This book’s personal experiences provide depth but some of the broader, economic generalizations remain unconvincing.

GET THE HECK OUT OF OUR WAY!

EXAMPLES OF GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS THAT ARE ERODING OUR FREEDOMS, HOLDING BACK THE ECONOMY, AND COSTING US MONEY AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT

A treatise argues for a small federal government and fewer regulations.

Debut author Cox contends that running a business in America is far more complicated than it needs to be: “If the government would get out of our way, there is no limit to where we as a people could take our country and ourselves.” How exactly does the government interfere? The author maintains that the federal government in particular is too large, too full of redundancies, and too imposing to allow regular Americans to live their lives (and operate their businesses) as they see fit. The government creates complex regulations (for example, the “Clean Air Act”), passes laws that are thousands of pages long, and seeks to redistribute wealth from people who have earned it to those who have no qualms about taking it. In the author’s opinion, there should be “no departments, bureaus, or commissions that are not absolutely necessary for protecting our freedoms” (although he supports “smart but generous” defense spending). He has a simple message for those in office: “Don’t try to give me what you think I deserve.” To illustrate his views, the book is full of personal experiences that range from installing a water heater without a plumbing license in Massachusetts to encountering problems trying to subdivide land in North Carolina. And while a screed attacking big government is nothing new (and the author notes influences that include Bill O’Reilly and the Heritage Foundation), the book is at its best when describing vivid personal experiences. Pages devoted to the difficulties of owning a mobile home park paint a very specific picture of how trying it can be to deal with the government. When a resident in the park sparks a court battle over a companion animal, it is apparent how the legal system can seem alarmingly whimsical. But some of the author’s more extreme views, such as his attack on the minimum wage, do not gain a lot of traction. Cox presents a good case that laws should be easier to understand and the government should be more transparent. But ideas about abolishing some child labor laws and removing FDA regulations are quixotic at best. 

This book’s personal experiences provide depth but some of the broader, economic generalizations remain unconvincing.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4808-5347-8

Page Count: 260

Publisher: Archway Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 22, 2018

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BEATING THE STREET

More uncommonly sensible investment guidance from a master of the game. Drawing on his experience at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, a high- profile vehicle he quit at age 46 in 1990 after a spectacularly successful 13-year tenure as managing director, Lynch (One Up on Wall Street, 1988) makes a strong case for common stocks over bonds, CDs, or other forms of debt. In breezy, anecdotal fashion, the author also encourages individuals to go it alone in the market rather than to bank on money managers whose performance seldom justifies their generous compensation. With the caveat that there's as much art as science to picking issues with upside potential, Lynch commends legwork and observation. ``Spending more time at the mall,'' he argues, invariably is a better way to unearth appreciation candidates than relying on technical, timing, or other costly divining services prized by professionals. The author provides detailed briefings on how he researches industries, special situations, and mutual funds. Particularly instructive are his candid discussions of where he went wrong as well as right in his search for undervalued securities. Throughout the genial text, Lynch offers wry, on-target advisories under the rubric of ``Peter's Principles.'' Commenting on the profits that have accrued to those acquiring shares in enterprises privatized by the British government, he notes: ``Whatever the Queen is selling, buy it.'' In praise of corporate parsimony, the author suggests that, ``all else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest photos in the annual report.'' Another bull's-eye for a consummate pro, with appeal for market veterans and rookies alike. (Charts and tabular material— not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-75915-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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