Principalities & Powers

The Life of Riley

One good way to ruin your Christmas this year would be to spend the holidays reading a new book entitled Abandoned: The Betrayal of the American Middle Class Since World War II, by two law professors at the University of South Carolina, William J. Quirk and R. Randall Bridwell. Maybe you don't want to ruin your Christmas, and that's understandable, but if you do read the book, you will at least be prepared to understand what is likely to happen to you and to what remains of your country in the coming years.

The reason Abandoned will put ashes in your stocking is that it is one of the first (maybe the first) full-length examinations of how virtually every dominant institution in the United States exploits, defrauds, lies to, oppresses, and endangers the middle class that constitutes the economic and social core of American life. The authors take the reader through the recent history of such financial boondoggles as the New York City fiscal crisis, the national and Third World debts, the Social Security and Savings and Loan scams, and similar episodes to show how middle-income Americans wind up paying for the irresponsibilities and outright criminality of politicians and business leaders. They move on to the subject of the impenetrability of the political Establishment and reveal how both political parties are systematically structured to ignore the interests and wishes of their middle-class constituents and...

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