Politically, I have never been to satisfied with anything. That’s just my personality. But at some point between my twenties and my thirties it seemed like everyone in the world started to see things my way. Aside from feeling vindicated, I was concerned. What had happened?
In truth, it was a lot of things. But the more I tried to borrow into the global political climate, the more confused I was. The culmination of this confusion was of course the disastrous election of Donald Trump in 2016. For Christ’s sake, I was an adult (of sorts) through pretty much all of the Bush administration, and I thought the GOP was sure to be dead after that. What the hell happened? It was at that point that I had to realize that clearly, I was very ignorant of something.
I’ve read many books in an attempt to understand what the hell happened. This is one of the few that I thought helped clarify things.
The title of this book says it all. ‘Pity the Billionaires’ is the mocking tone that a portion of the American population has decided to adopt, despite the fact that this attitude is completely against the best interests of the American non-billionaire majority. Why a portion of the American populace has been interested in actively fighting against their own interests is a fascinating question, and this book does a lot to look at various aspects of it. If you ever thought that it seemed to be that the right wing in the American can co-opt pretty much anything – that pretty much is the case – this book will help you understand how that happens.
Thomas Frank is funny. While reading this, I was increasingly glad that his snark and irony worked through the writing. Because the out look here is pretty damn bleak. As with anything that makes me think about the modern political climate, I was enraged by reading this, so I was pretty happy that it was occasionally broken up with a nice laugh. At least I was enraged and somehow in a good mood. More political writers should consider adopting this.
In fairness, there was a bit of hyperbole from the description above. There was a bit in this book that I was already familiar with from reading Matt Taibbi, particularly in regards to the 2009 bank bailouts and to what extent this screwed over the American population by wrongly rewarding the financier class for their complete failures.
I doubt there is ever going to be a real singular answer to what is wrong with our political climate, just as much as I think there will ever be a panacea to fix it. But in that I won’t lose the hope to fight, books like this may help understand what the battle actually is.
Yea, there is no point in hiding my political opinions in such a review.