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The Big Answer


To link to this article from your blog or webpage, copy and paste the url below into your blog or homepage.

Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America

a book by Bob Herbert

(our site's book review)

Shadow Government Thugs Trample Citizens' Wellbeing

Herbert, in responding to how we "lost our way," said that "The biggest factor by far was the toxic alliance by government and America's megacorporations and giant banks. That alliance of elites, fueled by limitless greed and a near-pathological quest for power, reshaped the rules and regulations of the economy and the society at large to heavily favor the interests of those who were already well-to-do. In the process they trampled the best interests of ordinary Americans."

Plutocrats reshaped the rules and regulations of the economy and the society at large to heavily favor the interests of those who were already richer than God
Plutocrats reshaped the rules and regulations of the economy and the society at large to heavily favor the interests of those who were already richer than God

For many American citizens, the very notion of economic security evaporated as a result of the crash of 2007-2008 and the irresponsible government policies and anti-democratic legislation since Reagan. People had to choose between crappy jobs and no jobs, even if they had college degrees and a good resume. The author traveled the country, met the war-wounded, the unemployed, the disheartened, and the hopeless. And meeting someone who'd been a victim of infrastructure breakdown (a collapsed bridge) drove home the point that the money that should have repaired that bridge had ended up in super-rich corporations or war budgets instead.

Our American infrastructure needs repair
Our American infrastructure needs repair

The Senseless Shadow Government's Bush/Cheney/Obama Wars Need to Be Stopped

Herbert focuses his book on "the employment crisis, which was badly underestimated and poorly understood; the need to rebuild and modernize the nation’s infrastructure and the relationship of that vast project to employment; the critical task of revitalizing the public schools in a way that meets the profound educational imperatives of the 21st century; and the essential obligation that we have as rational and civilized beings to stop fighting pointless and profoundly debilitating wars." The book is a carefully documented, well-written account of what went wrong in the U.S. and why.

When Bush and Obama said their wars on terror may go on indefinitely, you can just imagine these fat cats rolling around in huge money bins laughing just like Scrooge McDuck
When Bush and Obama said their wars on terror may go on indefinitely, you can just imagine these fat cats rolling around in huge money bins laughing just like Scrooge McDuck

The book looks at two devastating and hugely expensive wars started by the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney administration and continued on into the cowardly, inept Obama administration. These wars caused nothing but harm to Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the U.S. soldiers fighting in them. Vice President Cheney and his Halliburton cronies accumulated billions of dollars as a result of these useless conflicts. A "War on Terror" indeed! We have infinite funds for a phony, immoral, pointless war but none for infrastructure so our homeland is safe? "Homeland Security" indeed! If only Obama had shown the courage to follow up on campaign promises to end the war. But this infamous liar* showed no courage or compassion or wisdom—instead he expanded wars and drone attacks and ended up generating ISIS as a consequence of his bungling of these two wars and radical Islam's understandable rage at the U.S., insuring that our soldiers will NEVER leave the Mideast and insuring that our debt keeps skyrocketing forever.

national debt

Unless American citizens start defecating money, the debt has put us all in deep doo-doo
Unless American citizens start defecating money, the debt has put us all in deep doo-doo


Our wars caused nothing but harm to Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the U.S. soldiers fighting in them, while Cheney and his Halliburton cronies accumulated billions of dollars as a result of these useless conflicts
Our wars caused nothing but harm to Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the U.S. soldiers fighting in them, while Cheney and his Halliburton cronies accumulated billions of dollars as a result of these useless conflicts


The U.S. military bullies dropping a little 'democracy' on Middle Eastern citizens
The U.S. military bullies dropping a little 'democracy' on Middle Eastern citizens


Dubya Bush the Liar lied us into the illegal Iraq invasion
Dubya Bush the Liar lied us into the illegal Iraq invasion


*The only president to ever out-lie Bush is OBomb'em who gave us ISIS and the NSA spying on our own citizens
*The only president to ever out-lie Bush is OBomb'em who gave us ISIS and the NSA spying on our own citizens


Obama: a Neoconservative wolf in Liberal sheep's clothing
Obama: a Neoconservative wolf in Liberal sheep's clothing

Forget Top-Down Politics—Change Will Come Only from the Bottom Up

Herbert stresses that if things are ever going to change, it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves. That’s how change happens, not from social engineering. The citizenry need to be aroused to reclaim America from the powerful moneyed interests—the plutocrats. This book will make you want to get involved, take action, make a difference. As he says at the end of the book, it doesn't have to be this way. Changing it depends on us. This book is a brave call to action. Will we respond? Or will we watch helplessly from the sidelines as the oligarchs keep shoveling dirt onto the coffin of the democracy—a democracy they never quite understood.

Somehow oligarchs got the idea that civic responsibility and public accountability as well as truth, integrity, and patriotism were all red herrings to be tossed to the suckers to distract them while the fat cats plundered the coffers of not just the government but the citizenry as well. This is a sick, sociopathic view of democracy that should be beneath contempt in the eyes of loyal, patriotic citizens of the once-great nation we call the United States of America. And it is. The problem is that the greedy, soulless oligarchs of the shadow government are anything but loyal, patriotic citizens. They are economic terrorists.

An oligarch buries our American democracy, chuckling evily
An oligarch buries our American democracy, chuckling evily


Economic terrorist on Wall Street
Economic terrorist on Wall Street

Economic Assault on the Poor Has Morphed into an Assault on the Middle Class

The book outlines the economic assault on the poor that has morphed into an assault on the middle class. There's no way to "vote" for these tragedies not to happen, since our system is governed by the Golden Rule: "He who has the gold makes the rules." And these millions of victims of endless greed are NOT those with the gold—so they made no rules. Apparently, we must all make our own. Herbert advocates peaceful protest by Americans (such as the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations) as one of the ways to introduce the greedy Plutocrats to the reality that we are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. He also says we must raise taxes on the rich and use the money to repair the crumbling infrastructure. Rots 'o ruck getting that one through Congress!

Our corporatocracy's Golden Rule: 'He who has the gold makes the rules'
Our corporatocracy's Golden Rule: 'He who has the gold makes the rules'


We need to all throw open our windows and shout 'we are mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!'
We need to all throw open our windows and shout 'we are mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!'

Other Shadow Government Perspectives

Various authors see the shadow government from various perspectives—like the blind men and the elephant, but the overall gist is creepily similar
Various authors see the shadow government from various perspectives—like the blind men and the elephant, but the overall gist is creepily similar