Obamanomics: How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics Paperback – Jul 1 2008
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About the Author
A former investment banker for Goldman Sachs and Visiting Scholar at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, JOHN R. TALBOTT is the author of several books on economics and politics, including the prophetic The Coming Crash in the Housing Market, penned in 2003. Talbott has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Boston Globe, and has appeared as a commentator on CNN, Fox, CNBC, and CBS.
From the eBook edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Covering specifically the following topics from the outline:
3.The Current Financial crisis
4.The Biggest Problem: Corporate Lobbying
5.Globalization and Jobs
6.Global Warming and Energy Policy
8.Aging of the Population
9.Cooperation is the Key
10.Ethics and Economics
1. Talbott (and Obama) make a fundamental ideological error of equating equality with equity.
Earmarks have been extended not reduced. There has been no action on lobbying.
Hedge fund legislation written by Frank and Dodd, the very ones responsible for the bubble, is a joke.
2. Talbott's ideology shows in calling Obama a "constitutional scholar". Obama's campaign promise of transparency is ignored. Can Obama point to the Constitutional provision giving him power to require people to purchase health insurance? That's a stretch, even for the elastic clause. His hoped for education plan has been well buried in less significant programs.
3. For the current financial crisis Talbott attaches no blame on CRA and easy money policies of prior Democratic administrations encouragement of consumption at expense of savings and investment.
4. In the standard populist diatribe against lobbying Talbot fails to recognize that most lobbying is a reaction to bad regulation.
5. He says that most economists swear by Ricardo's comparative advantage theory. He
hasn't read more current articles involving expansion of the job exodus and drive toward service economy.
6. Global warming support for doing wrong things like ethanol subsidies and cost ineffective but Sierra club pleasing alternative energy sources at the expense of nuclear energy and natural gas.
7. Off the wall health care solutions are from Talbott, thankfully not from Obama.
8. In the standard message against privatization of SS, Talbott ignores the low return while estimating that preservation requires raising income tax levels to 60%; apparently not a problem
9. Presidential rhetoric about cooperation between parties has been well exposed as a sham
characterized by Nancy Pelosi: "We won the election so we write the legislation." The health care battle as well as the 2010 tax rate issue showed how Obama cooperates until he doesn't get what he wants and then uses his majority to ram legislation through congress.
10. Talbott gives a good good lecture on the ethics of poverty without relating it to Obama policy.
The epilogue asks can he pull it off? At this point (2011) only Michelle thinks so. In Talbott's next book 'The 86 Biggest Lies on Wall Street' he admits that the Obama administration is wasting billions on ineffective stimulus and bailouts. Maybe his take on 'Obamanics' would be improved if he has a chance to make a revision. This one is strictly ideological party politics. For a more thoughtful analysis of the liberal position read 'Obama's Challenge' by Robert Kuttner (2007) or anything by Joseph Stiglitz.
One of Obamas campaign promises is to raise taxes on the wealthy, those making over $250K a year. Talbott says the current system 'gives money to top earners", when in fact the system allows top earners to keep more of the money they have earned. I think this basic difference in economic viewpoint is what irked me the most, being one of those 'lucky' few that Obama considers rich. He seems to know that the 'rich will not reinvest their extra money, they will put in a savings account. This is how it works. I have two kids in private college. They couldn't get into the UC system for their majors because they were impacted. I pay 40K a year, per student. I am too rich to qualify for any aid. So any and all extra money we get to keep is going to private colleges.
Most people considered wealthy work just as hard as those who make less money, so it's very difficult to not see Obama's policies as nothing more than socialism wrapped in a pretty package and topped with a pinch of guilt.
I definitely recommend the book because as I said there are some very interesting ideas in it.
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