The book is focused on the spin and messaging of economic and political ideas according to which side is using them, with the conservative side being the target of this avowed progressive writer The writer, a communication expert, is doing an excellent job at analyzing the political language and its conveyed meanings, but the share of the economics analysis itself is less than 20% of the book content, which unfortunately is leaving not much meat She is attacking the irrational belief that words can change reality, similar to the beliefs in the virtues of positive attitude so dear to Americans, to solve problems I remember that in 1970 s a French minister, criticized for lacking a positive attitude, was appropriately responding to his critics even with the best positive attitude the grass will not grow faster , or religious miracles so dear to the Catholic Church, despite the lack of evidence to support any of them But she makes quite clear the point that words nevertheless can pervert the perception of reality by ordinary people who are manipulated in acting against their own interests, therefore the democrats must use this tool better than their opponents, the republicans, if they want to win the political argument.The famous Talleyrand, the prince of diplomats , has said that speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts , but today Americans have gone even further, using metaphors to publically deceive about the facts, shamefully becoming very adept to this, from President to the car salesman, as to make Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, green with envy In essence, the use of carefully chosen metaphors is meant to lie and deceive about facts, and the author is complaining only that republicans are better at this than democrats, and pleads for democrats to become at least equal, if not better, at using cunning metaphors to brain wash people in the right direction She seems to believe, talking about our fellow Americans , that they are unable to see the crude truth unless cooked by professional manipulators, and seems not to realize that any misleading story has short legs, does not go far, and is not the solution to anything good At least I was thought in school to believe so.Thomas Paine, the equal of Washington in making liberty possible according to Edison among many other great men, has used only plain English worlds in his Common Sense to convey the truth, not metaphors, because truth is powerful enough to dispense with verbiage tricks, a crunch good only for helping lies Paine s words and their truth have been sufficient to start a revolution of the American people How it happened that nowadays truth is no longer enough, have the Americans changed so much What about the immorality of lying by pretending nothing happened pinpointed by Mark Twain and prevalent in our media today Coming down to the avowed subject of the book, how to fight the inequality in US, I have to agree with the principle that everyone is getting what he she deserves to me, the American people do not deserve better because they have never really fought for better opportunities in F.D.R era the reforms came from the top, not from the bottom By contrast, for example, the French people had countless times revolted against their government the Great Revolution of 1789, the 1830 and 1848 revolutions, the Commune of Paris of 1872, the Popular Front of 1930 s similar to the F.D.R era , the 1986 youth rebellion, etc., and the results are here to show a real democracy, the number one quality health care in the world public and for everyone, including the immigrants , 30 working days minimum vacation plus 9 legal holidays, like when I was a fresh immigrant in Germany in 1992 working a week of only 37 hours , colleges tuition free, a less unequal society, an earlier retirement age 60 versus 66 , a happier and longer life 81 versus 78 years in US , a relaxed and less crime ridden life, etc And I am sure the French will again take to the streets if the actual capitalism system fails them, will abolish it, and replace it with a new economy To me, changing metaphors to foster reforms, like the author advocates in this book, will never do the trick for the American people.In conclusion, the book is an interesting reading about nowadays pathologic use of language to me, worse that the defunct communist wooden language , by media and politicians, through spinning and cunning metaphors, but not really an economics book, as the title suggests. The writing was insufferable Anat spent so much time lecturing, lambasting, and deconstructing other people s words that I lost my patience I skipped ahead to try to figure out what Anat is actually recommending and found her recommendations to be absolutely buried inside pages and pages of petty point scoring prose I got out of reading Adam s review below than out of the book If Adam s page number citations are correct, Anat s meaningful recommendations mostly occur in the 43 pages between pages 143 and 186 It s a 256 page book Too bad that Anat couldn t leave the point scoring aside long enough to provide the kind of positively framed and simple let s do this guide that we really need. I found this book fascinating It deals with two subjects I find interesting, economics and language The author talks about the use of language around the economy in the United States and how that use feeds the political arguments around the economy She is progressive politically and shows how the conservatives language is dominant right now and how progressives can work to change that.Right now the dominant view of the US economy and indeed economy in general is as an entity unto itself Some refer to it like a god, with people being asked to sacrifice for the sake of the economy Some refer to it as a living organism that does what it does without outside influence Neither of these are true, but they work to the conservative s agenda.One of the biggest problems is the lack of understanding by most people about how the economy actually works, that what we do changes the direction of the economy One common fallacy is that spending is using up money Spending money transfers that money to someone else, who can also use it and that can continue again and again 70% of the US GDP is from consumer spending, which means that consumers have a huge influence on the economy Another common fallacy is economic mobility, which conservatives sell as the ability of anyone to move up Mobility actually works both ways, but no one mentions downward mobility Financial literacy has actually decreased in recent years, with fewer people with a good understanding of how even basic finance like mortgages work This makes it easier to create false stories that influence these people As the author emphasizes time and time again, the economy is NOT an independent entity, but the result of our collective endeavours.Progressives can change this in several ways One, is changing the language to one that uses metaphors of man made things like cars i.e drive the economy to indicate that some control is needed and that the economy is something we created Another is to tell people what they can do as individuals to change the economy to something that works for the people and the planet.Many talk of economics as a science, with rules that govern it, but the author shows in vivid ways how these rules aren t rules at all, but merely convenient constructs to illustrate behaviours.She also suggests four things that can be done to move the economy in the right direction, a direction that will work for the majority of people and for the planet If only everyone from politicians to those that vote for them would read and understand these lessons. This is not a book about the economy it is a book about propaganda It is also a reflection on how Americans accept and expect to be coerced by language After all, we are constantly bombarding with advertising, targeting our vulnerabitlites with half truths, trying to coerce us into buying products We accept this as normal This book reveals the machinations of political speech, which according to Shenker Osorio, has been mastered by conservatives However, Shenker Osorio employed this very tactic while titling her book I had no idea that this book would not be about the economy, and I felt manipulated into thinking that it would be about the economy and economic reporting I also took exception to some of her critiques of how the economy works She seems to believe that the economy can be totally controlled The power of emotion is ridiculed, even though the stock market is riddled with emotions It is apparent to me that Shenker Osorio is not an economist Her over simplicfications are startling I do think that economic policies are the only tangible method for dealing with economics, and that they may have an affect on some economic outcomes, but not to the degree that she advocates.Most of the book is about progressive policies what they should be, how much better they are than conservatives, and how to sell these policies to Americans Economics is only one of the many policies discussed.In short, if you want to read about how wonderful progressives are, and how evil conservatives are, this is the book for you If you want to read about how to manipulate language to make your point, you will enjoy this book I think that the book should have been titled, How the Evil Conservatives Use of Metaphors Is Better than the Intelligent and Humane Progressives Use of Metaphors. After Everything That S Happened, How Is It Possible That Conservatives Still Win Debates About The Economy Time And Again The Right Wins Over Voters By Claiming That Their Solutions Are Only Common Sense, Even As Their Tired Policies Of Budgetary Sacrifice And Corporate Plunder Both Create And Prolong Economic Disaster Why Does The Electorate Keep Buying What They Re Selling According To Political Communications Expert Anat Shenker Osorio, It S All About Language And Not Just Theirs, But OursIn Don T Buy It Shenker Osorio Diagnoses Our Economic Discourse As Stricken With Faulty Messages, Deceptive Personification, And, Worst Of All, A Barely Coherent Concept Of What The Economy Actually Is Opening Up The Business Section Of Most Newspapers Or Flipping On Cable News Unleashes An Onslaught Of Economic Doomsaying That Treats The Economy As An Ungovernable Force Of Nature Alternately, By Calling The Economy Unhealthy Or Recovering As We So Often Do, We Unconsciously Give It The Status Of A Living Being No Wonder Americans Become Willing To Submit To Any Indignity Required To Keep The Economy Happy Tread Lightly, We Can T Risk Irritating The Economy Cutting Through Conservative Myth Making, Messaging Muddles, And Destructive Misinformation, Shenker Osorio Suggests A New Way To Win The Most Important Arguments Of Our Day The Left Doesn T Have To Self Destruct Every Time Matters Economic Come To The Fore There Are Metaphors And Frames That Can Win, And Shenker Osorio Shows What They Are And How To Use ThemDon T Buy It Is A Vital Handbook For Seizing Victory In The Economic Debate In The End, It Convincingly Shows That Radically Altering Our Politics And Policies For The Better Is A Matter Of First Changing The Conversation Literally Loved this It s a book about how we talk about the economy I ve long loved the mantra language matters And the gap between progressive actions and language often feels large Especially when conservatives wield language so effectively So Anat Shenker Osorio does a great job of exploring all the different ways language impacts our perceptions of the economy.One of my favorite parts was how we use military language and personification to talk about the economy as if it were alive I especially appreciate the tips for how to use better language to refute some of the claims that get used every day.Definitely a book I ll read again in a year to refresh my memory. Solid message, but this 200 pager could gave easily been reduced to 20. Explaining our economyAnat provides clear convincing language to explain how the economy can be led by ordinary people for the betterment of the majority instead of the very few She uses clear terms to deflate the myth that the economy operates by the magic of unfettered unregulatuion Her humor is wickedly funny. Awesome, super important book I am a liberal radical , and Anat makes such a compelling point about how we talk about the economy We seem to have ceded so much ground to the dominant narratives, which Shenker Osario clearly and cleanly shows to be heavily conservative in nature and metaphor We need to revise our language This is important So grateful for this book.Alongside my adoration of this book, I have two related observations 1 the book does not touch too explicitly on race, and 2 the book doesn t explicitly discuss all the institutional factors that also lean heavily against liberals in the public discourse I wholeheartedly agree that we need to revise and hone our language, but I think we also need to situate this in a context in which money buys and controls airtime. Works strongly with the George Lakoff Metaphors We Live By insofar as we reduce discussing the economy to slapping ill considered labels on it and fail to notice the entailed metaphorical presuppositions that come with said labels The book is at a 3.5 but, overall I did not find it as strong as Lakoff s own books nor as penetrating as Bowling Alone The author glances at the need for sustained dialog yet just misses showing how to accomplish real, reflective dialogs amongst disparate views Still an fine read.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Dont Buy It book, this is one of the most wanted Anat Shenker-Osorio author readers around the world.
- 256 pages
- Dont Buy It
- Anat Shenker-Osorio
- 28 October 2019 Anat Shenker-Osorio