THE MYTH OF FREE TRADE

A PLAN FOR AMERICA'S ECONOMIC REVIVAL

Southern Methodist University professor Batra, whose contributions to economics are about on a par with what creationists have done for earth science, is at it again. This time, the author of The Great Depression of 1990 and other nonconformist rants takes on Adam Smith and laissez-faire, making what he confidently asserts is ``the first...systematic and cogent case for protectionism.'' With frequent breaks to settle his scores with his ``vociferous critics,'' and with reminders of the timely warnings he offered an inattentive establishment in years past, Batra takes the position that manufacturing, not trade, is the main source of a modern nation's prosperity. Free trade, he contends, has proved a disaster for the US since the 1970's, undermining domestic industry and precipitating a sharp drop in inflation-adjusted wages for up to 80% of the population. Assuming that American suppliers can't produce goods as cheaply or as well as offshore rivals that have access to a vast pool of low-cost labor, Batra gets down to business with a series of provocative proposals for remedial action. The centerpiece of his program (dubbed ``competitive protectionism'') is an immediate hike in import duties from the current average of 5% to at least 40%. And while shielding US enterprise from foreign predators, the author would ensure that there are no dominant, let alone monopolistic, firms in any field. This master plan, Batra maintains, could not only put America's productivity and real income into orbit but also trigger steep declines in budget deficits, energy prices, and global pollution. Beyond his self-serving analyses of legislation like the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 (which he repeatedly refers to as ``Hawley-Smoot''), Batra seems more intent on creating a plausible populist agenda than in getting at the truth of complex economic issues. A perversely contrarian tract, then, more notable for shock than for substance. (Charts and tabular material throughout)

Pub Date: June 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-684-19592-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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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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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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