Saturday, October 10, 2009

Are the Rich Necessary?

Hunter Lewis, author of the provocative Where Keynes Went Wrong, produced another winning book in Are the Rich Necessary?. Clearly policy makers in Washington, DC do not seem to think so and seem to have a very hostile view of the affluent. The "goose that lays the golden egg" is certainly in season. Lewis asks several tough questions that people need to ask in order to get a better understand of the economy and the world..

Lewis is a prolific writer who has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, and the Washington Post and is the author of six books including the before mentioned Where Kenynes Went Wrong. He co-founded Cambridge Associates, a global investment firm whose clientele reads like a who's who of leading endowments and families, and includes the most prominent American universities. he has also served on boards and committees of fifteen leading nonprofits including the World Bank. He has appeared on "The Today Show," NPR, Fox and the BBC. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Lewis tackles many important questions, including:

Does Obama's objective of limiting charitable deductions for the rich make sense?

What impact is Wall Street having on politics (and vice versa)?

Is the income gap actually widening and if it is, what can be done to reverse that trend?

Has anything really been done to prevent another crash like the one in 2008?

Was the crash attributed to our profit system? Are there viable alternatives to such?

Should we tax average Americans to bailout major financial corporations?

Are the rich even compatible with a free society?

His answers are thorough, thoughtful, and even humorous. He loves to challenge conventional wisdom and does so on virtually every page of the book. The book is thorough and covers many areas of economics and could actually be an introductory text or compliment to such in an introductory economics class. Unfortunately, in our current academic culture, that is largely a dream and not likely to be found in your local college. This is all the more reason why you need to find it yourself.

The best may have been saved for last, in this important book. There, Lewis argues a new way to fill the gap between the rich and poor, of those who want free enterprise and those who want to make sure there are safety nets for the needy. His answer is to foster massive growth of nonprofits through changes in the tax structure. His ultimate goal is to raise nonprofits to the same stature as government when it comes to being a source of help in the eyes of the public.

Lewis brings to light the stark realities that mandate that we need informed voters who can help restore a healthy attitude towards the engines of prosperity that are currently an endangered species. Are the Rich Necessary? is an excellent place to begin that journey.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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