Cannibal Capitalism: How Big Business and The Feds Are Ruining America

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John Wiley & Sons, Oct 26, 2011 - Business & Economics - 220 pages
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An unbiased look at how the economic practices of corporations, leaders, and government are severely damaging the American way of life

Most of us have lived our lives by the rules—going to school, investing in real estate, and building careers—but the so-called Great Recession has changed everything. Cannibal Capitalism: How Big Business and the Feds Are Ruining America answers the questions on everyone's lips; what happened and where do we go from here?

Unlike in most other recent instances of financial turbulence, when this crisis hit, the country turned on itself economically, with the powerhouses—corporations, business leaders, and government—throwing the everyman under the bus. In an effort to avoid becoming slightly less rich, the super-rich effectively cannibalized the true engines of growth in the economy, in the process putting the bottom ninety-nine percent of the population at serious risk of losing everything. Cannibal Capitalism fights back, arguing that to really recover we need to educate our children, invest in our small businesses, use our inflated money to develop real things that build real wealth, and get back to exporting in a big way.

  • Takes a thoughtful look at how income and wealth disparity, industry consolidation, anticompetitive business practices, political ideological extremism, and the hoarding of existing wealth are destroying the wealth building capacity of the nation and the promise of ideal capitalism
  • Examines the financial crisis and its fallout in a clear, no-nonsense way
  • Explains what we can do to fix a broken system and come out on top

The economic crisis rocking the foundations of the international financial system has had a disproportionately devastating affect on the average person. Angry, afraid, and confused, regular people are looking for answers and Cannibal Capitalism is here to help, illustrating how the super-rich did everything in their power to stay safe at the expense of everyone else.


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"Irrespective of free market dogma, economic self-interest that is exclusively individualistic will inevitably work against the common interest." - Michael C. Hill
This book is not your typical
right-wing or left-wing rant. From page one, the pragmatism of a businessman not married to any political ideology was obvious. It lays out what works, what doesn't, and why. With the optimism of an entrepreneur, Hill lays out a path to rejuvenate the economy, for small businesses and communities to benefit from globalization, and to achieve energy independence without polluting the planet. With so much blathering rhetoric flying around since the Great Recession, Cannibal Capitalism strikes a resonant chord reverberating from the Tea Party to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The book is divided into three sections:"What's Wrong with This Picture", "How Did We Get Here?", and "Where Are We Going?" Cannibal Capitalism begins with Hill's own experience losing a fortune in the housing crisis. He wrote, "I had to retrace my steps. I had to understand the market forces that drove my success, or the illusion of it, as well as its collapse--not just for me, but for everyone caught up in this economy." From there he lays out the most succinct explanation of the economic collapse and the lessons it provides. Having read his detailed timeline covering every significant economic development from January 2007 through December of 2008, I can honestly say that I know exactly what happened and how.
The second section reviews the genesis of modern economic thought and the history of opposing ideologies. Hill details the arc from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes to Milton Friedman and if those names aren't familiar to you that's fine because the discussion is easy to follow. Oddly Friedrich Hayek was not discussed as much as his disciple Friedman, perhaps because the latter economist brought more attention and excitement to Hayek's ideology than Hayek himself, particularly during the Reagan administration.
The final section is what takes Cannibal Capitalism from a fascinating read to a powerful tool to make the world a better place. Tackling healthcare, education, energy, and globalization, he sets out bold ideas for the 21st century as well as how regular people can navigate the new normal. As Dr. Schramm wrote on the back jacket, "Anyone concerned with the serious issues and possible solutions facing our economy should read this book."
Who's right? Who's wrong? Friedman? Keynes? Conservatives? Liberals? Income and wealth disparity, industry consolidation, anticompetitive business practices, off-shoring, political ideological extremism, and the hoarding of cash are destroying the wealth-building capacity of the nation, faith in the American dream, and the promise of meritocracy. The trajectory of the nation is off-target from the ideals of either libertarianism or utilitarianism. According to Hill we are in the grips of cannibal capitalism, which serves neither the utility of the nation nor the liberty of its people. THIS IS A MUST READ!


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About the author (2011)

Michael C. Hill began writing for the Washington Post in 1988, but has since become an independent businessman. He has created several successful businesses, the oldest being a technical training and consulting firm, and the largest an award-winning home-building business. Having won dozens of awards for teaching, he now works as a venture capitalist and developer of new small businesses, including a green technology company, a business services and accounting firm, a unified communications technology company, and an unbiased news site. He regularly conducts business development and project management classes and seminars for public and private sector audiences around the world. He also is an occasional contributor to the Washington Post and other mass media outlets.

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