Politics What's a political book you'd like to read?

Coolangatta

Club Legend
Oct 27, 2007
2,553
2,011
Western Australia
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Something that's missing, a gap that needs filling? I guess there's something for everyone, and pretty much everything's been done already. I ask because I'd like to write a political book, I don't know what I want to say - or at least - what I could say that'd justify 50,000+ words. I mean, I feel very cynical and nihilistic about politics. I mostly follow American politics since they're so influential and the Australian one is a shit show.

I'm interested in seeing who's going to rise and take on Trump. I'm also interested in seeing how people react to the "big solutions" put forward by Sanders and Warren, but notably, the touted "forward, not left or right" guy Yang. I go out of my way to find the problems people have with things like their climate plans, the freedom dividend (universal basic income), raising the minimum wage, and so on. It seems that no matter who you are or what you put out, people will find flaws in your ideas.

I'd love for there to be a perfect candidate with all the right answers and solutions that everyone can get behind, but it just doesn't exist. For instance, people say Yang's climate plan is overreliant on technological progress occurring in time to meet his deadlines, and it's a valid point. We're talking about experts views on thorium and fusion. I want to be the guy that says, "Hey, this is what's wrong with the world, and this is how we can fix it." but who's to say I wouldn't be blown apart, too?

Are we f’ed, no matter what? Is it a matter of pick your poison - big government or big business but you can't have both? Stopping tax evasion sounds nice in theory but in practice, is that even possible? Is there a way to shut down the loopholes or is that fanciful thinking?
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

RobbieK

Club Legend
Aug 20, 2009
2,257
3,239
Berlin
AFL Club
Sydney
I'm going to go out there on a limb and suggest if you don't have any idea about what to write about then you probably shouldn't write a book...
 

Coolangatta

Club Legend
Oct 27, 2007
2,553
2,011
Western Australia
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
I'm going to go out there on a limb and suggest if you don't have any idea about what to write about then you probably shouldn't write a book...
I have some idea, but you can't find a straight answer anywhere. For example, a political scientist did a distributional analysis of Andrew Yang's Freedom Dividend and concluded, in short, that'd be beneficial and practical. Someone had a bone or two to pick with the analysis quality but didn't really reject their findings. But the eyes glaze over when you dive deep into these things and so something like the UBI is too easily attacked by laypeople because the public doesn't know enough to differentiate them from experts. I wanted to write about the best evidence-based solutions I know of that could combat climate change, reduce extreme global poverty, and so on, but to have a considerable reach, I don't see how that's going to happen. Not when a lot of voters don't really care much about policy, or at least, their decisions aren't based on examining them much. No wonder many of the American presidential candidates running now have been so vague. My background is in Psychology and Human Rights, too, not political science, so anything I say could be easily dismissed.
 

tandino

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 16, 2007
10,009
5,944
Showers Stand
AFL Club
Essendon
I have some idea, but you can't find a straight answer anywhere. For example, a political scientist did a distributional analysis of Andrew Yang's Freedom Dividend and concluded, in short, that'd be beneficial and practical.
I would rather see some economic analysis rather than rely on the say-so of a political scientist.

Just some back of the envelope stuff. $12k per year x 300m = $3.6 Trillion. That's up around the Iraq War bill and the Bush tax cuts. Thats a lot of scratch.
 

Coolangatta

Club Legend
Oct 27, 2007
2,553
2,011
Western Australia
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
I would rather see some economic analysis rather than rely on the say-so of a political scientist.

Just some back of the envelope stuff. $12k per year x 300m = $3.6 Trillion. That's up around the Iraq War bill and the Bush tax cuts. Thats a lot of scratch.
Yeah. Yang talks about how he'd pay for it on his website.

"It would be easier than you might think. Andrew proposes funding the Freedom Dividend by consolidating some welfare programs and implementing a Value-Added Tax (VAT) of 10%. Current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally – most would prefer cash with no restriction.

A Value-Added Tax (VAT) is a tax on the production of goods or services a business produces. It is a fair tax and it makes it much harder for large corporations, who are experts at hiding profits and income, to avoid paying their fair share. A VAT is nothing new. 160 out of 193 countries in the world already have a Value-Added Tax or something similar, including all of Europe which has an average VAT of 20 percent.

The means to pay for the Freedom Dividend will come from 4 sources:

1. Current spending. We currently spend between $500 and $600 billion a year on welfare programs, food stamps, disability and the like. This reduces the cost of the Freedom Dividend because people already receiving benefits would have a choice but would be ineligible to receive the full $1,000 in addition to current benefits.

Additionally, we currently spend over one trillion dollars on health care, incarceration, homelessness services and the like. We would save $100 – 200+ billion as people would take better care of themselves and avoid the emergency room, jail, and the street and would generally be more functional. The Freedom Dividend would pay for itself by helping people avoid our institutions, which is when our costs shoot up. Some studies have shown that $1 to a poor parent will result in as much as $7 in cost-savings and economic growth.

2. A VAT. Our economy is now incredibly vast at $19 trillion, up $4 trillion in the last 10 years alone. A VAT at half the European level would generate $800 billion in new revenue. A VAT will become more and more important as technology improves because you cannot collect income tax from robots or software.

3. New revenue. Putting money into the hands of American consumers would grow the economy. The Roosevelt Institute projected that the economy would grow by approximately $2.5 trillion and create 4.6 million new jobs. This would generate approximately $800 – 900 billion in new revenue from economic growth and activity.

4. Taxes on top earners and pollution. By removing the Social Security cap, implementing a financial transactions tax, and ending the favorable tax treatment for capital gains/carried interest, we can decrease financial speculation while also funding the Freedom Dividend. We can add to that a carbon fee that will be partially dedicated to funding the Freedom Dividend, making up the remaining balance required to cover the cost of this program."

This guy got me enthusiastic about politics again. I initially thought to write a book explaining in my own words and simpler ones his policies but on a global scale and infused with humour and slang. But I think I jumped the gun. If most people won't read the policies on his site, they probably wouldn't pick up my book either, even if I got that far. I've also been digging around for criticisms of what he's proposing and some of it has given me pause for thought. He's certainly an interesting candidate, but perhaps not as great as he thinks he is or his fans think.
 

Coolangatta

Club Legend
Oct 27, 2007
2,553
2,011
Western Australia
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
And I say, "Not as great as he thinks he is," because his last tweet is cocky. Yeah, I think he's got a lot of good policies, but he's still a long way behind Sanders, Warren, and Biden in the polls.

736312
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Coolangatta

Club Legend
Oct 27, 2007
2,553
2,011
Western Australia
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
I would rather see some economic analysis rather than rely on the say-so of a political scientist.

Just some back of the envelope stuff. $12k per year x 300m = $3.6 Trillion. That's up around the Iraq War bill and the Bush tax cuts. Thats a lot of scratch.
There's this.


Who knows for certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is dead on and he can't afford it without lowering the dividend and raising the VAT.
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
19,056
19,838
AFL Club
Hawthorn
THE ROAD TO RUIN - How tony abbott and peta credlin destroyed their own government
by Niki Savva
Should have been titled:
I LOVE MALCOLM TURNBULL - WHY DONT YOU LOVE MALCOLM TURNBULL AS MUCH AS ME - The Tony Abbott 'Hurt Malcolm Turnbull Story

I tried reading Clinton's Autobiography. I really did. But he is such a boring writer. And the details. He wrote the entire thing on a typewriter too. Didnt use a computer. The only time he used a computer in the White House was on Day 1 to set up his account.

I think if Nixon wrote an honest book it would have been fascinating. Not just the Deep Throat stuff. But the dodgy deals with Kissenger and Vietnam. Bringing in HMOs and wrecking healthcare for the next 40+ years. He managed an amazing amount in his time.
 

ShanDog

Moderator
Aug 12, 2012
18,263
34,345
sv_cheats 1
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Edmonton Oilers
I want to red Ayn Rand, actually get through the whole Communist Manifesto and find a book that actually makes sense of the postmodern French philosophers in an easy to understand and engaging way that remains true to their ideas.

Just kidding about the last one - it doesn't exist.
 

its free real estate

fyfe > dangerfield
Jul 30, 2018
8,214
10,050
AFL Club
Fremantle
I would recommend reading some political philosophy essays by John Gray or Paul Kingsnorth, not political books arguing policy or day to day events as such. Gray eviscerates liberalism, and Kingsnorth puts the context of climate change in stark reactionary terms (while seeming so nice about it).

As a result of following their work for years, I would like to read their books, plus a few of Thomas Frank's.
 
Last edited:

Top Bottom