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Publisher's Summary

Rather than participate and innovate in the marketplace, generating goods and services that benefit society, people are increasingly vying for political advantage to live at the expense of others. Something for Nothing reveals the social and personal threats inherent in this emerging grabbing match culture, juxtaposing free-market virtues against government vices, explaining how the something-for-nothing mentality corrupts the political system, undermines corporate success, and stifles the individual's ability to prosper and contribute long-term to society. More than exposing the dangers, however, Tracy helps readers set a personal and culture-wide agenda for change.
©2005 Brian Tracy; (P)2005 Oasis Audio LLC

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  • Overall
  • Ronnie
  • New Haven, IN, USA
  • 12-30-07

Are you part of the problem?

This book is beyond words. It speaks to the most profound issues and troubles of our time. If you don't get it... you're part of the problem. The system of totally self serving government and believing you're entitled to something for nothing is a horrific evil that must be cleansed from the world. Brian's insight is priceless. This is a must hear for every human being on the face of the planet. It should be taught in a mandatory year long course in the school system. The truth can change the person at a time...

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Duncan
  • Fort Smith, Northwest Terr, Canada
  • 04-27-06


very real, very fair, very honest. I will listen to this often to reinforce its true meaning. Thank You, Thank You.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great plan for success, specially for the young

The book advocates a return to personal responsibility. If you are a conservative, he is preaching to the choir, you are not likely to find anything new. If you are a young person, say from 15 to 25, this could be a great blueprint for your life.
The book is written with a lot of simplicity, therefore is highly accessible, at the cost of being simplistic at times.
As a minus, the author is quantifying the entire human behavior regarding humans as very selfish, rational beings that act predictably at all times. I found this view a bit shallow. For example, he advocates that the crime will drop only when the punishment and enforcement increases. Sounds logical, but he avoids explaining countries like Sweden, where the crime is low, and the punishment a lot less severe than the US. He seems to attempt to create a responsible life plan for the readers and that’s great, but as a sociologist, he is a bit shallow.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jes
  • Hobart, IN, United States
  • 07-25-13

Why aren't people listening to this?

I used to think that the welfare state we have in the United States was a good think. Then I began to take economics classes and read this book. You can't walk into an empty room with nothing in it is at all and sit in a chair. Where did it come from? If the room was empty. That is what this book points out. How can you have something for nothing? People want fame and fortune yet they spend 8 hours a day watching TV. When someone does make it people say it was a gift from God or they got lucky. I will give you the second one. Hard work doesn't guarantee success, however it does improve it's chances by a significant amount. I personally know million dollar earners that couldn't tell you what was on TV, but they can tell you about the people working for them and what their kids are into. They also let their kids fail which were being taught in this country no to allow to happen. How else will they learn?

This is a great book that takes an in-depth look at our mentality as Americans and humans. We can't have a something for nothing culture or attitude because it is hurting us.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Keith
  • Fargo, ND, USA
  • 12-29-09

best stimulus plan ever

This tape should be part of the standard curiculum in our schools. It clearly lays out the framework that having the government encourage people to stand in line for 'free stuff' is not a solution but rather is the problem. If more people are taught TANSTAFL (There Aint No Such Thing As a Free Lunch) in school as Tracy advocates, the US would be a much better place. The USA already is the greatest country in the world - it will be a much better place to live if all our citizens hear this material. Buy it and share it with ALL the students in your school.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Maruf
  • Bellevue, WA, USA
  • 06-18-10

The Idea is good but...

Though the idea of taking responsibility is good but generalizing everything is not great idea. A lot of people help others for nothing- (OK it probably makes them happy- but is it a selfish reason??)

At the end the author talks a lot about political issue- I am not an expert so I do no comment but the point is I am not sure about the expertise/insight of the author either- And at this point the author does not comply with what he told in earlier chapters- This book may not be universally acceptable for this reason- expressing we are good they are bad is a big NO NO

  • Overall

Correct, but repetitive

The author has a clear agenda advocating stronger personal responsibility and knocking out short-term props that cause long-term decay. With his thesis I have no argument.

The way he forms his argument, however, is slow and repetitive. It is almost as though he has about a lecture's worth of material, but has to create a book-length work in order to sell it.

Furthermore, though he offers some factual back-up for his generalizations, they are too anecdotal and infrequent. If you already believe what he says, no problem. But if you're a skeptic, his back-up will be far from convincing.

I agree with him, I hope the world takes his message seriously. I don't think his argument is particularly well presented.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


Listening to this audiobook will turn a democrat into are republican. Over the past few years, I've considered myself to be middle of the road though right now I'm a registered democrat and voted for Obama in both of his elections. I would have voted for John Kerry but I was only 17 at the time. However, people have remarked recently that I now seem to have republican leanings so maybe I am one after all.

Tracy's thesis is that everyone wants something for nothing and that policies and laws in our country that give people leeway to get something for nothing (ex: government handouts, not cracking down on illegal immigrants, bureaucratic governmental and nonprofit organizations that get nothing done, labor unions, universal health care, and casinos) are ruining life for everyone.

I found myself largely agreeing with the majority of what Tracy said in his book but found his tone to be too critical and condescending. He even goes so far as to call groups of people "crazies," "stupid," and "ignorant."

After a while, the audiobook becomes wearisome so I listened to most of it at 1.25x speed which made it a better and faster read.

In sum, I'd say it has some good ideas but it could have been expressed in a more neutral and less aggressive manner.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Doug
  • Indianapolis, IN, USA
  • 05-16-06


While I think there is considerable merit in his thoughts on the role of character in overcoming base needs and his thoughts on what motivates man are, his proposed solution, if he actually offers one, is extremely expediant, selective, and indifferent.

His sweeping judgement of anyone in governement seems extreme and contrary to people I know; his complete faith in pure free markets without the appropriate consideration of externalities that a free market does not build in until much is lost; and his dismissiveness in organized resistance to perceived in justice all seems contradictory to his thesis of character.

In short, it's a conservative rant that does not deliver the goods.

4 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Point carried to Extreme

The author appears to think that anyone who takes money from the government for any reason is stealing from those who produced wealth and were taxed. If you take welfare, you're a thief. If you take unemployment compensation, you're a thief. If you need any money from the government for any reason, you've failed to be a moral, personally responsible person.

There is no leeway for people whose employer was bought out and employees laid off. No slack cut for those whose job was sent offshore for a quarter the salary. No sympathy for those who worked all their lives only to see their pension plan looted and bankrupted.

He seems incensed that the top 50% of salaries account for 96% of income taxed. There is no thought given that many blue collar jobs have pay that is kept artificially low by competition from illegal immigrants. If you can't cut it on whatever you're paid, you've failed to plan your life ahead and sacrifice for the future.

So, while I can agree with the author that the proverbial welfare queens are stealing from the rest of us, and government earmarks benefiting friends and supporters of a congressman are a bad thing, I think he takes the point to an extreme with his any money redistributed is theft position.

2 of 10 people found this review helpful