Economix

When I discuss the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with folks, I usually point them to the following three on-line comics:

These three comics go over the details of health insurance in the US, the problems that Obamacare was supposed to solve, how well it solved them, where there was room for improvement, and the Republican response.

Of the three, the last is the most outdated even though it’s the most recent, since it doesn’t include the multiple proposals that were voted down after the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) failed to pass.

You don’t have to agree with the author of those comics, Michael Goodwin; no one is obligated to agree with anyone’s perspectives, much less those expressed using illustrations (by Dan E. Burr). I refer to them because they’re easy to understand and offer some common ground on which to come up with new ideas.

Michael Goodwin is the author of the graphic “novel” Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work), in Words and Pictures. (I put “novel” in quotes because it’s not intended as a work of fiction. Perhaps “graphic book” would be better.) It goes over the history of economics, from the theories to practice, defining terms along the ways.

I learned quite a bit from Economix. Here are three highlights:

  • the difference between socialism and communism
  • the economic justification for fascism (basically it puts a country on a permanent war economy)
  • that many current economic ideas used to shape current policy are based on models that even their creators insisted were crude approximations

The book was published in 2012 and its description of the national and global economy stops in 2011. It’s still an invaluable perspective on “how the heck did we get here?”

Again, I don’t expect everyone to agree with what Michael Goodwin says. In particular, he does not spare criticism of Ronald Reagan (though he’s no big fan of the economic policies of every president since Nixon). I suggest the book because it breaks down complex topics into easy-to-understand pictures, and offers a common reference for discussion.

In short, if you don’t know economics, I strongly recommend you read this book. I certainly wish I had it by my side as I struggled with (and failed) my Economics 101 course back in 1976.

Bull of Heaven – a review

In the past few years, modern pagans have started to reclaim their history. As Ronald Hutton points out, pagans have always had a strong sense of “history” (an interest in past events), but not always in “historicity” (understanding what actually happened, as opposed to what you wish had happened).

Hutton’s Triumph of the Moon traces the factors that led to the founding of the modern Neopagan Witchcraft movement. Philip Heselton’s Witchfather focused on the life of one important individual: Gerald Gardner. In other words, Hutton told us about the times, Heselton told us about a life.

Michael Lloyd’s Bull of Heaven: The Mythic Life of Eddie Buczynski and the Rise of the New York Pagan does both. It does it a way that’s engaging to read. I’d never heard of Buczynski before Margot Adler recommended this book to me; now I understand his impact on the Craft.

Continue reading “Bull of Heaven – a review”

Signal Boost – Big Book Sale: Strong Sales, Book Reviews and Good Advice Needed!

Originally posted by at Big Book Sale: Strong Sales, Book Reviews and Good Advice Needed!

Note from : I’ve read the book, I think it’s excellent, and I’ve reviewed it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

My publisher is having a big book sale, and if you’ve been thinking about reading my book, this is a very good time to do it. Here’s the deal:

75th Anniversary Special

Rutgers University Press is celebrating its founding in 1936 with a special online offer for our customers. Take 36% off the list price on all books you order from our website through June 25, 2011 (simply enter discount code 02ANNV11 in the shopping cart).

The link to the sale page is here:

http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/index.html

And the link to my book page is here:

http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/acatalog/Surviving_HIVAIDS_in_the_inner_city.html

I would love all suggestions about how to get the word out about this and encourage librarians and individuals to grab a copy.

I checked in with my publisher yesterday, and while sales aren’t bad, they could really use a big boost. I appreciate anything you can do. Please offer your thoughts! Signal boosts are also very welcome.

Finally, I would be very grateful to those willing to do Amazon and Powells book reviews—if you’d like to review the book, please let me know.

I’ve asked a few wonderful people about this already, but I could use even more help in this area, particularly if you have an unusual/specifically focused perspective on HIV/AIDS, managing serious chronic illness, health care, women’s health issues, resilience/surviving under really challenging conditions or social/cultural capital…

You can see some of the reviews that have been written already here:

http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-HIV-AIDS-Inner-City/dp/0813548926/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1308839226&sr=8-1

Thanks so much, my dears!