War on the Middle Class
Lou Dobbs
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Buy *War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War onthe American Dream and How to Fight Back* by Lou Dobbs online

War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War onthe American Dream and How to Fight Back
Lou Dobbs
288 pages
October 2006
rated 5 of 5 possible stars
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As Lou Dobbs writes early on in his latest book, “If ever there were a time for truth in America, it is now.” War On the Middle Class is both well-written and well-documented to the high standards Dobbs, the anchor and managing editor of Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN. He is a lifelong Republican but doesn’t let party lines get in the way of reporting the truth, which is a refreshing change for viewers of the news. A modern-day crusader for the middle class, he gives voice to their plight in his nightly broadcasts and in War On The Middle Class. He is also not one to shy away from controversial, though accurate, assessments, of how both Democrats and Republicans try to distract the public from important issues:

“If both parties could keep voters focused on abortions, gay marriage, and the Pledge of Allegiance, they could continue to serve their corporate masters without interference. They could also continue to distract the largest number of voters in the country from the record budget deficits and trade deficits that threaten to bankrupt our nation, from public schools that have already failed an entire generation of Americans, from a healthcare system that is, by any standard, broken, and from business practices that have put America in direct competition with the lowest paid workers around the globe.”
Did I mention Mr. Lou Dobbs is not one to pull punches? Lou deals with several issues that directly effect the middle class every day, such as this nation’s broken borders and the seeming inability of our Government to stem the tide of illegal immigration; our failed healthcare system in a chapter titled “Healthcare: It’s Enough to Make You Sick”; and how lobbyists are the only people our congressmen and senators seem concerned with pleasing instead of the American people. This is a perhaps harsh portrayal but an accurate one, it’s enough to make a person feel like the Gates of Hell are swinging wide open to read about some of their shenanigans, and their concern for their own pocketbooks rather than for the middle class.

One of many examples of this attitude is in chapter four, “The Politics of Deceit.” A lobbying group called The Business Roundtable “representing most of the Fortune 200 corporations...gave $58 million in campaign contributions in 2000 during the trade fight to normalize trade relations with China...The move to normalize trade relations passed, 237-197. Today, we have a trade deficit of over one hundred billion dollars with China.”

In chapter three, “The Best Government Money Can Buy,” Dobbs focuses directly on lobbyists, who now number at more than 30,000, and “outnumber our Congressmen, Senators, and their staffs by 2 to 1. From 1998 to 2004, lobbyists spent nearly $13 billion to not only influence legislation, but in many cases to write the language of the laws and regulations they sought. In 2004 alone, they spent more than two billion dollars in pursuit of their goals.” It’s tempting for me to cite more of the copious amount of examples of greed and the antipathy our congressmen and senators have for America’s middle class, because it’s important for all concerned citizens to know about this information, and to reflect their dissatisfaction with their votes (if only we can be assured our votes will even count, with the current electronic system).

War On The Middle Class should serve as a wake-up call to Americans who have been so conditioned by politicians and corporations that we too often meekly swallow the lies fed to us and fail to realize the sad state the middle class, as a whole, has descended to. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all Americans. The book is unbiased, neither presenting a Republican nor a Democratic slant to the issues it covers, and points out the unfortunate failings of both parties to represent and serve the middle class of the United States. It is thus fitting to end this review by quoting from Mr. Dobbs himself:

“I can’t take seriously anyone who takes either the Republican or Democratic Party seriously; in part, because both are bought and paid for by Corporate America and special interests. And neither party gives a damn about the middle class.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Douglas R. Cobb, 2006

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