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Posted June 16, 2012
Attempt to explain President Obama's poll numbers¿
The main premise of this book is that democracy is undermined when govermnment uses indirect means to deliver goods and services. Recipients, the author contends, will not be engaged in the political process unless they are educated as to the source of the benefits they receive from public policies. The institutions that benefit from the status quo, are vigorously engaged in lobbying congress to protect their interests.
The second chapter of the Submerged State the author's true intention. She informs the reader that she will explain why President Obama has not received credit for his achievements and why he has failed in some of his efforts. From this point on, the book revolves around this premise. To make her case, that every Obama victory is a victory over the submereged state and every failure is due to the actions of the submerged state, she ignores the candidate Obama's retreat from a publicly funded campain and the effect of solicting donations had once Obama was elected.
The author suggests that the solution to the problems of the submerged state is education. The author's experiments establish that education can change opinions of and support for tax deductions, aid programs, and income transfer programs. Whether or not this will translate to political action is uncertain. Given the faiure of initiatives to reduce the size of goverment or reform the income tax, it is unlikely that the authors program of education will be effective.
A better read is The Mendacity of Hope by Roger Hodge.
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