Saving Capitalism: Keeping America Strong
by: Pat Choate, PhD
Published by: Vintage Books
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Reviewed by Steven King, MBA, MEd
The year 2008 will provide ample fodder for those who are tasked with writing history. For example, after a streak of 43 Caucasian presidents, this year marks the controversial election of America’s first African-American president. All presidents inherit the legacy of previous administrations–Barack Obama’s most significant inheritance was the collapse of the financial structure of the United States.
Vicious finger pointing began almost immediately when the words “downturn,” “recession,” and “depression” became fodder during news broadcasts. Lamentably, much of the banter was nothing more than politically motivated self-aggrandizement to mark time until the losing political party could try to usurp the winning party in later elections.
Not satisfied to merely “point fingers,” Pat Choate, a leading political economist and former vice presidential running mate of Ross Perot, offers a plausible blueprint for salvaging the U.S. economy with Saving Capitalism: Keeping America Strong. Why should anyone listen to Pat Choate? His political viability and PhD in Economics are strong indicators that he understands the multifaceted nature of the issue without the overtly political encumbrances.
His desire is major reform of the U.S. economy with six actions that will stimulate long-term economic growth:
1. Aggressive tax reform
2. Extensive financial regulation
3. Building a strong social safety net
4. Instituting a major infrastructure program
5. Leveling out the trade imbalance
6. Renewing national innovation
Of the six actions that Choate details, the most humbling is the reality of the trade deficit in which our economy operates. In Choate’s words, “Between 1976 and 2008, the United States accumulated a trade deficit of $6.9 trillion, which represents the largest transfer of wealth from one nation to others in world history.” Surprisingly, most of the trade deficit actually arises from goods and not oil as the protectionist barriers American producers face create a condition akin to double taxation on our products. Since other nations do not operate on the Anglo-Saxon economic model, they have built-in safeguards that protect their products to our detriment and financial loss.
Heed the words of Dr. Choate, reform can bring change – and America can be strong again.
Armchair Interviews agrees.
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