Carrying on from part 1 of my commentary about this book, he starts chapter 4 off with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike of 2012. The author mentions that in his youth he was a “lawyer for the United Mine Workers” so he knew that strikes were risky but “it’s still hard to imagine a labor movement without them.”
I remember reading about the strike but was not aware of any details. I just assumed that they were getting screwed over somehow, because strikes are risky things! And for some reason, Republicans hate teachers, and especially hate tenured teachers. Whenever I hear someone bitch about the luxury lifestyle of “three months vacation” and “high pay” I know I am listening to a Republican.
Labor has lost all power in the face of the onslaught of “free market” lies put forth by Republicans and Neoliberals alike. No, the “invisible hand of the market” will not save us. It will strangle us, that much is certain. That’s why slavery was invented: rich people didn’t want to have to pay for necessary labor and didn’t want to do shitty jobs themselves.
Similarly, apart from the nonexistence of a truly “free” market out there (buy the little competitors up and kill their business or co-opt for their de facto monopolies) PROFIT MOTIVE will always seek to take from labor. Capitalists do not respect any labor right to the value of labor’s own production; only the “money men” deserve reward for the fact that they had money in the first place (inherited wealth in particular) or earned through exploitation of other people and the environment.
Just found this older list that I planned to do short takes on, but now have returned the books and don’t recall much so have to recheck out, but here is the list for your consideration. Some duplicates with other posts may occur if I did manage to do some write ups but I am too lazy too check each one.
For some reason, the links to a lot of the books are gone. I may have missed one or two, but I KNOW I DID NOT MISS all the ones now missing GoodReads links, darn it. So I’m sorry, but I am not going to spend another hour or more redoing them when I don’t know why they disappeared in the first place.
Capitalism and freedom by Milton Friedman (2002) [author I am happy to say died in 2006; he created the false doctrine of neoliberalism]
Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt (2010)
Nation on the Take: how big money corrupts our democracy and what we can do about it by Wendell Potter (2016)
The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republican and Clinton Democrats enriched Wall Street while mugging Main Street by Robert Scheer (2010)
The New Road to Serfdom: a letter of warning to America [listened to book on cd] by Daniel Hannan (2011)
The Road to Serfdom: text and documents by Friedrich A. von Hayek (2007)
Why we can’t afford the rich by R. Andrew Sayer
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: dispatches from the front lines by Michael E. Mann (2012)
Bill of Wrongs: The Executive branch’s assault on America’s fundamental rights[cd] by Molly Ivins (2007)
C Street: the fundamentalist threat to American democracy by Jeff Sharlet (2010)
Democracy Maters: Winning the Fight against Imperialism [cd] by Cornel West (2004)
F*U*B*A*R: America’s right wing nightmare [cd] by Sam Seder (2006) for the innocents out there, FUBAR stands for Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition, and variation of SNAFU, Situation Normal, All Fucked Up
Unthinking: the surprising forces behind what we buy [cd] by Harry Beckwith (2011)
Considered a modern classic for good reason. Every page an eye opening experience to the “real” history of America and you just know it is all true, especially the parts you have lived through but didn’t understand at the time, this book makes the behind the scenes and suppressed or avoided factual presentation in school books.
This is a MUST BUY AND READ BOOK. I say buy because it is over 700 pages long. Plus good to have as a reference. I checked it out from the library but someone else put a reserve on it (!!!) so have to take it back so will be buying it myself. I am kind of flummoxed by the number of times recently that books I have checked out get reserved limiting my renewals. It seems statistically unlikely, especially for an older book like this. And since I had never heard of him before coming across his name in another book, that is strange too. I still can’t believe I lived through this time and did not realize how significant or even who he was! Amazing man, superb research and writing.
This link is to the 2000 edition, the one I am reading is 1992 but not as dated as one might think given that it begins at the beginning of America’s founding and all the information up to then and is extremely detailed and analyzed and described very well.
This book answers the many questions I have had over the years of how we ended up with an essentially two-party system that is run like two warring corporations for a monopoly of the United States government as the prize.
I knew that the Founding Fathers had not begun nor wanted political parties, but apparently not “until they began running parties themselves.” Thomas Jefferson was pro-party. Alexander Hamilton “associated parties with ‘ambition, avarice, personal animosity.'” I’m going to side with Hamilton on this point. James Madison “wrote in Federalist Number Ten of ‘the mischiefs of faction. John Adams expressed ‘dread’ toward ‘division of the republic into to great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.'” Now that was prescient!