Rush: Why We Thrive in the Rat Race

Rush: Why We Thrive in the Rat Race

by Todd G. Buchholz
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Rush: Why You Need and Love the Rat Race 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
mcmtr More than 1 year ago
Thomas Carlyle defined Economics as the "dismal science," and any skeptic has probably heard at least a dozen satirical definitions of economists and their craft. If so, they haven't met Todd Buchholz, author of a half dozen books such as NEW IDEAS FROM DEAD ECONOMISTS to BRINGING THE JOBS HOME, each of them trying to place our current economic arena into perspective, and each of them well worth reading. Todd has a wealth of experience that indemnifies his expertise, from Harvard trained lawyer, White House Economic Advisor to the first Pres. Bush, manager for a billion dollar hedge fund, lecturer at Harvard and Cambridge University in England and many other venues, as well as frequently appearing on CNBC, a channel devoted to reportage of global economics. I have to thank that cultural gem National Public Radio for leading me to his latest literary effort, RUSH, Why You Need and Love the Rat Race one evening when he gave an entertaining yet informative commentary on our current budgetary dilemma on "Market Place." With all of his accomplishments, Todd does not sit in an Ivory Tower. The eponymous title of the book comes from RUSH, a contemporary iconic rock group. His book also gave me some insight upon why I worked until I was 70 years old and mustered out of the work force when I could have retired much earlier. Had I written the book, I probably would have chosen a title such as THAT'S LIFE, a song by Frank Sinatra, my generational icon, that echoes one of Buchholz"s basic themes in the text with the lyrics: "I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet/ a pawn and a king/ I've been over and under and down and out/ and I know one thing./ Each time I find myself lying flat on my face/ I pick myself up and get back /into the race." Metaphorically, Todd has been and done all of those things. He draws not only upon personal experience, but alludes to and draws from dozens of authorities to back his premise He begins with Adam, from the Garden of Eden. He calls those who would foster and return to such an existence as Edenists. He places such revered figures as Rousseau (father of the "Noble Savage" concept), and Thoreau, the American romanticist who retreated to Walden Pond. These personalities decry civilization as corrupt, leading to a host of social ills. He contrasts them with such theorists as Hobbes, who said that, " '.before society, life was nasty, poor, brutish, and short.' " Society made what Todd calls a Giant Leap: Foraging societies (that is, Edenists) are historically much more violent than today's working culture. "Work makes people less violent and less impulsive," says he, citing a host of statistics that affirm the brutality of primitive cultures. Darwin becomes the centerpiece of his argument. He uses Darwin as an extended metaphor for the evolution of homo sapiens. He gives a biographical sketch of Darwin as a student, evolving to the naturalist/biologist aboard the HMS Beagle on its tour around the world, stopping at such eye-opening places as the Galapagos Islands, back to England never to leave that island, spending much of the rest of his life developing what would become the earth shattering Theory of Evolution in his Origin of the Species. He extends Darwin's concept of evolution into the modern age, citing how the human brain has gone through three stages of development: (1) Reptilian, which controls life f
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