Saturday, April 10, 2010

Book Review: The Road to Prosperity

It's been a number of months since my last Book Review, and I thought now is as good a time as any to revive the column. This time, I am reviewing Pat Toomey's The Road to Prosperity: How to Grow Our Economy and Revive the American Dream. Patrick Toomey is a three term Republican from congressman from Pennsylvania. In a season of campaign books, this is another one. Mr. Toomey is running for the U.S. Senate this year, and I am sure he hopes this book will help him. I wouldn't have normally picked this up, but it was part of the Red State Book Notes Project. Having gotten all of the disclaimers out of the way, I really enjoyed this book.

Unlike a number of other conservative books written in recent years, this book looks specifically at many of the financial issues facing our nation today. It was written last year, so it doesn't take into account the recent passage of Obamacare, but there are a number of other issues it does tackle. Social Security, out of control spending, and taxes are just a taste of some of the issues from Road to Prosperity. There is also some very interesting background information included with each of the chapters. Chapter Two is titled "Lessons from History" and discusses the Great Depression, the financial boom of the 1980's, and Ireland's more recent economic successes. Each of these is treated as a case study, and includes the authors views on what we should take from each of them.

While many of the topics (such as tax policy, and the 2008 financial collapse) could be complex undertakings, Toomey does a good job of discussing the topics in everyday plain English. If you want a more detailed preview, I wrote a number of posts at Red State discussing the book:

The Celtic Tiger

The Superiority of American Manufacturing

Social Security and Obamacare

Final Thoughts

Each of these were written for the Book Notes project, but I think they stand by themselves pretty well. I wouldn't recommend this book for everyone, but it is probably one of the better campaign type books written, and at least one chapter should be required reading at the high school level. If you live in Pennsylvania, you should pick this up as a good resource to decide if you want to vote for Mr. Toomey or not.

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