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Obamanomics: How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics Paperback – Jul 1 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (July 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583228659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583228654
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.5 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,372,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

A former investment banker for Goldman Sachs, JOHN R. TALBOTT is the author of seven books on economics and politics, including The Coming Crash of the Housing Market, Obamanomics, Contagion, and The 86 Biggest Lies on Wall Street. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, CBS Marketwatch and written for the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Boston Globe.

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Amazon.com: 23 reviews
46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Clear, but disappointing Aug. 16 2008
By CJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Please don't get thrown off with an impression of a three star rating. This book has its strong points - it has clear and crisp prose, the section on home ownership is great (not surprising given the author's reputation), he avoids getting bogged down in statistics, and he goes to painful lengths explaining a few areas where he disagrees with what Obama presents in his speeches. Unfortunately, as a complete volume, I walked away with the impression that this is a summary of Obama's policy views, with a little bit of the author's opinion sprinkled in. Starting every chapter with an excerpt of an Obama speech is good propaganda, but lacks policy analysis depth. With a title of Obamanomics, I was hoping for a better explanation of why bottom-up economics is better than trickle-down, but instead I bought 200 pages of policy summary, a lot I could have gotten free off a website. Perhaps in this election year, this book will convince some swing voters who want a brief summary of how Obama will possibly be different, but explanations of why he will be different are lacking.
28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Horrid July 19 2009
By C. James - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I cannot believe that this horrid excuse for a book was ever published. I only got 1/2 way through before I literally threw it in the garbage. Not only due to the shoddy writing style...but for god sakes, look at the end notes that he incessantly refers to. After the first mention of statistics I thought something seemed a little fishy. This buffoon of a writer actually (and repeatedly) cites his own previous publications, disreputable sources...and Wikipedia. You would be far better off having a discussion on the subject with your waitress at Denny's.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Obamanomics pure politics not economics Sept. 29 2011
By Gderf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ignoring the gap between rhetoric and performance, this reads like Talbott listens to what Obama says, while seeming blind to what he does. The book is based on campaign rhetoric rather than performance. The book starts wrong at the very first paragraph of the preface where it is claimed that Obama does not assign blame for current problems. Nearly three years into his administration Obama still prefaces most speeches with the statement that he inherited his problems. He well supports the Democratic party technique of covering its mistakes with the philosophy that one bad administration deserves another. Talbott gets the economics wrong in blaming the Bush tax cuts for the inherited debt. There is little mention of the effects of NAFTA. Talbott ignores the economics of war, where Obama policy follows Bush to the letter in spite of campaign promises. There is unsubstantiated denigration of supply-siders who concentrate on expanding production rather than over promising on the distribution side. Failure of stimulus programs was perhaps not clear when the book was written in 2008. Talbott hopes that Obama has foresight. The book was too early to see the monstrosity called 'Obamacare' or the subsequent economic failure. I wonder what Talbott thinks now.

Covering specifically the following topics from the outline:

1.Economic Justice
2.Economic Opportunity
3.The Current Financial crisis
4.The Biggest Problem: Corporate Lobbying
5.Globalization and Jobs
6.Global Warming and Energy Policy
7.Affordable Healthcare
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.
17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Liberty Vs. Equality Sept. 17 2008
By T. O'Connor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read this book with an open mind and a longing for the insights to Obama and while Talbott's writing was clear, it was a bit naive. His insistence on economic justice as the fix to our financial issues is nothing more than redistribution of wealth. His disdain for Americans who want a 12000 square foot house and a Hummer reveals a deep bias. Of course no one needs that much space, but in this country we value liberty and freedom to choose. It's not the governments place to decide what we need and/or want.
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.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Very interesting Dec 14 2008
By Bloose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book very interesting but not quite what I expected. I was expecting a more detailed explanation of exactly why bottom up economics will work much better than trickle down has. With historical data or accepted financial theory to back it up. This is an argument I have been making for years and was hoping this would give me some concrete facts and statistics to support this idea. A lot of the book instead were suggestions by the author of how Obama should run his administration. I agree with much of it, though not all, but am still left with little historic proof of the concept.

I definitely recommend the book because as I said there are some very interesting ideas in it.


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