SWINDLED

If Government is 'for the people', Why is the King Wearing No Clothes

Non-Fiction - Gov/Politics
140 Pages
Reviewed on 12/03/2014
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite

Swindled! If Government is ‘for the people,’ Why is the King Wearing No Clothes? by Don Fraser is a highly informative book about money, finances, free market and our nation’s economy, what its general policies are and viable solutions to fix our current decline. We all want to have lower taxes, but we also want better benefits for the people who aren't working. We are worried about our social security benefits that we have been contributing to since we entered the work force. We need better roads to travel on, heath care, education, etc, but we have questions. How can the government justify printing new money without gold in our reserves to back it? How can banks loan out money they don’t have, and make money appear out of nowhere? Well, the answers to these questions and solutions to our problems are in this book.

Don Fraser uses a well informed, eye opening writing style that tells you that all of the rules to follow about economy have been his life’s work. He grabs our attention with the sarcastic moral of the famous Hans Christian Anderson tale whenever politicians make poor decisions and justify their reasoning with “Only fools can’t see the wisdom in that." Not wanting to be thought fools, we agree. The more he uses that phrase, the more Swindled forces readers to open their eyes and see through their B.S. In my honest opinion, if only Don Fraser with his four rules for printing money could be appointed by our nation to set in motion his plan for fixing our economy. Would the rain, instead of pouring down on us, be better trickling upward?

Kelly Santana

Swindled: If Government is ‘for the people’, Why is the King Wearing No Clothes? by Don Fraser is a book about economic strategy. Don Fraser develops a plan in which all governments should be able to promote economic growth while maintaining adequate distribution of income. In this proposal, governments would create their money in order to boost the workforce, provide affordable education, healthcare and infrastructure, and provide decent earnings for people who are unable to work. All of this while aiming for no debt, low taxes and budget surplus. Mr. Fraser goes on to explain why governments are not enthusiastic about this type of approach, but despite all the odds, he reinforces that this plan is feasible. He delineates four strict rules that governments must follow in order to have the plan work.

Swindled by Don Fraser is a “politically incorrect” (as the author wrote) approach to economic development in different types of government. From his substantial experiences working with national and international governments and organizations, Mr. Fraser incorporated his views to improve the economy in the form of academic research and a satire. The concepts are well developed, although the complexity inherent of the economic verbatim demands a little more attention from the reader. Mr. Fraser engages the audience through the use of metaphors and euphemisms. The parable of the “King” and the subtle irony implied (a feature of the book that I particularly liked) brings out the witty side of the author and makes this book appealing. I definitely recommend it.

Rattan Whig

The global economy, regional economies, then the economy of individual countries and the various components that constitute and drive the 'economy' are all quite familiar terms with the not so distant memory of the last financial crisis still looming fresh in many minds. In this day and age of technology, an average human being has more knowledge of economy and its relative standing with the economies of other countries than s/he had 10 years ago. The truth is that we all are aware of how economies work and how it impacts us and our day to day lives. Being able to understand the increasingly complex terms and concepts has become not only necessary but, to a large extent, unavoidable.

What, however, this book seems to cast light on is that the seemingly insurmountable challenges given in the empirical economics and the conventional principals of the working of economy which have been studied, and to some extent followed in practice, are not cast in stone. There is and always has been an alternate way which holds the promise, if not the guarantee, to cure those insurmountable challenges that have plagued modern welfare states from fulfilling their truly greatest prophecy, that of being the self contained provider and generator for its people. Now that might seem like utopia to some. Well, it did to me as well. Reflecting on the arguments given in this book, however, compel us to think, if at all believe for that one unfailing moment, can it be true? Can it actually be that governments can not only provide for their people without relying on external borrowings, but generate a working surplus, or profit if you may call it such.

Reading this book reminds me of another interesting book written by a Nobel Laureate regarding how the economic growth and growth in income levels of one of the fastest growing economies in the world fares against the rising income divide and lopsided social spread of the economic growth. What that book laments is that economic growth is not truly 'growth' till the time it has 'inclusion' at all levels and strata of population embedded as the fundamental of that growth. Well, that to a large extent is true and identically brought out in this book as one of the critical challenges facing the world's economies today. The governments of modern day states play an unmistakably critical role for the simple reason that all the controls of the economy are vested in the hands of the various government functions. The effectiveness of governance hence becomes the key and perhaps the biggest differentiator between fulfillment or ever increasing cycle of debt.

The author has done a remarkable job in explaining key economic terms, empirical knowledge and some of economies' profound challenges in very simple and easily comprehensible language, leaving little room to doubt by using wherever possible anecdotes and examples from real life. Thanks to the effort, the knowledge of why the world's economies have never risen above what should not have been their plight in the first place is clearly established in readers' minds. The book offers an amazing insight into what it may take to unleash the next generation of reforms, aimed at not only meeting the annual budget, or exceeding budget targets, but to achieve the truly unthinkable goal of self-sustainment. Now, think of it as one giant profit and loss statement. It's simple expenditure vs. earning. Income vs outgo. Really, how difficult can it be. A remarkable read!