The AFL-CIO’s newest Cool Tools is featuring two books this month that point out what’s gone wrong with our politics and our economy and another book that illuminates the journey of a candidate running to change it: Thomas Frank’s The Wrecking Crew, Barbara Ehrenreich’s This Land Is Their Land and Sen. Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father.
It’s no accident, says The Wrecking Crew author Frank, that the people who claim government can’t help us solve our problems are the ones who are worst at managing it. Incompetence, cronyism and corruption aren’t a bug in the hard-right ideology of the Bush era—they’re the whole point. Look in almost any direction during the years of top-to-bottom Republican control and you’ll see serious failures that come straight out of indifference to people’s real problems. From the U.S. attorney scandal to privatization, from an anti-worker Department of Labor to the abandonment of New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina, Frank tells a compelling story of why the people we elect to office—and their philosophies—matter.