THE BELTWAY BEAST by Munir Moon

THE BELTWAY BEAST

How Two Tribes in D.C. are Stealing from Our Children, Violating Our Privacy and Destroying the Middle Class
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A political treatise that laments how America’s democracy inadequately represents its citizens and calls for the creation of a third party.
In his debut effort, Moon catalogs a host of familiar ailments that he believes currently infect the body politic, including corruption, fiscal irresponsibility, a chronically underperforming educational system, monumental debt and partisan stalemates. However, he unconventionally identifies the principal political challenge of our time as the disenfranchisement of citizens, particularly neglected minorities. He marshals impressive statistical evidence in favor of his thesis that government aggrandizement has come at the expense of voter power. His argument’s seductiveness is partially a function of his consistent bipartisanship. For example, it’s not often that one finds a book that argues for increased teacher compensation while also sharply criticizing public teachers’ unions or that advocates health care reform by competitively pitting private and public programs against each other. The argument’s scope is also dizzyingly wide-ranging, addressing such topics as the government’s response to cyberthreats and a plan for reforming the structure of the United Nations. Sometimes Moon issues overzealous, sweeping generalizations; at one point, for example, he declaims that “[l]obbyists are synonymous with corporations” and then contradicts himself, saying that they “represent labor unions, trade groups, foreign governments, and nonprofits, among others.” His vision for a third party, “The People’s Party of America,” is also a touch quixotic, as it “envisions a nation where every person has access to education, affordable healthcare, and job opportunities; poverty is eradicated and the tax system is fair for all; and our elected leaders term themselves out.” Still, armed with an MBA, Moon presents a pragmatic business plan for establishing this party and reflects with estimable acuity on the history of third-party success in the United States. For a self-professed “average American,” he offers a measured, serious diagnosis of today’s political difficulties, coupled with a wealth of provocative potential solutions.

An engaging critique that sees the two-party system as the source of the United States’ political travails.
Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9913721-0-2
Page count: 280pp
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2015




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