The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government


Philip K. Howard - 2014
    But hidden underneath is something bigger and more destructive. It’s a broken governing system. From that comes wasteful government, rising debt, failing schools, expensive health care, and economic hardship.Rules have replaced leadership in America. Bureaucracy, regulation, and outmoded law tie our hands and confine policy choices. Nobody asks, “What’s the right thing to do here?” Instead, they wonder, “What does the rule book say?”There’s a fatal flaw in America’s governing system—trying to decree correctness through rigid laws will never work. Public paralysis is the inevitable result of the steady accretion of detailed rules. America is now run by dead people—by political leaders from the past who enacted mandatory programs that churn ahead regardless of waste, irrelevance, or new priorities.America needs to radically simplify its operating system and give people—officials and citizens alike—the freedom to be practical. Rules can’t accomplish our goals. Only humans can get things done.In The Rule of Nobody Philip K. Howard argues for a return to the framers’ vision of public law—setting goals and boundaries, not dictating daily choices. This incendiary book explains how America went wrong and offers a guide for how to liberate human ingenuity to meet the challenges of this century.

The Populist's Guide to 2020: A New Right and New Left are Rising


Krystal Ball - 2020
    Theirs is the only book that fuses the populist right and populist left to explain the rise of the Trump and Sanders movements. The authors curate an essential collection of their biting commentary, stunning predictions, media critiques, and reveal their vision for a working-class centered politics. No establishment media or political figure goes unscathed. This book reveals the white-hot core of The Hill Rising's meteoric rise in the alternative media space.We are living through chaotic, nerve-wracking, and occasionally terrifying times, but we hope you will find this book both hopeful and helpful. Nothing has made us more hopeful than our work together on Rising, watching what unfolds, laughing at the absurdities, and joining in our outrage at the often bipartisan rituals of manipulating our fellow citizens and viewing them with contempt. People are often confused by our politics and how much we end up in agreement. Ultimately, we have largely different policy prescriptions and beliefs. However, we do share a central diagnosis of the rot in this country, of how we got to this place, and a deep skepticism of power. It's amazing how far you can get when you start in the same place with a shared understanding of reality. It's a hell of a lot further than the shallow, fake civility politics that the forces of the status-quo say you must embrace-'Keep quiet and hold still while they rip you to shreds.' We take the opposite view. Speak up. Make people uncomfortable. Don't let the "experts" convince you that better isn't possible.

The Great Tax Robbery: How Britain Became a Tax Haven for Fat Cats and Big Business


Richard Brooks - 2013
    Discover:• Why thousands of British state schools and NHS hospitals are owned by shell companies based in offshore tax havens• How British companies like Vodafone strongly influence tax laws• Why multinationals like Google and Starbucks can operate almost tax-free in the UK• How the taxman turns a blind eye to billions in illegally evaded tax in secret Swiss bank accounts• How footballers like Wayne Rooney use image rights companies to reduce their tax liabilityUnpicking the tangled mess of loopholes that well known multinationals, bankers, and celebrities use to circumvent tax, this is a bold manifesto for a system where we all contribute out fair share.

The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America


Oren Cass - 2018
    Galston, The Brookings InstitutionThe American worker is in crisis. Wages have stagnated for more than a generation. Reliance on welfare programs has surged. Life expectancy is falling as substance abuse and obesity rates climb.These woes are not the inevitable result of irresistible global and technological forces. They are the direct consequence of a decades-long economic consensus that prioritized increasing consumption--regardless of the costs to American workers, their families, and their communities. Donald Trump's rise to the presidency focused attention on the depth of the nation's challenges, yet while everyone agrees something must change, the Left's insistence on still more government spending and the Right's faith in still more economic growth are recipes for repeating the mistakes of the past.In this groundbreaking re-evaluation of American society, economics, and public policy, Oren Cass challenges our basic assumptions about what prosperity means and where it comes from to reveal how we lost our way. The good news is that we can still turn things around--if the nation's proverbial elites are willing to put the American worker's interests first.Which is more important, pristine air quality, or well-paying jobs that support families? Unfettered access to the cheapest labor in the world, or renewed investment in the employment of Americans? Smoothing the path through college for the best students, or ensuring that every student acquires the skills to succeed in the modern economy? Cutting taxes, expanding the safety net, or adding money to low-wage paychecks?The renewal of work in America demands new answers to these questions. If we reinforce their vital role, workers supporting strong families and communities can provide the foundation for a thriving, self-sufficient society that offers opportunity to all.

The Smear: How the Secret Art of Character Assassination Controls What You Think, What You Read, and How You Vote


Sharyl Attkisson - 2017
    The tactic they use is the Smear. Every day, Americans are influenced by the Smear without knowing it. Paid forces cleverly shape virtually every image you cross. Maybe you read that Donald Trump is a racist misogynist, or saw someone on the news mocking the Bernie Sanders campaign. The trick of the Smear is that it is often based on some shred of truth, but these media-driven "hit pieces" are designed to obscure the truth. Success hinges on the Smear artist’s ability to remain invisible; to make it seem as if their work is neither calculated nor scripted. It must appear to be precisely what it is not.Veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson has witnessed this practice firsthand. After years of being pitched hit jobs and puff pieces, she’s an expert at detecting Smear campaigns. Now, the hard-hitting investigative reporter shares her inside knowledge, revealing how the Smear takes shape and who its perpetrators are—including Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal and, most influential of all, "right-wing assassin turned left-wing assassin" (National Review) political operative David Brock and his Media Matters for America empire.Attkisson exposes the diabolical tactics of Smear artists, and their outrageous access to the biggest names in political media—operatives who are corrupting the political process, and discouraging widespread citizen involvement in our democracy.

Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent


Harvey A. Silverglate - 2009
    Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior. The volume of federal crimes in recent decades has increased well beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal Regulations, handing federal prosecutors an additional trove of vague and exceedingly complex and technical prohibitions to stick on their hapless targets. The dangers spelled out in Three Felonies a Day do not apply solely to “white collar criminals,” state and local politicians, and professionals. No social class or profession is safe from this troubling form of social control by the executive branch, and nothing less than the integrity of our constitutional democracy hangs in the balance.

The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century


Paul Krugman - 2001
    One of the world's most respected economists, Krugman has been named America's most important columnist by the Washington Monthly and columnist of the year by Editor and Publisher magazine.A major bestseller, this influential and wide-ranging book has been praised by BusinessWeek as Krugman's "most provocative and compelling effort yet," the New York Review of Books as "refreshing," and Library Journal as "thought-provoking...even funny." The American Prospect put it in vivid terms: "In a time when too few tell it like it is...[Krugman] has taken on the battle of our time."Built from Paul Krugman's influential Op-Ed columns for the New York Times, this book galvanized the reading public. With wit, passion, and a unique ability to explain complex issues in plain English, Krugman describes how the nation has been misled by a dishonest administration.In this long-awaited work containing Krugman's most influential columns along with new commentary, he chronicles how the boom economy unraveled: how exuberance gave way to pessimism, how the age of corporate heroes gave way to corporate scandals, how fiscal responsibility collapsed. From his account of the secret history of the California energy crisis to his devastating dissections of dishonesty in the Bush administration, from the war in Iraq to the looting of California to the false pretenses used to sell an economic policy that benefits only a small elite, Krugman tells the uncomfortable truth like no one else. And he gives us the road map we will need to follow if we are to get the country back on track.The paperback edition features a new introduction as well as new writings.

The Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline


Jonathan Tepperman - 2016
    The heady promise of the Arab Spring has given way to repression, civil war, and an epic refugee crisis. Economic growth is sputtering. Income inequality is rising around the world. And the threat of ISIS and other extremist groups keeps spreading. We are living in an age of unprecedented, irreversible decline—or so we’re constantly being told.         Jonathan Tepperman’s The Fix presents a very different picture. The book reveals the often-overlooked good news stories, offering a provocative, unconventional take on the answers hiding in plain sight. It identifies ten pervasive and seemingly impossible challenges—including immigration reform, economic stagnation, political gridlock, corruption, and Islamic terrorism—and shows that, contrary to the general consensus, each has a solution, and not merely a hypothetical one. In his close analysis of government initiatives as diverse as Brazil’s Bolsa Família program, Indonesia’s campaign against extremism, Canada’s early embrace of multiculturalism, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s reform of the NYPD, Tepperman isolates the universally applicable measures that have can boost and buttress equality, incomes, cooperation, and cohesion in wildly diverse societies. He flips conventional political wisdom on its head, showing, for example, how much the U.S. Congress could learn about compromise and conciliation from its counterpart in Mexico.         Tepperman has traveled the world to write this book, conducting more than a hundred interviews with the heads of state and other innovators responsible for these unexpected success stories. His access and expertise make The Fix a work of unusual insight, focused on the people and leadership lessons behind the policies. Meticulously researched and deeply reported, it presents practical advice for aspiring problem-solvers of all stripes, and stands as a necessary corrective to the hand-wringing and grim prognostication that dominates the news these days, making a data-driven case for optimism in a time of crushing pessimism.From the Hardcover edition.

Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and StickYou with the Bill)


David Cay Johnston - 2007
    From how George W. Bush got rich off a tax increase to a $100 million taxpayer gift to Warren Buffett, Johnston puts a face on all of the dirty little tricks that business and government pull. A lot of people appear to be getting free lunches—but of course there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and someone (you, the taxpayer) is picking up the bill.Johnston’s many revelations include:• How we ended up with the most expensive yet inefficient health-care system in the world.• How homeowners? title insurance became a costly, deceitful, yet almost invisible oligopoly.• How our government gives hidden subsidies for posh golf courses.• How Paris Hilton’s grandfather schemed to retake the family fortune from a charity for poor children.• How the Yankees and Mets owners will collect more than $1.3 billion in public funds.In these instances and many more, Free Lunch shows how the lobbyists and lawyers representing the most powerful 0.1 percent of Americans manipulated our government at the expense of the other 99.9 percent.With his extraordinary reporting, vivid stories, and sharp analysis, Johnston reveals the forces that shape our everyday economic lives—and shows us how we can finally make things better.

Against Intellectual Property


N. Stephan Kinsella - 2001
    Stephan Kinsella has caused libertarians worldwide to rethink the very basis of intellectual property.Mises warned against patents, and so did Rothbard. But Kinsella goes much further. He argues that the very existence of patents — and copyrights and trademarks, too — is contrary to a free market. They all use the state to create artificial scarcities of nonscarce goods and employ coercion in a way that is contrary to property rights and the freedom of contract.Many who read this book will be unprepared for the rigor of Kinsella's argument. It takes time to settle in, simply because it seems so shocking at first. But Kinsella makes his case with powerful logic and examples that are overwhelming in their persuasive power.After all, the relevance of this argument in a digital age can't be overstated. The state works with monopolistic private producers to inhibit innovation and stop the progress of technology, while using coercion against possible competitors and against consumers. Even US foreign policy is profoundly affected by widespread confusions over what is legitimate and what is merely asserted as property.What Kinsella is calling for instead of this cartelizing system is nothing more or less than a pure free market, which involves nothing resembling what we call intellectual property today. IP, he argues, is really nothing more than a state-enforced legal convention, not an extension of real ownership.Few books written in the last decades have caused so much fundamental rethinking. It is essential that libertarians get this issue right and understand the arguments on all sides. Kinsella's book is masterful in doing just that — making a case against IP that turns out to be more rigorous and thorough than any written on the left, right, or anywhere in between.Read it and prepare to change your mind.To search for Mises Institute titles, enter a keyword and LvMI (short for Ludwig von Mises Institute); e.g., Depression LvMI

The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism


David D. Friedman - 1973
    David Friedman's standpoint, known as 'anarcho-capitalism', has attracted a growing following as a desirable social ideal since the first edition of The Machinery of Freedom appeared in 1971. This new edition is thoroughly revised and includes much new material, exploring fresh applications of the author's libertarian principles. Among topics covered: how the U.S. would benefit from unrestricted immigration; why prohibition of drugs is inconsistent with a free society; why the welfare state mainly takes from the poor to help the not-so-poor; how police protection, law courts, and new laws could all be provided privately; what life was really like under the anarchist legal system of medieval Iceland; why non-intervention is the best foreign policy; why no simple moral rules can generate acceptable social policies -- and why these policies must be derived in part from the new discipline of economic analysis of law.

Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it


Robert B. Reich - 2012
    Reich urges Americans to get beyond mere outrage about the nation’s increasingly concentrated wealth and corrupt politics in order to mobilize and to take back our economy and democracy.Americans can’t rely only on getting good people elected, Reich argues, because nothing positive happens in Washington unless good people outside Washington are organized to help make those things happen after the election. But in order to be effectively mobilized, we need to see the big picture. Reich connects the dots for us, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, while undermining our democracy; has caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and has turned many Americans against one another. He also explains why the proposals of the “regressive right” are dead wrong and provides a clear road map for what must be done instead. Here is a blueprint for action for everyone who cares about the future of America.

Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 1: Rules and Order


Friedrich A. Hayek - 1973
    A. Hayek's comprehensive three-part study of the relations between law and liberty. Rules and Order constructs the framework necessary for a critical analysis of prevailing theories of justice and of the conditions which a constitution securing personal liberty would have to satisfy.

In Defense of Globalization


Jagdish N. Bhagwati - 2004
    Now Jagdish Bhagwati, the internationally renowned economist, takes on the critics, revealing that globalization, when properly governed, is in fact the most powerful force for social good in the world today. Drawing on his unparalleled knowledge of international and development economics, Bhagwati explains why the gotcha examples of the critics are often not as compelling as they seem. With the wit and wisdom for which he is renowned, Bhagwati convincingly shows that globalization is part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover


Ruth Marcus - 2019
    Brett Kavanaugh set his sights on the court right out of law school. Washington Post journalist and legal expert Ruth Marcus goes behind the scenes to document the inside story of how their supreme ambition triumphed. The Kavanaugh drama unfolded so fast in the summer of 2018 it seemed to come out of nowhere. With the power of the #MeToo movement behind her, a terrified but composed Christine Blasey Ford walked into a Senate hearing room to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault. This unleashed unprecedented fury from a Supreme Court nominee who accused Democrats of a “calculated and orchestrated political hit.” But behind this showdown was a much bigger one. In Supreme Ambition, Washington Post journalist and legal expert Ruth Marcus goes behind the scenes to document the thirty-year mission by conservatives to win a majority on the Supreme Court and the lifelong ambition of Brett Kavanaugh to secure his place in that victory. In that sense, Marcus has delivered a master class in how Washington works and an unforgettable case study in supreme ambition. The reporting in Supreme Ambition is also full of revealing and weighty headlines, as Marcus answers the most pressing questions surrounding this historical moment: How did Kavanaugh get the nomination? Was Blasey Ford’s testimony credible? What does his confirmation mean for the future of the court? Were the Democrats outgunned from the start? On the way, she uncovers secret White House meetings, intense lobbying efforts, private confrontations on Capitol Hill, and lives forever upended on both coasts. Supreme Ambition is a page-turner that traces how Brett Kavanaugh deftly maneuvered to become the nominee; how he quashed resistance from Republicans who worried he was too squishy on conservative issues and from a president reluctant to reward a George W. Bush loyalist. It shows a Republican party that had concluded Kavanaugh was too big to fail, with senators and the FBI ignoring potentially devastating evidence against him. And it paints a picture of Democratic leaders unwilling to engage in the no-holds-barred partisan warfare that might have defeated the nominee. In the tradition of The Brethren and The Power Broker, Supreme Ambition is the definitive account of a pivotal moment in modern history, one that was thirty years in the making and that will shape the judicial system of America for generations to come.