3.5.05

BOOK REVIEW IN PROGRESS. Laura at 11-D is doing a review-in--progress of Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (details or compare prices.)
Fifty pages into the book, I'm having a love-hate relationship with it. There's some interesting theories about class in America. However, Frank writes with journalistic flair full of opinion and florid adjectives, which is fun, but sometimes grates against my formal, academic training. He also isn't shy about displaying his aversion to suburban, middle class America. Sometimes I'm guilty of those same snobberies, but I at least fight them.
I won't spoil the ending for you, Laura, but compare and contrast your findings with these and this.

RUNNING EXTRA: Via Newmark's Door, some observations from David Frum. There might be some common ground.
Could there be a more perfect cartoon of everything that's wrong with affluent liberalism than the delusion that the Democrats could compensate for being soft on defense, weak on terrorism, wrong on marriage, etc. etc. etc. by ... denouncing the country's most popular retailer for offering excessively low prices?
Ah, but there is a public policy issue here. Convicted monopolists generally achieve their dominance by offering lower prices. The tradeoff is of the benefits of consolidation against the benefits of choice, "in spite of possible cost," to quote from a landmark antitrust ruling.

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