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Union Bosses, Obamanomics

In his previous book, The Big Ripoff (reviewed in the June 2007 Freeman), author Timothy Carney launched an attack on two of America’s preeminent political myths—that the Democrats are “the party of the little guy” and the Republicans are “the party of free enterprise.” Both notions are useful to candidates in the endless quest for votes, but both are overwhelmingly false. Yes, some Democrats deeply believe that all they do is helpful to Americans struggling to get by, and some Republicans really want to move towards laissez faire. Party leaders, however, are remarkably similar in their embrace of a corporative philosophy (or perhaps we should say, strategy) that trades favors to well-established institutions in exchange for campaign support.

With Obamanomics, Carney narrows the focus of his microscope to explain, as the book’s subtitle says, “how Barack Obama is bankrupting you and enriching his Wall Street friends, corporate lobbyists, and union bosses.” Under Carney’s high magnification, Obama’s campaign rhetoric that he would kick out the special-interest lobbyists and only listen to the voice of the people is exposed as a fantastic prevarication. Not only have the lobbyists not been kicked out, they have been welcomed in like long-lost children.

Featuring the author, Timothy P. Carney, Lobbying Editor, Washington Examiner; with comments by Uwe Reinhardt, James Madison Professor of Political Economy, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; and Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist. Moderated by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

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