THE RIGHT DATA by Edwin S. Rubenstein


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 Against the odds, perhaps, this collection of columns by the National Review's house economics analyst and prominent outsiders has considerable impact as a lively, thought-provoking defense of positions near or dear to the hearts and minds of political conservatives. Informed by an abiding mistrust of the major media's arguable leftward tilt, the author and his guest commentators (Martin Anderson, William Niakanen, Paul Craig Roberts, et al.) raise merry hell with the liberal agenda. They blast away at a host of people and ideas: the assumption that the 1980s benefited only America's affluent, federal regulation, government spending, protectionists, quotas, taxation (notably, capital-gains levies), tort law, and overly zealous environmentalists. Addressed as well are such issues as whether homelessness has much to do with the domestic housing stock, income distribution, the realities of foreign investment, job creation, violent crime, health care costs, and welfare versus workfare. By no means are Rubenstein and his kindred spirits anti- everything. Indeed, they have kind words (as well as statistical support) for free markets, laissez-faire capitalism, supply-side economics, junk bonds, individual (as opposed to collective or group) rights, Ronald Reagan's presidency, family values, the Republican Party, and other causes that can trigger knee-jerk reactions from partisan Democrats. Based on these sprightly, acute critiques, Rubenstein & Co. have earned a happier fate than preaching to the converted. The text has a foreword by Jack Kemp.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1994
ISBN: 0-9627841-1-7
Page count: 432pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1994