JCL Blog

Book Review: The Frugal Superpower by Michael Mandelbaum

We have spent all of our money and no longer have the ability to project power to all four corners of the globe.  We probably knew this was coming because it has happened to every world dominating superpower to date.  We inherited the role as the protector of the free world when the sun set on the British empire.  For a time we shared the responsibility with the USSR, the protector of the not free world, but on November 9, 1989 the job became all ours.

As Lord Acton pointed out in 1870, the Pope is not immune from fallibility.  If the Pope is not, we are probably not either.  Lord Acton is the guy that first said:  "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."  

Michael Mandelbaum does a very good job of surveying our current situation and placing it in the context of recent history.  His authority on the subject comes through in the writing as well as in his BIO (Yale, Cambridge, Harvard, professor at Johns Hopkins, 10 books...), he keeps to the point, and offers one simple solution:  Increase the tax on gas in the US.

Imagine that, we have a very complex problem that threatens our role on the world stage, and probably our quality of life, and it very well could be fixed with one easy to implement policy.  


Here are some other reviews:

The Washington Times

The Guardian