Is That a Politician in Your Pocket: Washington on $2 Million a Day
by Micah Sifry, Nancy Watzman (ISBN: 047167995X)
This book nails both political parties on paybacks and names the special
interests who made out the checks and what they got in return.
Hostile Takeover : How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our
Government--and How We Take It Back
by David Sirota (ISBN 0307237346)
From the publisher: "Hostile
Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government -- And How
We Take It Back," describes the conquest of America's democratic government
by Big Money interests. Sirota, a former congressional staffer, says
although major, high-profile scandals are roiling Washington, D.C., today,
the most prevalent examples of the hostile takeover are "the almost
invisible, day to day corruption tales that plague American politics. One
day, it is a little-noticed amendment in a big spending bill in Congress.
The next day it is political reporters refusing to address major economic
challenges that average Americans are faced with. And still the next day it
is a politician boldly lying to the public about who is behind what they are
doing." This book is written for regular Americans who want to know what is
happening to their democracy, not for the political elite.
Politicians - Owned and Operated by Corporate America
by Jack E. Lohman
From the Publisher
Connects the dots between politicians and those who fund their
elections, the disease, and shows the massive cost to the
taxpayers, the symptom. Proposes public funding of campaigns as
the cure, all at a cost of just $15 per taxpayer per year for
both state and federal elections.
It simply doesn't matter what your core issue is, follow the
money and you'll always find a politician at the end with his
hand out. Tax giveaways for the rich and subsidies to
corporations are chump-change compared to the societal costs of
the expensive giveaway policies that are bought and paid for by
corporate interests. Ever wonder why health care costs are
rising at 15% per year, and the industry is getting away with
it? Or companies are no longer penalized for hiring illegal
immigrants? These are just a couple of the hundreds of policies
that erode our family wealth.
Order directly from publisher
Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health
Care Costs So Much (Hardcover)
by Maggie Mahar
medical care in the United States so expensive?
For decades, Americans have taken it as a matter
of faith that we spend more because we have the
best health care system in the world. But as
costs levitate, that argument becomes more
difficult to make. Today, we spend twice as much
as Japan on health care -- yet few would argue
that our health care system is twice as good.
Instead, startling new evidence suggests that
one out of every three of our health care
dollars is squandered on unnecessary or
redundant tests; unproven, sometimes unwanted
procedures; and overpriced drugs and devices
that, too often, are no better than the less
expensive products they have replaced.
How did this happen? In Money-Driven
Medicine, Maggie Mahar takes the reader
behind the scenes of a $2 trillion industry to
witness how billions of dollars are wasted in a
Hobbesian marketplace that pits the industry's
players against each other. In remarkably candid
interviews, doctors, hospital administrators,
patients, health care economists, corporate
executives, and Wall Street analysts describe a
war of "all against all" that can turn
physicians, hospitals, insurers, drugmakers, and
device makers into blood rivals. Rather than
collaborating, doctors and hospitals compete.
Rather than sharing knowledge, drugmakers and
device makers divide value. Rather than thinking
about long-term collective goals, the
imperatives of an impatient marketplace force
health care providers to focus on short-term
fiscal imperatives. And so investments in
untested bleeding-edge medical technologies
crowd out investments in information technology
that might, in the long run, not only reduce
errors but contain costs.
In theory, free market competition should
tame health care inflation. In fact, Mahar
demonstrates, when it comes to medicine, the
traditional laws of supply and demand do not
apply. Normally, when supply expands, prices
fall. But in the health care industry, as the
number and variety of drugs, devices, and
treatments multiplies, demand rises to absorb
the excess, and prices climb. Meanwhile, the
perverse incentives of a fee-for-service system
reward health care providers for doing more, not
In this superbly written book, Mahar shows
why doctors must take responsibility for the
future of our health care industry. Today, she
observes, "physicians have been stripped of
their standing as professionals: Insurers
address them as vendors (‘Dear Health Care
Provider'), drugmakers and device makers see
them as customers (someone you might take to
lunch or a strip club), while . . . consumers (aka
patients) are encouraged to see their doctors as
overpaid retailers. . . . Before patients can
reclaim their rightful place as the center--and
indeed as the raison d'être--of our health care
system," Mahar suggests, "we must once again
empower doctors . . . to practice
patient-centered medicine--based not on
corporate imperatives, doctors' druthers, or
even patients' demands," but on the best
scientific research available.
For a complete
review see: Flat Lines and Bottom Lines, a
Washington Monthly review
Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman (Paperback)
by Peter Rost (ISBN:
number of books critical of the pharmaceutical industry have
recently been published, but none has been an exposé written
by a senior executive of one of the world's largest
pharmaceutical companies. The Whistleblower is at
once an unmasking of how corporations take care of
malcontents and a gripping story of one man's fight to
maintain his family and his sanity. Starting in 2003, the
book details the illegal, even criminal business practices
the author witnessed at his corporation, as well as his
crusade to legalize the reimportation of drugs. It also
explains how in this post-Enron world whistle-blowers can't
simply be fired, and what the author's corporation did to
coerce and silence him. A story of a battle that continues
today, one which any American who takes or will take
prescription drugs has a stake in, The Whistleblower
is a powerful testimony.
I have not read this book because it was just released and
is enroute. But I
have followed and have great respect for the author, Peter
Rost. He was a VP at Pfizer, until he
came out publicly in support of the reimportation of drugs. Then,
suddenly, he no longer had a job. (Funny how those
things work, isn't it?)
This is going to be a MUST READ.
Order it on Amazon, or call your local book store, but
The Twenty-First Century Left - Cognitions in the
Constitution and Why Buckley is Wrong
by William P. Kreml (ISBN 1-59460-251-4)
"... the most extraordinary
theoretical perspective ever lent to
the American Constitution."
—Professor Victor G.
University School of Law
The Twenty-First Century Left:
Cognitions in the Constitution and
Why Buckley Is Wrong
applies the richest possible
theoretical framework to the
American Constitution. For the first
time ever, a constitutional analysis
focuses on the cognitive forms of
the constitution's key provisions
and the cognitive forms of key
constitutional cases. Changes in
cognitions, after all, are what
herald appropriate changes in the
law, changes that ensure justice by
updating established legal
principles. William Kreml explores
the cognitive, dialectical structure
of the Earl Warren Supreme Court and
its similarity to the cognitive
structures of the English Edward
Coke period. He cognitively examines
the Constitution's primary
debate—over the legitimacy of public
encumbrances on private
contracts—and reviews the cognitive
similarity between Buckley v.
Valeo (the case that denied
campaign finance reform) and Dred
Scott (the case that upheld
slavery). Further, Kreml analyzes
the cognitively complementary nature
of the Constitution's original seven
articles and the Bill of Rights,
noting the Bill of Rights'
democratically aggregative purpose.
Finally, he shows how Robert Bork
and William Rehnquist misinterpreted
Shelley v. Kraemer—the case
that began America's Constitutional
dialectic, and how John Hart Ely
misunderstood the nature of the
See the complete description and
Running On Empty: How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting
Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
by Peter G. Peterson (ISBN: 0374252874)
A Republican that documents the failures of both parties. An excellent,
though disheartening, read.
Our Media, Not Theirs
by Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols (ISBN: 1583225498)
Politicians controlling big business is bad enough, but controlling our
free press is unconscionable.
Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business—and Bad
by Donald L. Barlett, James B. Steele (ISBN: 0385504543)
The Prologue is worth the price of this book by two investigative
On the Take: How Medicine’s Complicity with Big Business can Endanger Your
by Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D. (ISBN: 0195300041)
Physicians, their conflicts of interest, and how it affects the patient.
Having just come from 35 years in the health care field, I can attest to its
Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day: The Real Deal on How Politicians, Bureaucrats,
and Other Washington Barbarians are Bankrupting America
by Joe Scarborough (ISBN: 0060749849)
A conservative insider who saw it up close and naked. Good presidential
material, but likely not inclined to take a pay cut.
The Truth About the Drug Companies – How they deceive us and what to do
By Marcia Angell, M.D. (ISBN: 0375760946)
If you thought the high profit margins were necessary for heavy R&D,
you’ll know better after reading this excellent book. Those profits are
taken after deducting for R&D, advertising, and exorbitant salaries. But Dr.
Angell exposes much more behind the scenes that will deeply concern you.
The Good Fight: Declare Your Independence and Close the Democracy Gap
by Ralph Nader xe "Nader, Ralph, Author, The Good Fight" (ISBN: 0060756047)
Though heavily Liberal with thorough analysis, Nader likes neither
party's actions or solutions and has excellent arguments and ideas.
Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan
Revolution and Hijacked the Presidency
by Patrick J. Buchanan (ISBN: 0312341156)
Conservative and mostly right on target (though Buchanan fails to connect
the dots to the moneyed interests).
Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and its Poisonous
Edited by James Lardner and David A. Smith (ISBN: 1565849957)
A series of articles on the issues of the Left, but many will be very
compelling even to those on the Right.
America the Broke: How the Reckless Spending of the White House and Congress
are Bankrupting Our Country and Destroying Our Children's Future
by Gerald J. Swanson (ISBN: 0385513046)
Excellent description of the symptoms but fails to connect the dots.
Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming the Inequality That Limits Our
By Sam Pizzigati, (ISBN: 1891843257)
Liberal, but very hard to deny the premise of this book.
Dismantling The American Dream: Globalization, Free Trade, Immigrationxe
"Immigration", Unemployment, Poverty, Debt, Foreign Dependency, More
by Kenneth Buchdahl (ISBN: 0975320718)
He watches the dominoes fall, and the outcome isn't pretty.
10 Steps to Repair American Democracy : An Owners Manual for Concerned
by Steven Hill (ISBN: 0976062151)
From the publisher: Unresponsive
government. Uninspiring candidates. Mindless political debate. Suspicious
voting equipment. American representative democracy is suffering through its
worst crisis in many years, and while many Americans recognize it, they just
don't know what to do about it. In <i>A More Perfect Union,</i> Steven Hill
offers specific solutions for election reform. Arguing that much of what
ails American politics is rooted in antiquated 18th-century practices, Hill
makes a stirring call for national elections standards, nonpartisan election
officials, an Election Day holiday, and other repairs to the nuts and bolts
of the voting process. Further, he calls for the end of winner-take-all
elections, adoption of proportional representation, reform of presidential
elections, fairer representation in the U.S. Senate, universal voter
registration, public financing of elections, and free air time for
candidates. An inspiring blueprint for repairing and reinvigorating American
politics, Hill’s simple yet effective proposals strengthen not just the
electoral system, but the republic itself. (This has
some extremely appealing and useful suggestions, but since they are useful
they likely will not survive the political process.)
Corporate Predators: The Hunt for Mega-Profits and the Attack on Democracy
by Russell Mokhiber, Robert Weissman (ISBN: 1567511589)
From the publisher: Of the world's
biggest 100 economies, 51 are corporations, not countries. As the most
powerful institution of our time, the multinational corporation dominates
not only global economics, but politics and culture as well. But the
mechanisms of corporate control and the details of corporate abuses have
remained largely hidden from public perception-until now. In this compelling
collection of columns, investigative journalists Russell Mokhiber and Robert
Weissman critique corporate power from a relentlessly human perspective.
While mainstream media cheerfully laud big business's record profits,
Mokhiber and Weissman ask the real questions-Where is profit coming from?
When working Americans' incomes have dropped dramatically since 1980, while
salaries of corporate CEOs have risen 500 percent in the same period, is the
economy really booming? Whose economy is this, anyway? From union-busting to
food irradiation, from faulty air bags that kill but are left on the market
anyway to judges who take bribes, from the IMF to oil companies-wherever
corporate crime strikes, Mokhiber and Weissman are there, covering an
amazing range of issues, to sound the alarm and call people to action. If
you ever had corporate CEOs on a pedestal, this will surely bust that
Take the Rich off Welfare
by Mark Zepezauer (ISBN: 0896087069)
From Amazon.com: Thank God the U.S.
government has begun to cut funding of the arts, humanities, and social
services ... but what are they going to do with all that surplus cash?
Although the popular media has been largely mum about it, most of the
welfare payments go to large corporations in the form of tax write-offs,
subsidies, and plain old handouts. This frightening and enlightening book by
the editor of The Tucson Comic News (a monthly collection of comic strips
and panels) traces the flow of money into such worthy projects as
subsidizing nuclear power plants (the last one was finished in 1973, but
that doesn't stop the U.S. government from spending $7.1 billion a year on
this vapor industry), tax breaks for the tobacco industry ($41 million last
year), and corporate expense account write-offs ($5.5 billion last year).
Read it and weep. The Welfare Mom doesn't even
Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic
by Henry Hazlitt (ISBN 0517548232)
One Amazon reviewer stated: “Despite having been written in the mid 20th
century, this book is even more important today than when it was published.
Every politician in the country should have to memorize the first chapter,
as it explains the basic problems with almost every piece of legislation
passed in the last 100 years.” He is so right. Political attempts to boost
one failing industry, they can cost jobs in other industries. It’s called
shifting the wealth.
The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
by Joel Bakan, Joel (ISBN: 0743247442)
Also see their DVD at
Exporting America: Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas
by Lou Dobbs, Lou (ISBN: 0446577448)
A Republican seemingly with his eyes open — perhaps we should export our
workers to fill the foreign jobs we are creating. But Dobbs seems not to
connect the dots to the moneyed interests, either in his book or on his TV
show. He glosses over the fact that campaign contributions have bought our
government's hands-off policy with regard to the companies that hire the
immigrants to perpetuate low-wage jobs, thus fueling the border explosion.
Taking Back America: And Taking Down the Radical Right
by Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Robert L. Borosage (ISBN: 1560255838)
Very liberal but with excellent arguments that should be considered by
all. Sometimes overboard on the Left.
Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils (Counterpunch)
by Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair (ISBN: 1904859038)
Mostly Liberal, but they're not always wrong. (Whatever happened to the
Shakedown: How the Government Screws You from A to Z
by James Bovard (ISBN: 0140258191)
The title says it all.
Class War in America: How Economic and Political Conservatives Are
Exploiting Low- And Middle-Income American Families
by Charles M. Kelly (ISBN: 1564743489)
Even as a Republican, I found it hard to disagree with many of the
arguments in this obviously Liberal writing.
Who Will Tell The People? : The Betrayal Of American Democracy (Paperback)
by William Greider
From Kirkus Reviews
An angry inquiry into the putative decline of democracy in the US. Unlike many
observers, Greider (Secrets of the Temple, 1987, etc.) goes beyond the manifest
deficiencies of electoral campaigns to focus on the politics of governance--and
he concludes that so- called monied interests are ascendant in Washington's
power centers. By the author's anecdotal account, the institutionalized
intervention of these corporate advocates into administrative as well as
legislative affairs costs ordinary citizens dearly--from purposefully lax
enforcement of federal law and indulgent treatment of casino capitalism through
an inequitable tax system. In Greider's canon, the sorry state of the union does
not lack for guilty parties. He blames the ebb of democracy in America on both
major political parties (which cater to affluent elites), the press (which no
longer mediates between the public and its representatives), big business (as
exemplified by the awesome influence wielded by General Electric Co.), and even
the populace (whose activism has been limited of late to grass-roots concerns).
Greider goes on to argue that the cold war's end offers the US a historic
opportunity to renew its democratic principles and to apply them on a global
basis. For starters, he proposes that a citizenry committed to challenging the
status quo could make multinational enterprises more accountable to society at
large, if need be by denying them access to the vast domestic marketplace until
they measure up to populist standards of responsibility. Whether the
heterogeneous American people have an agenda as explicitly progressive as
Greider assumes (and embraces) will strike many as a very open question. Still,
a provocative and sobering assessment of how self-government's reach can exceed
its grasp. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus
Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or
unavailable edition of this title.
I read this book a year ago, and was very impressed with it.