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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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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