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The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics

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The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics Cover

ISBN13: 9780618685400
ISBN10: 0618685405
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

American politics has been hijacked. Over the past three decades, a fringe group of economic hucksters has corrupted and perverted our nations policies. With dark, engaging wit, Jonathan Chait reveals how these canny zealots first took over the Republican Party and then gamed the political system and the media so that once unthinkable policies — without a shred of academic, expert, or even popular support — now drive the political agenda, regardless of which party is in power.

Why have these ideas succeeded in Washington? How did a clique of extremists gain control of American economic policy and sell short the countrys future? And why do their outlandish ideas still determine policy despite repeated electoral setbacks? Chait tells the outrageous and eye-opening story, expertly explaining just how politics and economics work in Washington. Through vivid portraits of venal politicians and pseudo-economists, with wry analyses of their bogus theories, Chait gives us the tools to understand whats really behind economic policy debates in Washington: a riveting drama of greed and deceit.

Review:

"'The author, a senior editor at the New Republic, is best known for declaring 'I hate President George W. Bush' in 2003. This book traces the roots of his dislike back 30 years, when supply-side economics took over the Republican Party and made cutting taxes the GOP answer to all political and economic questions. 'American politics has been hijacked by a tiny coterie of right-wing economic extremists,' Chait declares, 'some of them ideological zealots, others merely greedy, a few of them possibly insane.' To which he adds, 'the Republicans' success at defeating the democratic process explains why it has been able to enact its agenda despite a lack of popular support.' The rhetoric is inflammatory, but the case is laid out with clarity. Chait claims that traditional Republicans, religious people and social, fiscal and foreign policy conservatives have been cheated as much as liberals, and that unparalleled corruption and ruthless cynicism in Washington and the timidity of nonpartisan media allow the minority to rule. His analysis should appeal to anyone interested in politics, though many may find the style too irritating to endure. (Sept. 12)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Jonathan Chait is a senior editor at the New Republic and writes the magazine's signature TRB column. He is a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times and has written for many publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and the Wall Street Journal.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1

Part I: The Transformation of the Republican Party 1. Charlatans and Cranks 13 2. The Sum of All Lobbies 45 3. Driving Out the Heretics 80 4. The Necessity of Deceit 115

Part II: The Corruption of American Politics 5. Media: The Dog That Didnt Watch 139 6. How Washington Imagines Character 159 7. The Abuse of Power 189 8. The Mainstreaming of Radicalism 219

Conclusion: Plutocracy in America 262 Notes 267 Index 284

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

richard.peck, September 11, 2007 (view all comments by richard.peck)
The New Republic just published an excerpt from this book. Having read the article online, I’m definitely going to pick up the book. I thought I had a fair inkling of the cause and progression of arrogance, corruption and greed that has derailed this country in the last 6 years, but the few thousand words I just read have expanded the horizon and taken me back to the origins of that arc in the Reagan administration. My father gave me a copy of Jude Wanniski’s The Way the World Works back in those days, and he had obviously sipped the kool-aid himself. I never read it, but have followed the wacky logic of supply-side/ trickle-down/ voodoo economics from David Stockman, Jarvis/Gann, Jack Kemp and on down through George HW's “read my lips” and the vainglorious insanity of W’s tax-cutting and war-spending disembowelment of the US Treasury. Anyone who wants to know what in the world happened to the fiscal conservatism of the Republican Party will want to read this. Then put these ideas alongside what we know about the rise in influence of the Christian Right to see just how the GOP manages to convince the masses to vote against their own economic interest.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780618685400
Subtitle:
The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by CrackpotEconomics
Author:
Chait, Jonathan
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Conspiracy & Scandal Investigations
Subject:
Political corruption
Subject:
Lobbying
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Public Policy - Economic Policy
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
POL040000
Subject:
Political corruption -- United States.
Subject:
Deception -- Political aspects -- United States.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20070912
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 x 0.69 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » US Economy
History and Social Science » Politics » General

The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618685400 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'The author, a senior editor at the New Republic, is best known for declaring 'I hate President George W. Bush' in 2003. This book traces the roots of his dislike back 30 years, when supply-side economics took over the Republican Party and made cutting taxes the GOP answer to all political and economic questions. 'American politics has been hijacked by a tiny coterie of right-wing economic extremists,' Chait declares, 'some of them ideological zealots, others merely greedy, a few of them possibly insane.' To which he adds, 'the Republicans' success at defeating the democratic process explains why it has been able to enact its agenda despite a lack of popular support.' The rhetoric is inflammatory, but the case is laid out with clarity. Chait claims that traditional Republicans, religious people and social, fiscal and foreign policy conservatives have been cheated as much as liberals, and that unparalleled corruption and ruthless cynicism in Washington and the timidity of nonpartisan media allow the minority to rule. His analysis should appeal to anyone interested in politics, though many may find the style too irritating to endure. (Sept. 12)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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