The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine by Henry A. Giroux, (2014)
Wow! What a book! Gripped me immediately and I could not think of a single way to write clips and just annotate. I thought I was going to have to do a few jpgs to save massive typing. But some of the “blurbs” are included at the GoodReads site in a link in the title above. And I will simply quote a few passages.
Just the Introduction title is compelling: America’s Descent into Madness. Other chapter titles include: The New Authoritarianism, Hurricane Sandy and the Politics of Disposability, The Vanishing point of U.S Democracy, and the concluding chapter gives a nod to George Orwell’s 1984 with the title of Hope in the Time of Permanent War.
Unfortunately, the last chapter begins with a litany of reasons to NOT be hopeful, so after all the dismal commentary of the book, I did not end up feeling particularly hopeful, despite his plea that we should not, must not, give up societal hope.
His words are like reading machine gun fire, each word a bullet to the heart.
Continue reading The Violence of Organized Forgetting by Henry A. Giroux
The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton (2013)
This is a good book. Highly recommended to read. Full of details that are really informative but results in a lot of numbers and statistics. The following tidbits are in random order rather than sequentially by chapters.
POVERTY IN THE UNITED STATES (P. 179+)
I have been puzzled a lot by how poverty is established because when I do the math, to pay for all the basics (rent, food, utilities, phone, Internet, medical insurance, drug insurance, co-pays and deductibles) it exceeds poverty by a lot. I don’t even remotely understand how any one can manage just the cost of tampons and diapers alone, much less clothing, especially for growing kids — the mind boggles. Prior to this section there was an informative but this part was a bit tedious on the GDP and how it is calculated. Informative true, but also depressing because he described how inadequate and somewhat spurious our economic system is based on the GDP.
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Inequality: What can be done? by Anthony B. Atkinson (2015)
This is a FABULOUS book. Well written, very understandable language given that there is some economics and statistics and such covered. Actually a darn good read, a page turner, so well organized and fluid were the transitions.
I have been reading a lot of material on this subject for some time now, and this book presented about as complex of range as one might imagine with the variables involved. There was only one lack I perceived, and that is the failure to address gender inequality of pay, both in exact same jobs, and in the apparently forgotten comparable worth sense that I vigorously supported back in the 1970s. For example, since private sector refuses to cooperate making up such lame excuses as mommy tracks or leadership skills, or whatever makes it seem like they aren’t discriminating, it is time for the government to do some equalizing. The IRS has the data and they could make some determinations and proceed by either taxing non-compliant companies and refunding pay discrepancies directly to the employed women, or some other scheme to force equity. Such as only tax women at a rate 70% of that of men. Ever so briefly the author touches on universal basic income but principally in relation to child poverty and making a child payment. Again, just briefly discusses, maybe one sentence, the fact that paying women to have children is inherently discriminatory against women who cannot or choose not to bear children, but who would be taxed to pay for OTHER PEOPLE’s children.
Continue reading Inequality by Anthony B. Atkinson
The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It is a thorough discussion of economics (ugh hated it in school) that is actually readable if a bit difficult to grasp because I think what the author is saying is that economists make up shit and then persuade politicians to implement their “theories” without grasping consequences — or giving a damn — and the Chicago School cabal led by the lethal charisma of Milton Friedman and his devoted follower, Donald Rumsfeld, Ronald Reagan (Reaganomics is the same brutal theory), and republicans ever since.
This book was due back at the library before I had a chance to grab some quotes for this post, so I will have to get it back to do so. I have kind of developed a better method of reading and quoting simultaneously now though so I won’t have to go back and/or find my notebooks of extensive quotes and comments. On paper. Yeah, I know, what was I thinking!