Unwarranted Intrusions: The Case Against Government Intervention in the Marketplace

Overview

Politicians invariably cite lofty purposes to justify governmentintervention in the marketplace. On closer examination, theintercessions usually turn out to be clever schemes for buyingsupport from special interests with taxpayers' money. The alreadyadvantaged turn out to be the biggest beneficiaries, while theresulting misallocation of resources afflicts society atlarge.

In Unwarranted Intrusions, well-known financial commentatorMartin Fridson turns his sharp eye for investment...

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Unwarranted Intrusions: The Case Against Government Intervention in the Marketplace

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Overview

Politicians invariably cite lofty purposes to justify governmentintervention in the marketplace. On closer examination, theintercessions usually turn out to be clever schemes for buyingsupport from special interests with taxpayers' money. The alreadyadvantaged turn out to be the biggest beneficiaries, while theresulting misallocation of resources afflicts society atlarge.

In Unwarranted Intrusions, well-known financial commentatorMartin Fridson turns his sharp eye for investment deceptions andaccounting ruses to subterfuges practiced by the U.S. government.His exhaustive research reveals politicians from both sides of theaisle basing legislation on elementary economic fallacies. GeorgeW. Bush and Hillary Clinton play their parts in the story, alongwith less likely figures such as Al Jolson and Bozo the Clown.

The opening part, A Nation of Subsidies, focuses on governmentmeddling that ranges from trade protection and publicly financedathletic stadiums to subsidies for the arts. You'll chuckle asFridson gleefully debunks the supposed market failures thatofficeholders use to justify their machinations.

Part two, Restraint of Trade, assails government intrusions intoordinary commercial activities, such as apartment rentals, theoperation of automatic teller machines, and even televisionaudience ratings. You'll be forced to reexamine your assumptionsabout protecting the public against volatile stock markets andmusic industry payola.

In the final part, Telling It Like It Isn't, Fridson details howpoliticians rely on misrepresentations to foist badly conceivedpolicies on the electorate. From exaggerating their impact on thenation's economic performance to periodically pretending to cleanup campaign finance, Fridson shows that politicians repeatedlyprove themselves to be masters of false advertising. Costlygovernment intervention operates on such a vast scale that there isno chance of immediately dismantling it all. The good news is thatone small victory can represent a huge gain in public well-being.Filled with in-depth insight and practical advice, UnwarrantedIntrusions will open your mind to the possibility of putting ourdysfunctional system back on track.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"UNWARRANTED INTRUSIONSMERITS INCLUSION IN THE SHORT LIST OF THEBEST BUSINESS BOOKS OF THE YEAR. MAKE THAT THE DECADE."-fromthe The Boston Globe, Politicians often play Robin Hood in reverse—By Cecil Johnson (07/14/2006)

Fridson . . . decries political meddling in everything fromcatfish imports to ballparks in his deliciously provocative book. .. Whether discussing Social Security or subsidized sports arenas,he argues his case with the cool logic. . . The book zips along,leveraging anecdotes and statistics to expose how politicians —Republican and Democratic alike — prefer quick economic fixes todeep structural changes that might really bolster long-term growth.From start to finish, he slaughters holy cows with a sharp blade.—Bloomberg

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471687139
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/5/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 309
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Fridson has achieved distinction both as a writer and as an investment professional. He has written on economics for Barron's and is a consultant to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Fridson received his BA cum laude in history from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He previously served as governor of the CFA Institute and director of the New York Society of Security Analysts. In 2002, the Financial Management Association International named Fridson the Financial Executive of the Year. The following year, he launched Leverage World, the first independent research publication focused on high-yield bond strategy. Fridson is coauthor of Financial Statement Analysis and author of How to Be a Billionaire, both published by Wiley.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

1. The Politics of Market Intervention.

I. A Nation of Subsidies.

2. Here They Come to Save the Day!

3. Be It Ever So Deductible.

4. Protection Racket.

5. How Are You Going to Keep Them Down on the Farm?

6. Location and Misallocation.

7. Getting the City to Play Ball.

8. Art of the State.

II. Restraint of Trade.

9. Stock Arguments.

10. What Is Wrong with Payola?

11. What Is Big Brother Watching?

12. Getting Cash and Making the Rent.

III. Telling It Like It Isn’t.

13. Honesty Is the Worst Policy.

14. Campaign Finance Reform: The Permanent Campaign.

15. Here’s That Rainy Day.

16. A Case of Insurance Fraud.

Epilogue: Can This Mess Be Fixed?

Notes.

Index.

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