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PostPosted: January 9 19, 2:11 am 
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Don't tone police me bro!
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Started chapter 1. This should be fun. I, of course, have opinions.


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PostPosted: January 9 19, 10:11 am 
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Alright, I'm in. I'm traveling for work next week. I will have plenty of reading time in airplanes and airports.


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PostPosted: January 9 19, 10:28 am 
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It's been a while since I read this, and I forgot how forcefully Sachs leads with the argument of economics as morality.


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PostPosted: January 9 19, 12:34 pm 
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There's someone in my head but it's not me
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Location: Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am.
Ordered.

Also thinking of grabbing this one - anyone read it?


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PostPosted: January 22 19, 4:26 pm 
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Just realized we said this would start tomorrow. Everyone ready who is in?


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PostPosted: January 22 19, 4:41 pm 
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bronoun enthusiast
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I'm not. I got really busy at work and had to travel to Dallas for a week. I haven't even cracked it yet.

I guess we just leave it open for discussion for a week before we move on?


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PostPosted: January 22 19, 6:33 pm 
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Haha I'm ready. I used my airport time for this and made some notes.


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PostPosted: January 23 19, 9:45 am 
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tl;dr

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It wasn't available on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited or Prime reading so... I don't have the book at this point. I'll just follow along with your discussions and form my opinions from there!


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PostPosted: January 23 19, 10:41 am 
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greenback44 wrote:
heyzeus wrote:
Guh, I just started The View From Flyover Country by St. Louisan and autocratic regime expert Sarah Kendzior, otherwise I'd jump on this one.

How does this read? She has a point, of course, but I think she has a tendency to repeat that point ad infinitum, and I lose interest.


It is incredibly repetitive, unfortunately. 95% of the essays were previously published and because each was a stand-alone piece (not written to be anthologized in a book), they often overlap or repeat the same themes. Higher education is a scam, only the rich can afford to take unpaid internships that grant you access to power, adjuncts aren't paid enough. I can't recommend the book, really. It would've benefitted a lot from being rewritten as a collection with more current entries -- almost all of the essays are from 2013-14.


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PostPosted: January 23 19, 12:09 pm 
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OK here are some comments. Some of my comments I refer to a specific page or section but others came to me after I read it and thought about it a bit, and I didn't bother to go back and find the exact page. These also aren't in any kind of order.

- Towards the end of chapter 1, he mentions Buddha, Aristotle, Confucius, Adam Smith, Mahatma Ghandi and the Dalai Lama as examples of leaders calling for "moderation and compassion as the pillars of a good society." Why was Christ not mentioned? Did he just want to avoid any kind of debate about Christianity? I found it odd.

- He mentions the crisis of 1870, the Great Depression, and the 2008 meltdown. He acts like the conditions that caused all of these events were strange or unique. What if our system just happens to have a major crisis every 60 to 80 years, because it is flawed? Let's say progressives win in a landslide in 2020, implement the Green New Deal and we enter a new era of prosperity. What will stop it from slowly unraveling until the next crisis ~60 years down the road?

- Page 24 he says "In the three decades leading up to 2008, the nation as a whole, through countless individual decisions of households, lost the self-discipline to save for the future." This seemed like an odd thing to say. He had already pointed out how wages stagnated for people without a college degree. Maybe I'm wrong but I think stagnant wages combined with large price increases in things like housing and education is probably why people save less, and not lack of discipline.

- The section about our lack of investment in infrastructure and education was probably the best part honestly. I was already pessimistic about this, and it still managed to open my eyes as to how bad it really is. China started out way behind us, but they are going to fly right past us. I think with education, wealthy kids in the USA probably still get the best education on the planet but everyone else is falling behind. Countries (like China) that make more of an effort to give ALL kids a top-notch education are going to blow us away.

- He talks about how the CEOs and other powerful people are given a slap on the wrist for massive white collar crimes. He does mention that Democrats are beholden to Wall Street as one possible reason why. I am hoping he explores this more, because I think there are more reasons than that.

- Somewhere he talks about polling on a large number of different issues, pointing out how what is being done in Washington doesn't reflect what people want. This is good information to know. My concern is that he may be suggesting to "govern by poll". I don't think that works very well. People don't like someone that feels so opportunistic. This was a criticism of Bill Clinton (and by extension, Hillary, fairly or unfairly), who moved to the center on a number of issues. Still, it's good information.

- Chapter 3 - He talks about all the famous economists of the last century. Something that you can read between the lines (when he talks about how "thrilling" it is to be an economist) is that the politicians really do listen to economists and let them shape policies. So it is probably a good book to read because his way of thinking has likely been adopted by a lot of powerful people.


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