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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

booklore.co.uk
midwestbookreview.com
2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
Librarything.com
Goodreads.com
Bookwormr.com
Books-a-million.com
Reviewcentre.com
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and on Twitter
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I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hypercapitalism

Hypercapitalism, Larry Gonick and Tim Kasser, The New Press, 2018

In graphic novel form, this book attempts nothing less than an accessible explanation of capitalism. It also shows how present-day worship of markets harms a person's well-being and the planet's health.

The five commandments of hypercapitalism are: Thou Shalt Consume, Thou Shalt Operate Globally, Thou Shalt Not Regulate, Thou Shalt Spend Less on Labor and Thou Shalt Privatize. How can the average person afford all this consumption when wages have generally stagnated over the past couple of decades? The answer is: credit cards, the overall debt of which is about $700 billion. That does not include student loan debt, which is another trillion dollars. Are obsessed consumers really happier than the average person, or do they get a momentary "high" from their purchase?

Is there anything the average person can do about it? Before buying, here are some questions to ask yourself. Can I afford it? Do I need it, or do I want it? Will it improve my life? What company makes it? There are tool banks and seed banks and time banks, where such items can be shared. If your town or neighborhood does not have one, consider starting it. Get to know your local library. It is possible for a business, like an employee-owned business or a non-profit, to be more socially responsible than average. For some people, more direct methods are the way to go. These include boycott/buycott, advocating for a better deal for workers and publicly funded political campaigns or taking to the streets and protesting.

This book deserves six stars. It is very easy to read, and does a wonderful job at explaining capitalism, even for those who "hate" capitalism. It also gives a number of alternatives that anyone can adopt. This is extremely highly recommended.

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