Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Matt Bors's Life Begins at Incorporation:

I have been a fan of Matt Bors for a while.  His cartoons are funny and pointed; he is clever on twitter. I bought this book because I believe in supporting artists who I like, and I have to give this book my unqualified praise.  I am now a bigger fan of Bors having read this book than I was before.

This book is a collection of comics and essays covering contemporary events from a left / civil libertarian viewpoint.  What impressed me was how clean and articulate he is on the page given more room to let out his mind than a tweet or a comic.  It was kind of like he was living in my head, and saw a lot of how I feel about politics an life and wrote it better than I could have.  And he can draw.  I think I have a bit of a guy crush on him (Is that even a thing?).

Anyways, buy this book.  Do it for Matt.  He needs money.

Smith's Who Stole the American Dream: I'm still working on my enemies list

I read a lot of books and blogs about politics and economics from a leftwing perspective.  If you look at the charts and graphs, so many of them show a disconnect with previous trends somewhere between 1970 and 1980.  I know that there are faces  and names that people like to point to as drivers of that and punk songs denouncing Ronnie and Maggie, but I was curious about the root of the deregulation movement and the rise of “neoliberalism” (however you want to define that term).  I had a feeling that there was someone behind the figureheads who helped birth our right wing nation between Nixon and Reagan.  

I thus asked a shorter version of that question and was recommended this book.  It is well written, though a bit longer than I prefer  (443 pages without the notes). Smith takes the prime mover to be the “Powell Memo,” a plan for the long game that got us here today.  For what I was interested in, that felt glossed over, and it was the contemporary situation that Smith explored in more depth – and well.  I hate to fault a book for being good but just not being good at what I was looking for, but here I am doing it. I think the title might be part of the problem. I felt that it was more about people who have lost the American dream and less about helping me build an enemies list.  A lot has been written about the current situation (and I am sure historians will write a lot more as time passes), but I wanted to know more about these guys where dismantling the dream.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

One thing to make clear

I read a lot and widely, but I have zero retention.
Therefore, I know nothing.

Which way does the demand curve slope?

Does it matter?