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Testimonials for the Fixing America’s Broken Politics book

Here’s what readers (all regular citizens, no career politicians) are saying about the Fixing America’s Broken Politics book.  First are a few posted by readers on the book’s page:, followed by some that were published in the book:

5 out of 5 stars Right on target, July 26, 2012, by Steven A. Segal:  This book is on target. It is a quick read and should be required reading to be eligible for a high school diploma in all schools in the United States. It should be the introductory text of all college level political science courses and required reading for all elected officials at all levels of elected office prior to taking office. While those recommendations are pie-in-the-sky, people who vote, conservative, liberal and moderate should give this book strong consideration.  I purchased two more copies to send to friends.

5 out of 5 stars Send copies to your Congressmen and staff, neighbors and friends, July 16, 2012, By Alicia (Scottsdale, AZ, United States):  From the moment you open the book the author begins the no-nonsense, rapid fire succession of thoughts on being a better citizen. Mr. Smyth gets straight to the point and you have no doubt as to his solution on topics that aren’t easy or comfortable. He points out the blinding glimpse of the obvious and holds our feet to the fire to be accountable. He covers topics that challenged my thinking and reminded me of the awesome responsibility we have as citizens. This would be an excellent book choice for mandatory high school reading, before we send youngsters off to fight or vote. Go ahead, read it and use it as a catalyst and roadmap for action. Or, stick your head in the sand and watch your great country fade away.

5 out of 5 stars Someone’s Gotta Fix Things!, May 28, 2012, by Critic at Work:  This handbook is a cri de coeur, a cry from the heart of a man who despairs that the America he loves is being eroded by the greed and mismanagement of our politicians, our corporate heads, our unions. He reminds me of the guy in the movie NETWORK who leans from his window and cries, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”.  Joe Smyth is speaking out against forces that he believes are diminishing the American Dream. This is one man’s opinion and Republican, Democrat, Conservative will find some of what he says disturbing; sometimes right on the money. In any case. Smyth not only sketches out the problems as he sees them but offers his solutions. All in all this is a unique view of the nation’s affairs today.

5 out of 5 stars Politics today, May 18, 2012, by Irene:  Joe Smyth covered every aspect of politics and government as well as very controversial issues. This book is clear, concise and written in a practical format. He leaves no stone unturned, every subject is fully discussed. Whether you agree or not doesn’t matter, there is so much to learn and ponder. If only the people with the power to make a difference would take this book to heart.

5 out of 5 stars Common Sense, Not Political Partisanship, May 13, 2012, by Jenoor:   Joe Smyth publishes independent newspapers all around the country and has always been guided by common sense, not political partisanship – all too rare an attribute these days. No matter where you are on the political continuum, you can probably agree that if the wheels of America’s politics aren’t flat, they’re so low on air the vehicle is virtually un-steerable. The system has become powered by political correctness, “me-me-me,” and “what should I say that will get me elected/re-elected” rather than a straight-forward, intelligent, common-sense approach to what’s best for the country. Fixing America’s Broken Politics is written with a clearheaded simplicity that makes it easy to read and clear as a bell. No matter where you stand on the issues, it will clarify your thoughts on the matter – a handbook for every interested citizen.

5 out of 5 stars Federalist Papers II, May 11, 2012, by Fred N:  A fabulous critique of our current political morass in Washington with valid suggestions on how to fix it. Down to earth. Straightforward. Logical. A must read for our elected officials whether they like it or not. Madison, Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson and Adams would love this one, having been rolling over in their graves for the past 5 years.

5 out of 5 stars Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!, May 11, 2012, by Anne:  The author has truly written a “citizens handbook” of common sense solutions to issues that are critical to our future. He has done a thorough job of identifying the issues, showing how the issues relate to each other, and suggesting solutions. While none of us will agree with all of Joe Smyth’s suggestions, he has provided the foundation for discussion. Now it is up to us to act. We have no time to waste.

5 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!!!, May 11, 2012, by numero cinco: This book gave me A LOT to think about. It’s written in a way that people of all ages can understand, making it unlike any political book I’ve read before. The author covers such controversial topics as immigration, welfare, the war on drugs, the US deficit and foreign aid and offers an insight that is refreshingly honest. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of why America has lost her luster and what we must do to get it back. I just hope President Obama and Mitt Romney have ordered their copies.

5 out of 5 stars Gave it to my grandson, May 8, 2012, by Dottie G:   This book speaks clearly to all who are frustrated with the state of our political system and wonder why Washington is so stuck. The book offers well-reasoned solutions to some of America’s most perplexing issues. It’s an excellent read, regardless of party affiliation or age. As a matter of fact, I gave it to my grandson for his 12th birthday. I look forward to discussing it with him.

5 out of 5 stars Principled and Introspective, May 8, 2012, by Paw “Paw”:   Reading this book makes one examine what freedom really means. Often, we are fine with individual freedom if it is aligned with our belief system. This book helped me realize that imposing my values on others may infringe on their personal freedoms. This is a must read, especially in our current political situation.

And now some that were published with the book:

“I am so pleased that you have written this book! As citizens, we need to create a dialogue on all these issues. We can no longer leave it up to the politicians.” —Nick H.

“I love this book. I want to shout ‘hooray’ on each page.” —Dottie G.

“I admire your tight, clear, and friendly prose. You call them as you see them, but always succinctly, fairly, and without bombast; a great example of your own rules of civility. Your range of views, including many that aren’t often found in the same place, is bound to encourage others to think outside their comfort zones too.” —Jim B.

“Discussion groups could use this book to collectively (and constructively) talk about and come to grips with today’s most important issues.” —Bob R.

“Absolutely love your book! What really gets under my skin, are the people who are so blinded by ideology. The Bushies who thought W could no wrong and now the Obama lovers who think that if you don’t like his policies, you don’t like him because you are a racist.” —Mike R.

“Congratulations! You have created an Epistle that actually updates and could have an appropriate subtitle: The Federalist Papers II. A lot of work. A lot of thought. Great quotes. Madison and Hamilton would have been proud of you, as am I.” —Fred N.

“Unfortunately, those who need to read this book will not. Much of what is proposed would require an act of Congress, so don’t bet on it ever happening, even with demands from the general public!” —Andy W.

“It wouldn’t be easy to amend the Constitution, but your proposed amendments might unite grassroots voters, and Tea Party members, and Occupy Wall Street supporters, and state legislators—perhaps a critical mass that could make something happen if it already isn’t too late.” —Doug S.

“It was such a pleasure to read the most thorough and deep definition of the nation’s problems that I have ever encountered.” —Jim P.

“I agree with you almost 100 percent on just about everything. I urge you to give this book maximum exposure, although I fear our society has passed the point of no return in many ways.” —Tom S.

“There’s a lot of work and good thinking reflected in what you’ve written and I particularly like many of the quotes you chose to include. As a Conservative, I really like what you’ve said in the ‘We can be choosy’ paragraph on Immigration and your position on deficits.” —George H.

“I agree with everything you said in the ‘Citizens’ chapter except the statement that our generation has created this mess. I think our children started the ‘me first’ generation and they are passing it on to their children.” —June A.

  1. Joseph permalink

    Citizens Handbook offers a number of small but important improvements to the world’s imperfect but time tested best political system. The author presents himself as average, common Smyth name, average intelligence, above average political experience, below average formal education, and above average common sense perspective of Joe lunch bucket Average Citizen.

    Although the book claims to talk about politics, it wanders into economics. To quote page 185 “too few Americans understand the basic truths about economics.” The author is clearly one with lack of economics understanding. On page 192, the author advocates deep sixing the Federal Reserve. Wildly swinging free markets without a central Bank favor a few world wealthy families and bankers.

    The Federal Reserve, in times of slow economic growth needs to inject substantial liquidity. During times of high inflation, the Federal Reserve needs to remove liquidity. It is naïve and plain wrong to think that the modern economy can function without a modern well-disciplined central Bank. The US Federal Reserve in effect monitors not only US monetary policy, growth and price stability, but also that of the entire world because of the close interrelationship between nations. Lack of a Federal Reserve advocated by the book is very, very dangerous.

    The author makes statements based on “common sense,” but lacking understanding and education in the economics field. Many of these “simple” “common sense” ideas were advocated by Herbert Hoover and found to be incorrect and ineffective, while at the same time, criticism was leveled against his successor administration, which learned by experience.

    Lessons learned in 1929 to 1939 needed to be applied in 2008. Many “common sense” amateur economists, including the author, advocate repeating the same Hoover mistakes including balancing the budget in recession and expanding money supply only at the level of growth which in recession is low. To grow an economy and to encourage business, interest rates should be low, facilitated by a government guarantee. For a properly underwritten home loan, government mortgage insurance can provide a lower interest rate, encourage home ownership, and greatly benefit the nation in many ways far beyond housing.

    Page 1 says “never engage in personal attacks, name calling or profanity”. On page 146, the book says that every citizen with “an ounce of common sense” knows that you cannot spend more than you make. Not spending more than you make in the long run may apply to the author and the rest of us, but it does not apply to the vast complex US economic system. This statement compares to “common sense” in the Middle Ages that the world is flat which is obvious by just looking around. The book resorts to a lack of civility to insinuate that this is such common knowledge and common sense that no one can disagree.

    The author says government officials who would print money and devalue the dollar with inflation have not grasped elementary facts. The author does not grasp elementary facts. True, there have been times in history when massive amounts of money printing or money supply increases have resulted in destructive inflation. But it is also true that in the 21st century, well-disciplined, central monetary authorities have proven that a modest inflation (up to 3% per year) along with printing money monetary expansion (in the billions and now trillions) can result in lower unemployment, higher economic growth and greater welfare for the citizens.

    Political science and Economic science are interrelated, but they are separate. One should not buy into the unsupported economic nonsense “common sense” of this book. The subject of U.S. and international money is clearly an area where Joe Average Citizen, is out of his element. Expertise in one area does not necessarily point to expertise in a related area. A expert chef does not qualify as a rocket scientist just because astronauts must eat any more than a politician qualifies as an expert in complex macroeconomics just because governments must tax.

    The author’s good intentions can do more harm than good. Progressive ideas such as term limits disguise closed-minded ideas such as banning budget deficits. The extent to which these seemingly “common sense” ideas have in the past and could in the future damage a national and world economy appear to be out of the grasp of the author. The author seems to live in a world of over-inflated belief in his “common sense” ability to discern good ideas from bad ideas.

    Page 2 says “do not vote when you do not understand the issues”. Likewise, ”do not write a book about economics when you do not understand economic issues”. As advertised, this is a thought-provoking book. But the author should not take himself too seriously and neither should the reader.


    • Thanks for your comments, Joseph. While we obviously disagree in several areas, the purpose of the book was stimulate pro & con discussion — and your comments give followers a legitimate counter-view to my own.


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