Johnston does his best to raise your blood to a boiling point, going into real detail about how the wealthy are ripping us all off. He examines a host of issues and connects dots,
offering many examples of how public money is filling the pockets of private enterprises with minimal benefit to the people footing the bill, from a ritzy golf course for the well-heeled in Bandon, Oregon, to the implementation of Byzantine rules that make AMTRAK responsible for the mismanagement of rail lines it does not own, to tax policies that encourage companies to send jobs overseas, to the use by governments of eminent domain to take property from some to give it, not to the town, or state, but to other private interests, the increasing public subsidization of religion, the impact of home security alarm systems on law enforcement, the ripoff that is title insurance, the reduction in public investment in education, while increasing tax breaks for millionaires, how Enron created a managed electricity market in Texas and looted millions from the public while hiding behind government regulatory cronies… the list goes on, and on and on.
There are some bright spots in this record. Johnston writes about one lobbying firm that works to challenge some of the rampant giveaways bestowed on business. He tells of representatives from Consumers Union and Public Citizen who fight the good fight whenever opportunity allows.
But if you are not completely enraged by the time you finish this book, you must have fallen asleep.
Thus does Caesar render that which is his onto the faithful, tearing down a wall that Thomas Jefferson thought crucial to the liberty of the people. “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.”