If you separate the government from economics, if you do not regulate production and trade, you will have peaceful cooperation, harmony, and justice among men.

Ayn Rand
Interview with Mike Wallace on CBS

The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America (Washington, DC: PublicAffairs, 2013)

The Great Deformation is a searing look at Washington’s craven response to the recent myriad of financial crises and fiscal cliffs. It counters conventional wisdom with an eighty-year revisionist history of how the American state—especially the Federal Reserve—has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts. These forces have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused America’s private enterprise foundation to morph into a speculative casino that swindles the masses and enriches the few.

Defying right- and left-wing boxes, David Stockman provides a catalogue of corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets. The former includes Franklin Roosevelt, who fathered crony capitalism; Richard Nixon, who destroyed national financial discipline and the Bretton Woods gold-backed dollar; Fed chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, who fostered our present scourge of bubble finance and addiction to debt and speculation; George W. Bush, who repudiated fiscal rectitude and ballooned the warfare state via senseless wars; and Barack Obama, who revived failed Keynesian “borrow and spend” policies that have driven the national debt to perilous heights. By contrast, the book also traces a parade of statesmen who championed balanced budgets and financial market discipline including Carter Glass, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Simon, Paul Volcker, Bill Clinton, and Sheila Bair.

DavidStockmanStockman’s analysis skewers Keynesian spenders and GOP tax-cutters alike, showing how they converged to bloat the welfare state, perpetuate the military-industrial complex, and deplete the revenue base—even as the Fed’s massive money printing allowed politicians to enjoy “deficits without tears.” But these policies have also fueled new financial bubbles and favored Wall Street with cheap money and rigged stock and bond markets, while crushing Main Street savers and punishing family budgets with soaring food and energy costs. The Great Deformation explains how we got here and why these warped, crony capitalist policies are an epochal threat to free market prosperity and American political democracy.


TSOA Front Cover 150 x 150You can find more reviews and discussions of this and many other books on Goodreads.com (including my own reviews and comments about this and other books). It’s one of my favorite sites to help me organize my own reading and keep up with others. When you’re on Goodreads, please visit my author page and “Like” The Soul of Atlas. Consider writing a review and sharing it with your friends on Goodreads and Facebook.com.



Current Trends in Government Spending vs Receipts

Current Trends are Not Sustainable Current Trends in Government Spending vs Receipts are not sustainable. Did I need to write that last bit: “are not sustainable”? Or was that obvious from a casual glance at the “Chart of the Week” pictured below? The objection that I have heard from those who disagree with this week’s […]

Compare Countries: Per Capita Government Healthcare Spending

The government of the United States comes in third in the race to spend the most per capita of any country in the world on healthcare. Those who are not bothered by the amount of money that the U.S. government spends on healthcare label their detractors “dispassionate, selfish capitalists” or “ignorant egomaniacs.”

Federal Spending per Household vs Median Household Income

Expressing federal spending in terms of individuals or households brings home the egregious and disheartening reality that our government is spending way beyond our means. Before the ’80’s, it looked pretty good. We all know the deficit started to grow under Reagan; thankfully, he took the government’s role of defending citizens seriously and forced the […]

Annual Federal Spending on Obamacare will Reach $250 Billion in 10 years

$50 billion in federal spending on Obamacare next year, and then the real spending begins! This week’s “Chart of the Week” is from the Heritage Foundation. It shows that annual federal spending on Obamacare explodes, reaching $250 Billion in 10 years. That’s a lot of money! On a program that doesn’t even exist yet! Please […]

Common Ground? Author Marries Bible and ‘Atlas Shrugged’

Optimistic about common ground between Ayn Rand and Christianity, Paul Strand, is a senior Washington correspondent with CBN News. He is also well-informed about Ayn Rand’s philosophy and its influence on our society and culture since she came on the scene over fifty years ago. In this interview, he asks about how Christians and followers […]

The CEO of Duke Energy talks about leadership

With people at this level of their career, it’s no longer about whether you are the smartest subject-matter expert in the room. It’s whether you can be effective in leading a diverse team. Can you adapt? As you think about developing people through their careers, you’re looking for that transition from being the smartest person in the room — and caring so much about that — to being the most effective. It’s about how to develop a team. It’s about how to solve something where the solution isn’t obvious. Effectiveness comes from those qualitative things that give you the ability to network, communicate and lead people toward an outcome they can’t see.

Lynn Good
NYTimes.com (New York: New York Times, 2013)

Taxed Enough Already? Just wait…

Taxes by the U. S. Government are the topic of this week’s “Chart of the Week” entitled “Taxed enough already?” As if last week’s chart about the increased cost of U.S. debt simply due to rising interest rates wasn’t enough, the Heritage Foundation has come out with another scary graph. Your government at work (or, […]