4.0 out of 5 stars dense with insight, but sometimes hard to read
Many of Phillip's books have a "notebook" quality: it is as if they have been rushed to press before the themes and information have been thoroughly synthesized because of the topicality of the content. This quality is both a strength (contemporary pertinence) and a weakness (apparent sloppiness). "Wealth and Democracy" is more of an academic work that covers hundreds...
Published 10 months ago by ogilive
3.0 out of 5 stars Reader from Washington is absolutely correct....
While I do agree with some of the things that Phillips presents here, I think that if Phillips is truly concerned about inequality of wealth here in America, he should go after these senators, congressmen and other government employees who want to "fix social security" but refuse to contribute to it yet have their own super retirement programs that will provide...
Published on July 5 2004
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4.0 out of 5 stars dense with insight, but sometimes hard to read,
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This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: How Great Fortunes and Government Created America's Aristocracy (Hardcover)Many of Phillip's books have a "notebook" quality: it is as if they have been rushed to press before the themes and information have been thoroughly synthesized because of the topicality of the content. This quality is both a strength (contemporary pertinence) and a weakness (apparent sloppiness). "Wealth and Democracy" is more of an academic work that covers hundreds of years of economic history. Sometimes Phillip's organization and narrative are plodding, but often after stumbling through a few paragraphs of trivialities (often lists of rich people and companies) you'll hit either stunning insights, excellently synthesized historical commentary, or a return to the main narrative. If Phillip's arguments about American's adherence to the pattern of imperial/financial dominance and decline set by Spain, Holland, and Britain are not fully compelling at all times, those arguments are at least specific enough imply possible further explanation or argument (a virtue academics often avoid by resorting to theoretical frameworks or rhetorical equivocation). It is safe to assume that the one-star reviews are from (presumably paid) trolls at right-wing propaganda mills.
5.0 out of 5 stars Smash the Golden Calf -,
This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Paperback)America suffers from amnesia. The spokespersons of corporate media (Hannity, O'Reilly, Rush "Hillbilly Heroin" Limbaugh, Coulter, Quinn, etc.) airbrush history by pretending that the class struggle and even populism itself is "anti-American". Offering an historical context from the past 200+ years, Kevin Philips offers a much needed (and timely) antidote to this disturbing trend, showing the trickle down golden calf of corporate welfare for what it is. For indeed, the individual does better when everyone else is doing better -
At the time of this writing, July 2004, it is better now than when it was published -
Conservatives ought to read it, and take heart - for soon their self-serving minions shall be out of power, banished to the nether regions of the Bermuda triangle.
3.0 out of 5 stars Reader from Washington is absolutely correct....,
By A Customer
This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Paperback)While I do agree with some of the things that Phillips presents here, I think that if Phillips is truly concerned about inequality of wealth here in America, he should go after these senators, congressmen and other government employees who want to "fix social security" but refuse to contribute to it yet have their own super retirement programs that will provide a million dollar retirement income and they (the senators, congressmen etc) never have to pay a dime into it and never contribute to social security (or is that social insecurity?)
I think it's time to shake up America and history has shown that Kevin Phillips is the man who can do that. So c'mon Mr. Phillips. Why not write a book and expose the great social security scandal that is going on in this great country. Expose these politicians who talk out of both sides of their mouths. Expose these Senators and Congressmen who claim they are working for the common good but could care less about anybody but themselves. Do a book on social security before it truly does become social insecurity and leaves millions of Americans, our elderly pennyless and possibly homeless as well.
Great job on Wealth & Democracy. I have read it several times.
2.0 out of 5 stars Anybody can partner with the government,
By A Customer
This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Paperback)I'm giving this book by Kevin Phillips 2 stars because he is partially correct; the government is helping the rich get richer by offering tax breaks, the lowest income people are paying the most in taxes..BUT...Phillips conveniently forgets to mention that anyone, even minimum wage street cleaners, housekeepers, telemarketers etc can start a small home based business, consulting, child care center, even network marketing and enjoy the same tax breaks as the wealthy. Employees always pay the absolute most in taxes. So Phillips is correct in his analysis but deserves jeers for not mentioning how the average income earner can reduce by 50%-100% his taxes.
The other thing that ticked me off is that Phillips again conveniently forgets to mention that the Asians have achieved great wealth in terms of net worth by saving 30% of their income while Americans save less than 5% even though their incomes are higher than the Asians. Could this be part of the problem why so many Americans are falling behind?
The wealthy also save or invest a major portion of their income. I know some broke people who always say; "Well if I was rich, I would save or invest too!" I don't know about that! What I see is more and more people spending money on their extravagant lifestyles, living beyond their means. If they made more, they would spend more.
Why 2 stars? Phillips did I believe an above average job of researching historical data for this tome and is a good writer. However, he sends out the wrong message and leaves out way too much fact. He even takes a poke at the still best selling book "The Millionaire Next Door." Interesting is that the people covered in that book became millionaires in the same country and under the same conditions that Phillips insists only benefits the ultra wealthy. Well, once again, these people, just like the ultra wealthy, became rich by taking advantage of the opportunities available in America. Also interesting is that one of the top producers of millionaires in the late 80's and early 90's was dry cleaning! I couldn't think of a more dull business to start but now wish I had!
People should walk away from Wealth & Democracy (and any other book by Phillips) and read quality, fact filled books on building wealth like The Millionaire Next Door, The Automatic Millionaire, The Millionaire Mind and Rich Dad Poor Dad.
I also found it interesting that while Kevin Phillips was promoting this book, he was on late nite tv talk shows that were aired right beside the "get rich quick" informercials. The only difference between Phillips and those get rich quick informercial guru's is that occasionally somebody makes money on one of those get rich quick schemes. I have yet to hear of anyone who has made any money (save book distributors) following Kevin Phillips.
Democrats will probably like this book, but then again, look at their track record. Sen John Kerry says he has a plan to help social security but refuses to contribute to it himself. Instead he gets one of these super retirement plans that will pay him a million dollars even though he doesn't have to contribute a dime to it. No senators or congressman do. Meanwhile average people like you and I have to contribute to social security, will get a small smidget of a return (if it is still around) while these guys get a million dollar gift and pay nothing! Now there is an issue about inequality that Phillips should address.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting .... but don't take it seriously,
By A Customer
This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Paperback)As some other reviewers have noted, Phillips loves to delve into attacking the rich and dwell on negativity. The old myth of "The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer", that the rich should take care of the poor (HINT: They already are. Who provides the jobs, the rich or the poor?)
Interesting is that 12 years ago Phillips wrote a book predicting doom and gloom and a stock market crash that would exceed the 1987 crash called "Profits and Politics." FACT: That very year the markets rebounded (thanks to Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush) and the economy picked up. Phillips wrote Wealth & Democracy in 2001 (was released in early 2002) Didn't we see exactly the say thing in the economy and in the stock market right after this book came out? Didn't we see the stock market SOAR, unemployment DROP and the CLINTON RECESSION come to an end? As usual Phillips doom and gloom was way off.
And as if this garbage wasn't enough, earlier this year, Phillips came out without another worthless tome attacking the Bush's which just like Wealth & Democracy and all of Phillips other books, came out of the gate strong and fell fast and hard.
Personally, I think this guy should just go away or relabel his work as fiction. He isn't do anybody any good...except himself. I am sure Phillips bank account has gotten larger.
1.0 out of 5 stars Candy for the brain,
By A Customer
This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Paperback)People who sit in front of the tv set all day interspersed with session on the internet, believe in the buy lottery tickets and wealth without work; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer; watch Dynasty and Dallas reruns; belive those democrat commercials and change their lifestyles after watching a 60 minute soap opera will absolutely love this book and that is the audience that Phillips attempts to and does in fact reach.
It tastes sweet like a candy bar. MAke you feel better to think that the wealthy are corrupt. Makes a strong case to raise taxes on the rich (did anybody listen to Ronald Reagans speecehes that aired the week following his death?) and attack our current President who has almost miraculously taken this country out of the recession brought on by his predecessor (who instituted the biggest tax hike in history by the way) and has taken a strong stannd against terrorism (anybody catch the news clip on CNN on Friday stating that a anti-Bush movie, directed by a overweight American and noted Bush basher is being subsidized by Terrorists? Hello??)
This is like candy for the brain. It may make you feel a little better, but the long term results are a rotted brain, and permanent mental malnutrition.
Think I'm kidding? Just look at the five star reviews. Hello??
1.0 out of 5 stars Amusing economic fiction,
By A Customer
This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Paperback)The reviewer who wrote; "Facts but no anlsysis" was close, but not that close. The truthof the matter is that there is neither facts nor analsysis with this book by Phillips.
Thank God for amazons return policy.
1.0 out of 5 stars ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ,
By A Customer
This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Paperback)God is this book boring or what? What a waste of money. To catgorize this book, just look around at the people with the wealth without work mentality, buy lottery tickets, go to work and come home and flop on the couch and watch tv all nite or surf the internet or go down to the local bar and hang out with the guys. And they wonder why their lives are not working out!
Social sciences tells us that when you take from Peter to pay Paul, somebody will always have to take care of Paul. Of course, the Paul's love this and they (The Paul's) are exactly the type's who love Kevin Phillips and splash this and his other garbage with raving 5 star reviews.
Like I said in the the heading
BOOORING. Unless you are a Paul, then you love this book. Have it under your arm on your way to buy a lottery ticket or cash your unemployment check.
1.0 out of 5 stars Makes for a great novel,
This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Paperback)Funny, this book is listed as nonfiction. In fact, it should be classified as fiction. The fact that I fond a copy in the fiction dept indicates to me that somebody is trying to get a message out.
Will anybody ever tell the truth?
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a s-l-o-w read zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,
By A Customer
This review is from: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (Paperback)I couldn't understand why his was such a slow read. I thought maybe because Phillips was superintelligent or something. But after closer inspection, that is certaintly not the case. Phillips is not super intelligent at all.
Then it hit me. Everything Phillips wrote (and continues to write) did not and does not correlate to the facts. That is why it was such a slow read. My subconscious mind was trying to tell me that this book was all bull s_ _ _t only because it is all bull s_ _ _t.
Take a look at the job numbers that came out today. If you have been reading Phillips, this should not have been possible. Take alook at how the stock market has been exploding for the last year and a half. Then take a look at how the stock market was doing during the Nixon years. H-E-L-L-O.
This book should not be listed as non fiction. It is pure b.s.
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Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich by Kevin Phillips (Paperback - April 8 2003)
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