Kirkus Reviews QR Code


Repairing the Ladder of Upward Mobility

by Daniel K. Robin

Pub Date: May 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1470158484
Publisher: CreateSpace

Robin explains his theory that a more libertarian government could enact policies to greatly benefit the poor.

“There must be something we can do about poverty,” Robin says. As he presents his own policy ideas, he also tries to change what he perceives to be conventional wisdom regarding the efficacy of welfare and federal programs aimed at helping the poor. One of the essential questions, he says, is whether “flexible government policy on several fronts [can] create an environment in which charity and welfare might become less important than they are today.” Each chapter focuses on a new topic of governance—education, minimum wage, federal regulation, health care and a number of other potentially controversial issues—for which Robin explains, in simple yet logical rhetoric, how much more flexible and beneficial government policies could be if there were less regulation and bureaucracy. His main reason for supporting these policies is that “each individual moves up and down the ladder of economic mobility” during his or her lifetime, so more flexible policies are needed for an increasingly flexible culture. Throughout the book, the author plays fair and doesn’t resort to potshots or rants to cut down the federal government. In fact, one of the chief pleasures in reading Robin’s book is that he seems to sincerely write for ordinary readers who may not be familiar with libertarian theory or the federal government’s policies toward poverty. He shows admirable evenhandedness and a rewarding perspective for such fiery, hot button issues.

A passionate yet even-keeled primer on one man’s well-thought-out strand of libertarianism and possible solutions for American poverty.