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This slashing critique charges that the federal government and interest groups have badly mismanaged the political process for private ends. Transcending conventional ideologies, Bandow sees the root of the problem as our failure to honor the Founding Fathers' intention to establish a limited government with severely circumscribed powers in all areas. People abuse power; it is human nature. Only limited state authority will keep the political process from disintegrating into petty fighting among factions, each ...
This slashing critique charges that the federal government and interest groups have badly mismanaged the political process for private ends. Transcending conventional ideologies, Bandow sees the root of the problem as our failure to honor the Founding Fathers' intention to establish a limited government with severely circumscribed powers in all areas. People abuse power; it is human nature. Only limited state authority will keep the political process from disintegrating into petty fighting among factions, each competing for its own limited self-interest. The demise of the original restraints has created an overgrown federal government that is ever more wasteful, inefficient, and unjust.
Doug Bandow spares no sacred cows. He considers state interference in the free market responsible for an ethic of legalized theft, which allows interest groups to use the state to enrich themselves through subsidies, competitive restrictions, and other protectionist measures. He sees a judiciary that has aided the other branches of government in manipulating human conduct and restricting personal freedom for both liberal and conservative reasons. And in foreign policy he sees the development of an interventionist consensus, whereby Washington attempts to remake foreign nations in its image through military intervention and foreign aid, with disastrous results.
The Politics of Plunder is written by an insider who combines theoretical and analytical skill with practical political experience. Bandow served in the most conservative administration of recent years yet freely criticizes the nostrums of the Right. He is an evangelical Christian yet dislikes the tactics of the Religious Right. His unique background—campaign worker, lawyer, presidential aide, magazine editor, policy analyst, and journalist—enables him to go far beyond the usual Washington commentary. Bandow's objective is to develop a new political perspective that transcends both conservative and liberal boundaries and emphasizes individual liberty, skepticism of state power, and tolerance of others. Those interested in the world of ideas will find this an accessible, practical guide to libertarian thought. Those interested in the world of public policy will find here a detailed discussion of scores of recent controversies.
Posted September 25, 2000
Mr. Bandow served as a special assistant to President Reagan during the early part of his first term. After the administration went back on its promise to reduce the federal government, Mr. Bandow left and wrote several books and hundreds of essays on the corruption and mismanagement that is a daily routine in Washington, D.C. This large book is a collection of around 200 of his essays (making it well worth the price), detailing his experiences in D.C. and how both Democrat and Republican politicians are drunk on power and continually disregard the principles of freedom that this country was founded upon. Readers of this book will be amazed and disgusted when they read how the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have cost Americans untold jobs and untold lives. They will be appalled when they discover how federal crop subsidies keep some farmers wealthy while driving up the cost of produce for the rest of us. And unfortunately there is so much more... It can be emotionally draining reading about the current state of our government, but Mr. Bandow does an excellent job of interjecting appropriate humor and character into his essays. I personally like the fact that each numbered essay is listed under a specific topic and each topic compromises a chapter. I found myself reading essays out of order, starting with the issues I felt most relevant to my life. This is a fantastic reference source that does not lose its effectiveness over time. After all, the federal government has not gotten any smaller, has it?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.