Fridson . . . decries political meddling in everything from catfish 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 to deep structural changes that might really bolster long-term growth. From start to finish, he slaughters holy cows with a sharp blade. Bloomberg
Unwarranted Intrusions: The Case Against Government Intervention in the Marketplaceby Martin S. Fridson
Politicians invariably cite lofty purposes to justify government intervention in the marketplace. On closer examination, the intercessions usually turn out to be clever schemes for buying support from special interests with taxpayers' money. The already advantaged turn out to be the biggest beneficiaries, while the resulting misallocation of resources afflicts… See more details below
Politicians invariably cite lofty purposes to justify government intervention in the marketplace. On closer examination, the intercessions usually turn out to be clever schemes for buying support from special interests with taxpayers' money. The already advantaged turn out to be the biggest beneficiaries, while the resulting misallocation of resources afflicts society at large.
In Unwarranted Intrusions, well-known financial commentator Martin Fridson turns his sharp eye for investment deceptions and accounting ruses to subterfuges practiced by the U.S. government. His exhaustive research reveals politicians from both sides of the aisle basing legislation on elementary economic fallacies. George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton play their parts in the story, along with less likely figures such as Al Jolson and Bozo the Clown.
The opening part, A Nation of Subsidies, focuses on government meddling that ranges from trade protection and publicly financed athletic stadiums to subsidies for the arts. You'll chuckle as Fridson gleefully debunks the supposed market failures that officeholders use to justify their machinations.
Part two, Restraint of Trade, assails government intrusions into ordinary commercial activities, such as apartment rentals, the operation of automatic teller machines, and even television audience ratings. You'll be forced to reexamine your assumptions about protecting the public against volatile stock markets and music industry payola.
In the final part, Telling It Like It Isn't, Fridson details how politicians rely on misrepresentations to foist badly conceived policies on the electorate. From exaggerating their impact on the nation's economic performance to periodically pretending to clean up campaign finance, Fridson shows that politicians repeatedly prove themselves to be masters of false advertising. Costly government intervention operates on such a vast scale that there is no chance of immediately dismantling it all. The good news is that one small victory can represent a huge gain in public well-being. Filled with in-depth insight and practical advice, Unwarranted Intrusions will open your mind to the possibility of putting our dysfunctional system back on track.
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