than ever, needs passionate debate and smart policy, a brazen willingness to scrap what doesn’t work, and the entrepreneurial spirit to try what does. Ratigan has compiled brash and fresh solutions for building a new and better America, and with this book he has started the debate America deserves. With you, he wants to take back the country from the six vampires sucking this nation dry:

  • A political system in which lobbyists write legislation, lawmakers place “secret holds” to create more pork for their districts, and money drives the whole process
  • A banking system that uses capital for speculation and debt creation, rather than productive investment
  • A “master-slave” relationship with our Chinese bankers, making our corporations and politicians complicit in a system that rigs our currency and leaves us with permanent joblessness and massive trade deficits
  • A health care system that is among the priciest and least sustainable in the industrialized world
  • An educational system that prizes prestige but produces mediocrity
  • An addiction to foreign oil that has sapped us of our willingness to innovate, made us reliant on inefficient technologies, and left us supportive of corrupt governments

To combat these vampires and to isolate the systematic ways in which our once productive industries and our government have been breached, Ratigan does not offer a grab bag of flimsy suggestions or useless hot air. Instead he provides listeners with a set of values that together form the answer for how each of us can not only understand what has gone wrong—but join together to make it right.

©2012 Dylan Ratigan (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

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  •  
    Susan K Treiman new york city 01-30-13
    Susan K Treiman new york city 01-30-13

    streiman

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    "Great primer!"

    Loved the clear explanations which, in some cases, demystified things I'd wondered about for years. Not so thrilled about the author's narration. But that's a small price to pay for such valuable content. I definitely recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Frey New England 01-30-13
    Kevin Frey New England 01-30-13 Member Since 2010

    KevFrey

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    "He's angry, he backs it up, and he wants to fix it"
    What made the experience of listening to Greedy Bastards the most enjoyable?

    Dylan narrates his own book, and he has a fittingly jarring tone. You will chuckle more than once at his intonations and phrases. It can come across a bit "sensationalized" but I found myself grinning ear to ear while listening to him rant and rave about the biggest financial crisis our country has endured since the great depression. To me, it was like "All the devils are here" but with humor thrown in.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    He backs up his thoughts with detail, personalities, and specifics. He was a financial reporter before turning on the lion he fed, so his insider perspective is both interesting and damning.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    His coining of terms and pithy comments makes this book very enjoyable: Banksters, Vampire Industries, The Very Bad Deal, Greedy Bastards, Capital Extraction, Aligning of Incentives, and his funny analogies (Trade a Cup). And his focus on solutions rather than lamenting the evil of it all.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Lots of laughing.


    Any additional comments?

    Halfway through the book, he tackles health care costs.

    His description of the high cost of the health care industry (insurance) - Mayo Clinic was particularly interesting to describe the action of aligning incentives. The interaction of the original Mayo doctors (three of them from different disciplines), they invented a new approach of sharing information across specialization disciplines. They would have one travel, gather information, then bring that back to the other Mayo doctors. Very interesting historical context.

    Our health care system was not designed for the kind of patients that incur the highest costs. The billing system costs of the health care system is ridiculous. A systemic approach to health care and the costs relevant to frequent care needs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Spangler Norfolk, VA 08-31-12
    R. Spangler Norfolk, VA 08-31-12 Member Since 2006
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    "It is all about adding value"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book underscores what I believe has gone wrong with America. While describing how we got where we are, he doesn't play the blame game (and there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides). This book gives ideas on how to fix the problems.

    It is actually an uplifting view of how things can get better if we recognize the problems. However, the "looters" of the upper-upper class who provide absolutely NO value through their business transactions will be none too happy if Dylan's ideas get adopted.


    Have you listened to any of Dylan Ratigan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but because Dylan reads his own material, he is able to bring emphasis and life to the words.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The recent history of the creation of "creative financial instruments". It is very instructive and underscores the point that if you intend to punish by taking a birthright away, people will find ways to get it back... and then some.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BruceK 03-19-12
    BruceK 03-19-12
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    "Like Rattigan, Full Of Drama, Not Much Substance"

    I was interested to read this when I heard Rattigan speaking at the Commonwealth Club where he sounded intelligent and hit all the right notes. Now, I feel manipulated and want my money back.

    Rattigan is just another media talking head massaging the demographics right to draw a crowd and sell books, especially the young and gullible. I should know better, so I suppose I fall into the gullible side of that.

    When I saw him making the talk show circuit holding up this giant idiotic looking LED lightbulb the size and shape of an alien mothership as an example of how American ingenuity was going to storm the world I knew this was another nonsensical scam.

    I'll make my own prediction, and it is open ended. Until each and every one of us, Americans, stops spending on money on cheap trinkets from China and cheap ideas that our media sells to us, and all of us start to be "from Missouri", ie. PROVE IT, and stop willingly handing over our money AND VOTES, AND EARS/EYES to the greedy bastards in our country nothing is going to change.

    Rattigan in some of his talks has shown that he knows how to educate. He made some very good analogies, and distributed some very good information, but it takes more than just one guy that is good at one thing to get something done in a massive way, and here is where the American people fail. We think it is just the political left that failed because we're told that to do anything as "Americans", for all of us together, is to be socialistic, but it is all of us who are paddling down the drain while singing our disparate songs as we sink lower while the 1% are socialistic for each other! Ah, the irony. Is anyone loud enough to be in Dylan Rattigans place also enough of a sore thumb to be admitted to the 1% … it's a great defense mechanism.

    If Rattigan would care to write a textbook I might read it, because he has a good knack for explaining things and making them interesting, but he is nothing but a guy trying to write a book to make money so he can continue to make books, in other words that puts him in the category with all the other blabbermouth time-wasters.

    Hell, maybe the country doesn't need saving. I'm not doing badly, what do I care if all the rest of Americans jump from one lame idea to the next forever, me and mine will get along. But I do look for more in life and country, but nothing is really going to come from books like these, or whatever is the next style that publishers figure out will appeal to people … maybe resignation … which we already hear in the wings with ideas like, "don't worry about your privacy, you never had any to begin with". Maybe that will be the next emotional tone the media cretins will market us with. Well, I won't be buying.

    Skip this book, skip this genre, go talk to your neighbors and convince then all to unhook from their cable and start writing their own websites and wising up by teaching each other basic skills in something useful. Above all remember that all of us are human beings and all of us have a right to some fraction of the Earth's bounty, and the 1% are all of those people who have cornered resources and make everyone else work for them to get what should morally be theirs to begin with - it's just too complicated so ya cannot write it up on a speadsheet, balance it, and prove it in their courts.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Memphis, TN, United States 02-18-12
    Thomas Memphis, TN, United States 02-18-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Dammit--the U.S. is Not Finland or Denmark"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Worth a quick listen, but just to see what's wrong with the Friedman, Krugman, Brill school of criticism.


    What could Dylan Ratigan have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not lumped U.S. education, medical, manufacturing, technical systems in with the rest of the world. We ain't China, for God's sake.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dylan Ratigan?

    Maybe Johnny Heller or Alan Sklar.


    Was Greedy Bastards worth the listening time?

    Yes, but barely. A re-listen only to see the way it reflects the current media preoccupation with American difficulties. On the mark about Wall Street, but little else.
    After all, who is going to say that the PISA educational scores place the U.S is at worst fourth in the world if you break out White (3rd) and Black (44th) rankings and recognize Shanghai is NOT a country & Singapore & Finland are not really good comparisons. Likewise, just knowing that a lot of references rely on a convicted felon and his self-interest brother (the Milkens===yes, the junk-bond swindlers).
    His conclusions (or those quoted from non peer-reviewed


    Any additional comments?

    Get real, Dylan. Way too lame.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 01-05-13
    Tim United States 01-05-13 Member Since 2010

    My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.

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    "Talking About Babble"

    I've learned far to none from "Greedy Bastards.". It is just babble talk on personal commentary and rhetoric. Dylan Ratigan used to have his own show on a financial cable network. It's a bit ironic that he decided to write a book on greed.

    Also, this is United States where greed and profitability is the sole purpose. Not all vampires are evil. Ratigan goes on and on how these companies are all greedy bastards, but he never explains what the greed are paying for, like research and development in the pharmaceutical Industry for better treatment.

    We live in a capitalist society, if there was no blood sucking vampires, there would be no risk.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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