Aaron Clarey's blog Captain Capitalism during the whole Breakpoint mess the other week. I read through most of it in a few days and really enjoyed it so I figured it would be worth getting his book Enjoy the Decline. Lord knows he pimps it enough on his blog.
The basic premise of this book is simple. America is dieing. I think that's pretty obvious to anyone with an even basic grasp of economics. We are rapidly running out of other people's money. Even if this country can recover things will get far worse before they get better. So this book lays out the evidence for America's decline and why we are probably past the event horizon and then lays out some ways you as an individual can make the best of this bad situation.
One could argue that there is a bit of "Just give up." in the advice he offers. He tells people to live on as little as possible to avoid Uncle Sam's wallet raping, he tells people marriage and kids are probably not worth it unless you absolutely must have those things, both of which I agree with. But then he tells people to abandon their principle and take as much hand out money from Uncle Sam as they can. He also peppers in some of his atheism into this with an attitude of "Live it up now, because after you die there's nothing." This in particular was a major problem I had with this book. Even in my most agnostic pre-Christian days I always had a bit of contempt for atheists. Just the idea of declaring a universal negative is enough to earn a bit of scorn from me. Plus I always felt there was pretty compelling evidence for there being at least some sort of afterlife. But I don't want to go too far on a tangent here.
So while some of his advice might straddle the line between rational self interest and abandoning principles, there is still more then enough good about this book to make it worth checking out. First he gives a lot of good advise on how to live on less while still enjoying life and having fun. He gives a lot of practical advice on how to find a good mate in the decaying culture, and he talks about finance and investing in this new, increasing socialist, economic landscape. I particularly liked how he talked about what a bad investment 401Ks are, especially since our corrupt ass government is likely to nationalize them in the future. But easily the best chapter in this book is the one entitled "Revenge". He talks about the miserable people these socialist leftist are and thus the miserable lives they lead. While you go to a museum and appreciate real artist masters like Monet and Rembrandt, they go to a museum to see some feminist have used tampons on display and must pretend like they like it. It's an interesting point. At the end of the day the piece of filth single mom might be sponging off of your tax money, but look at the miserable life she leads. The John Scalzi's of the world might call you names because you believe in God and want your taxes lowered, but at the end of the day they still have to look into the mirror and see this: