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RECOMMENDED READING

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

By: Naomi Klein

Publisher: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt & Co.

Klein sets out a meticulous analysis and compelling argument that politicians and corporations use natural disasters, wars, and economic upheavals to implement policies that would never be passed if the citizens hadn’t been “shocked.” After the attacks of 9/11, we got The Patriot Act, followed by warrantless surveillance and electronic spying. Citizens were willing to go along with extraordinary rendition and torture. We went along with the invasion of an unarmed country and with running that conflict with contracts at exorbitant amounts of money. Natural disasters also provide opportunities for corporations to take over. After the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches and fishing villages were seized and auctioned off to resort developers. In New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, public housing, hospitals, and public schools were never re-opened but new private schools were and property once owned citizens was taken and turned over to investors. She attributes the policies to Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics which perpetrates privatization, free trade, and slashed (or eliminated) social spending, thus private corporations are looting the public wealth. Compelling and literally “shocking.”

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