Monday, December 19, 2011

It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government is Wrong - Book Review

According to Andrew Napolitano, the government is wrong pretty much ALL the time. Over 15 chapters, he details all the ways the U.S. government violates citizens' natural laws and acts contrary to the Constitution. Taxes? Wrong. Making laws about who we can and cannot marry? Wrong.

Napolitano gives many interesting examples as he details all the rights the government takes away from us. For example, the government can't make private businesses do anything. Napolitano points out that while the government forces most private businesses not to discriminate in hiring practices, this is not across the board. Does the government force Major League Baseball to hire women? No. So why does so-and-so business have to? Why does the government even care? These are private businesses. If they want to hire only men, that's their prerogative. If they don't want to sell their goods to Hispanics, they don't have to. Most rational people would say that these aren't good business practices, but it is the right of these private businesses to run their companies however they see fit even if it harms their bottom lines and gives them a bad public image. Why is the government interfering?

Napolitano writes that the government's role is to protect freedom. "That connotes protection from force and fraud, but it surely does not connote punishing the politically unorthodox, transferring wealth, regulating personal private behavior, stealing property, or manipulating currency," he writes. But those are the exact things the government does in an attempt to "protect freedom."

Within each chapter there are sections divided by subheaders. I felt that Napolitano used these subheads a little too much in the beginning of the book, giving the book a choppy feel. Also, some of the material toward the end of the book was a little boring and sprinkled with too many legal terms that I've only ever heard in Legally Blonde (which means I have no idea what they mean). But overall, the book brings up a lot of great questions and challenges what we know about the government. You may not agree with everything Napolitano says. Because he is a judge, I almost felt that sometimes he was being a little devil's advocate/lawyerly. But I do like that the book isn't liberal or conservative. It's not about politics. It's about pointing out hypocrisy and getting a discussion going among American citizens.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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