A coruscating, brilliantly insightful exegesis of where capitalism went wrong, how it was corrupted, and how it might be restored, by outspoken former Reagan budget director and best-selling author David Stockman.
David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution that was meant to restore sound money principles to the United States government. It failed, derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. In The Great Deformation, Stockman describes how the working of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America and provides a surprising, nonpartisan catalog of the corrupters and defenders. His analysis overturns the assumptions of Keynesians and monetarists alike, showing how both liberal and neoconservative interference in markets has proved damaging and often dangerous. Over time, crony capitalism has made fools of us all, transforming Republican treasury secretaries into big-government interventionists and populist Democrat presidents into industry-wrecking internationalists. Today’s national debt stands at nearly $16 trillion. Divided equally among taxpayers, each of us is $52,000 in debt. This book explains how we got here—and why this warped crony capitalism has betrayed so many of our hopes and dreams.
©2013 David A. Stockman (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc
"Stockman performs a real service when he debunks the myths that have been associated with Reagan’s conservatism and promotes Eisenhower’s fiscal and military conservatism…Stockman forcefully conveys enormous amounts of knowledge." (Kirkus Reviews)
Brilliant, through, exhaustive treatise on crony capitalism and the failures of Keynesian economics. A must read
Mr. Stockman's well written book provides a distinct perspective on the history of U.S. economic policy as well as his own thesis about the present impact of the policies of this and previous decades. He also constructs a coherent argument regarding the future impact of today's policies and some alternatives for future economic policy.
This book is a tour de force of quantitative data and insight into the outcomes of economic policy.
It is a provocative book. His data-driven approach should both challenge and inform intelligent laypeople and professional economists who must make personal and professional judgments about the economic well being of the nation.
I have read it twice as well as listened to the audio version.
Engineer in St Louis, Missouri, United States
You can like this book for two reasons. One is that it is a great read on the financial challenges this country has with government gone wild and out-of-control. Next, Stockman produces several hours of straight diatribe and invective like you may never get from any thing similar.
I've read many books on economics and this is quality work with many new topics that you could not get from a lesser direct source. This was written by a congressman, cabinet member, investment banker, and a CEO.
Stockman has a great understanding of budgets and money, shows throughout. If you read Creature of Jeckyl Island, this will be very interesting to you.
No, this is a tough read and seems to get repetitious. I will definitely listen to select bits again, but not the whole sad story of betrayal.
The sad fact is that it seems to all have the ring of truth. True capitalism has been assassinated by the crony capitalism version favored by government.
Low interest rates have corrupted the price finding mechanism of the market.
At the end of the book, Stockman makes some recommendations as to how the train wreck might be averted. However, everything he proposes leaves you thinking, "Yeah right, that will never happen."
There is a lot of good stuff in this book - but I found it hard to follow.
The excessive use of economic jargon left me lost in many places.
He makes many good points but the delivery is more complex and technical than it needs to be.
Perhaps for those whose who are working in the finance sector it may be Ok, but for an engineer like me - it was pretty hard going for a lot of the time.
I do however agree with his overalll conclusions:'
- Capitalism has been taken captive by some elusive group
- The American tax payer has been robbed greviously of over $700 billion
- America is on the verge of financial collapse.
This book is right up there with "Human Action," "Where the Right Went Wrong" and "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" in terms of taking complex subjects and explaining them in ways that reveal their essential truths.
I majored in economics but the macro side was never explained or taught to me in a way that made as much sense as does this book. Mr. Stockman has rendered a great service to both the contemporary audience and future generations in producing this singular work.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Not read print version so no basis for comparison.
Efficient and comprehensive coverage of a vast topic.
No I have not.
It's all in here!
I chose this book hoping to learn something useful about our economy. Instead I got a book that seems to be analogous of it: disjointed, complex, totally mysterious and above all, resembling an enormous Rube Goldberg machine with levers and buttons that the servants of the moneyed class pull and push like children running rampant on an active submarine. When it sinks, they will all point the finger of blame at someone else. I have long suspected this; Stockman’s book proves it. Or, at least I think it does. I could almost hear other people with his background shouting refutations and angry rebuttals at his interpretation of things.
The greatest genius in the world teaches no one if he will not speak on their level. If portions of this book were accidentally shuffled on an iPod, how would you know? Knowledgeable authors are able to present things in a simple-enough manner to get their points across, while the ignorant ramble on as if they have insight and savvy flowing over. This author handles his subject as if it is so sophisticated that it can only be talked about using a never-ending stream of esotericism; acronyms, abbreviations and similes practically tripping over one another. I know the world of high finance has a language of its own, but,..“If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for battle?” One gets the idea he is trying to impress the reader. Mostly he baffles him.
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