MEGAMYTHS OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS, AND RELIGION by Eugene Schwarz

MEGAMYTHS OF POLITICS, ECONOMICS, AND RELIGION

KIRKUS REVIEW

Orthodoxies all along the spectrum of American opinion are challenged in this thoughtful, data-filled disquisition.

Schwarz, a retired business executive with a penchant for facts and figures, wants Americans to stop relying on politicians, cable-news channels and ambient ideologies and think for themselves. His own opinions show a probing and independent cast of mind. His moderate-to-liberal stance on economic problems highlights the scourges of unemployment, low wages and income inequality and disputes the idea that tax cuts are a panacea and calls for government action to stimulate the economy and ensure health care for all. His positions on social issues are more eclectic: he supports both drug legalization and hand-gun ownership—he’s been an NRA member ever since a run-in with murderous gang members at a Chicago factory he ran—while opposing both the death penalty and abortion (although he allows that anti-abortion laws are probably unenforceable). Schwarz infuses the book with a wealth of interesting statistics on everything from tax revenue and Medicare budgets to sexual activity among teens, and he even sprinkles in revealing insights from his experience as a refugee from Communist Poland, businessman and parent of a developmentally disabled son. His analyses of socio-economic problems are cogent and engaging, but his specific policy remedies are less so: his pet proposals include a flat tax; an ill-considered plan to power the economy with hydrogen and renewables; a quixotic scheme to eliminate irregularities from English spelling—“a symposium would have to be held on revising the language, followed by a public education program”—and a deity-free rewrite of the Pledge of Allegiance. (“I pledge, by all that I hold sacred, my allegiance to the United States of America…”) Readers won’t always agree with Schwarz’s conclusions, but they can learn a lot from his informative, closely reasoned discussions of a wide range of issues.

A stimulating take on the great concerns of the day. 

 

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1467928069
Page count: 294pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:




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