jbdeboer (jbdeboer) wrote,

Generation WE by Eric Greenberg

This book is available as a free PDF download; that makes it cool right?

Greenberg was at Google SF (and I in MTV) today; so I thought I would at least look at his book.

I got to page 10 (after nine pages of pretty redwood trees and modern graphics) and choked on this gem illustrating how rough we have it these days: "At the time [1985] tuition at [UT Austin] was only 800 dollars per semester for a nonresident". Oh boy, somebody forgot their basic math. According to the inflation calculator, $800 1985 dollars are worth $1626 dollars today. Oh, and Greenburg appears to have pulled that $800 number out of, well I have no idea; but the nonresident tuition to UT Austin in 1985 was $1984 (or $4034 today) (ref) Granted, 2009 nonresident tuition at UT is ~$14000.

But, that sets the tone nicely for the rest of the book: made up numbers and bad stats. I am skipping the middle, it is just the summer's CNN transcript rehashed in the context of a voting bloc 95 million strong: y'know, oil at $200, environmental doom and gloom, foreclosures, and a healthy amount of Bush-bashing.

Near the end of the book, Greenberg gives a WE Agenda subtitled "Restoring the American Dream".

How do we restore this dream, you ask? Actually wrong question, but hey Greenberg has the answer:

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE! (where is my blink tag when I need it)

This book is mostly an advertising gimmick for "Project FREE" where Americans innovate their way off of foreign oil. By inventing new energy sources, the US gets millions of jobs, money for everybody, and cheap energy so Americans can, well, drive 50 miles to work everyday -- like now, but this time they can tell big bad [wait, the US gets oil from who again? Oh, they ARE scary] where they can put their oil.

And the rest:
- nutrition (remember this one), education and _basic_ health care for all.
- federal fiscal prudence and economic protectionism (We already established Greenberg slept through Ethics and Stats class, clearly he missed ECON as well)

Wade through the cutesy raw-raw "let's change the world by restoring America's greatness" (anything wrong with that picture?) and you'll get to the author's biography on the very last page: Greenberg isn't an impartial reporter after all; the whole book is one big sales pitch.
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