Monday, April 2, 2012

Reich's Aftershock

I just finished Robert Reich's AFTERSHOCK book, written at the end of 2010, after the Republicans took control of the house and the Democrats lost their super majority in the Senate.  I've heard Reich for years on Marketplace and as a guest on various NPR and PBS shows, but I'd never read on of his books before.  AFTERSHOCK was part of the God father Book Exchange program I have with my Uncle Joe.  I gave him DEMOCRACY MATTERS and Gun, Germs, and Steel back n January when he visited Arizona, and he gave me AFTERSHOCK.  I need to drive up to my cousin's house and exchange the books, as GGS I've not yet read.

But back to AFTERSHOCK.  In the work, Reich postulates that if continuing trends of increasing the divide between rich & poor do not reverse, that an "Independence Party" will emerge that makes the Tea Party look tame by comparison.   They'll run a fire brand candidate who promises to limit immigration, tax those companies who lay off workers, and drastically reshape (and in the process turn even more anemic) the US economy.  In the future scenario, Chelsea Clinton and one of the Bush progeny lose to his upstart, and the next day, the stock market crashes like it's 1929.  as America begins a slide towards a third world economy.

While AFTERSHOCK was written after the Nov 2010 elections and after Citizens United, it was also published prior to the Detroit Automakers' rebound.  It doe not account for the ending of war in Iraq and withdrawal from Afghanistan, which are bleeding the US of talent, blood, treasure, and patience.  So it is a little dated.   It DOES accurately characterize the haves & have nots, the rich Walll Street bail outs while leaving Main Street to grasp for the lowest common denominator of mediocrity and regressivism.  Reich spends alot of time theorizing, but not too much time backing up his theories.  He provides cock-sure statements that are rife with unjustified hope that I find hard to swallow.  I WANT to agree with him, but he doesn't give me too much substance to back up his theories.  He's obviously a Very smart man, I just have grown too sardonic and jaded to give his plan for the future much chance of getting started.  Corruption and well funded greed are too significantly ingrained in American politics for the pendulum to swing back, in my life time.  Maybe in my son's or someday, my grand childrens' life times... il faut voir.

1 comment:

  1. note" this was written in a coach seat, with a self moron in front of me who reclined their seat and then leaned forward the whole damn flight to look to their window, on my Eee Netbook, in Font size 6 (so no one next to me could read it) so there might be some typos.


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