Todd Martin's Reviews > Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream

Third World America by Arianna Huffington
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's review
Feb 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: culture-politics
Read from February 06 to 09, 2011

Surrounded by the utter nonsense being spewed by the no-nothing, balloon heads on the right (our founding fathers worked tirelessly to abolish slavery, spudnut moments, uprisings in Egypt leading to an Islamic caliphate, blah blah blah) who seem to worship ignorance with a passion previously reserved by 16-year old boys for Charlies Angel posters, I was ready to be revived by a good old fashioned screed from the left. Instead Third World America serves up failing schools, crumbling infrastructure, a rise in economic disparity and a struggling middle class. Instead of welfare programs and big government spending, Huffington suggests re-inventing education through competition between schools, investment in infrastructure, tax structure incentives that promote small businesses, development of public transportation including high speed rail, public campaign financing, cuts in wasteful military spending, tighter restrictions on Wall Street and a breakup of the ‘too-big-to-fail banks’.

Perhaps the right has gone so far off the rails into a delusional fantasyland of tea-bagging and tax cuts that simple, common-sense proposals and reasonable and rational discourse are now what pass for leftist rhetoric.

The reality is that Huffington provides eminently practical and reasonable suggestions to help grow the economy and keep the US competitive in a changing global economic climate. Far from being a socialist manifesto, the book does a good job summarizing the economic problems we currently face and sensible steps that can be taken to alleviate them.

Despite the title, the book ends on a hopeful note that I found to be completely unwarranted and out of touch with conditions on the ground. Being nice and investing in social capital may be a good thing, but doesn’t carry much weight in the face of a frothing, brainless, zombie mob of xenophobes who yearn to replace democratic governance with a theocracy and believe Obama is the anti-christ. Sorry to say, but stupidity is winning.
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