Given the difficulty of making any sweeping policy changes, Howard’s prescriptions, while invigorating, face a large uphill battle ... Nonetheless, his analysis of our predicament is valuable. Howard has a gift for the turn of phrase, and he leaves neither political party untouched by his critiques.
Disappointingly, [Howard] almost never gets around to explaining why we have regulation in the first place and when it succeeds. Agencies that protect workers, consumers and the environment did not emerge from liberals who 'want to shackle businessmen,' but only after public complaints, congressional hearings, majorities in two chambers, the signature of a president and court challenges by corporate interests with deep pockets. Nor do we learn from Howard that teenage smoking and auto deaths per mile driven have plummeted because of government oversight ... To Howard’s credit, he does devote half his pages to ways of making the process more accountable and effective ... fairer view of the regulatory structure might be Samuel Johnson’s well-known observation about a dog walking on its hind legs: 'It is not done well but you are surprised to find it done at all.'
Citing everyone from Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to Winston Churchill, Tocqueville, and Studs Terkel, the author optimistically lays out a no-nonsense playbook for sustainable government and an American future driven by accountability and personal and political responsibility. However, this will only occur if the people demand an overhaul and if leaders are willing to initiate it ... With provocative arguments and convincing solutions, Howard offers a fresh, nonpartisan approach that will appeal to anyone frustrated with government’s ongoing failures.