Griftopia by Matt Taibbi Book Review
It’s no secret that I enjoy reading Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone articles so I copped his new book Griftopia and just finished reading it, which is subtitled: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America.
Taibbi’s basic view is that regular American’s are “fighting over the same 5-10 percent swatch of undecided voters, blues versus reds. Instead, the parties should be broken down into haves and have-nots – a couple of obnoxious bankers on the Upper East Side running for office against 280 million pissed-off credit card and mortgage customers.” And: “When the Republicans win elections, their voters think they’ve struck a blow against big government. And when a Democratic hero like Barack Obama wins, his supporters think they’ve won a great victory for tolerance and diversity. Even I thought that.” (Even I thought that also) And this has created a paradise for high-class thieves.
He continues: “There are really two Americas, one for the grifter class and one for everyboy else. In everybody-else land, the world of small businesses and wage-earning employees, the government is something to be avoided…In the grifter world, however, government is a lavish lapdog that the financial companies that will be the major players…use as a tool for making money.”
In the first chapter, he ginsu’s Rick Santelli, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman and Larry Kudlow among others. He saves the greatest disses for The Tea Party (which he actually gives a balanced critique of) and explains how they are simply a pawn for the elites (“A loose definition of the Tea Party might be fifteen million pissed-ff white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the small handful of banks and investment companies who advertise on Fox and CNBC.”). The elites have confused the Tea Party members and Taibbi drops this gem: “The insurmountable hurdle for so-called populist movements is having the nerve to attack the rich instead of the poor. Even after the rich almost destroyed the entire golobal economy through their sheer unrestrained greed and stupidity, we can’t shake the peasant mentality that says we should go easy on them…” which is an underlying theme in The G Manifesto.
In the second chapter “The Biggest Asshole in the Universe”, Taibbi rips apart Alan Greenspan and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (which I have never read). He then proceeds to break down the Mortgage Scam, The Commodities Bubble, an amazing chapter on Sovereign Wealth funds and the selling off of America, the Health Care reform bait-and-switch and the American Bubble Machine.
Taibbi is a little shaky on his explanation of the commodities markets, but his conclusions are always dead on.
This is a pretty amazing and humorous book that explains what has been happening in America written by one of the best writers of our generation.
Read it if you want to know what time it is.
The Rest is Up to You…
Michael Porfirio Mason
AKA The Peoples Champ
AKA GFK, Jr.
AKA The Sly, Slick and the Wicked
AKA The Voodoo Child
The Guide to Getting More out of Life
Righteous Seed – Dom Pachino