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Makers and Takers Book Review by JARRETT's JOURNAL

The author, Edmund Contoski, has lectured widely on international monetary affairs, was director of planning for an internationally-renowned environmental consulting firm, and has conducted investment seminars, in addition to other positions. He has put together a remarkable, well-researched and detailed analysis of how the free market works--and why government intervention does not.

In MAKERS AND TAKERS he brings our attention to the subject of schools in America, for example, and how dismally they have failed. An eye opener was a quote from The Wall Street Journal where it was reported: "Many schools discover kids using 'new math' can't divide 100 by 10." Contoski states later that companies are providing fundamental reading and writing programs for their employees. "A few, such as GM, even pay workers for attending literacy classes during working hours." He points out that we repeat our failures over and over, rather than turn to the privatization of schools.

MAKERS AND TAKERS is thoroughly researched and divulges new information on every page. It examines various forms of economic intervention by government such as taxation, regulation and monetary policies. Another staggering issue was the U.S. Postal Service and UPS. The Postal Service consistently loses money, has a breakage rate five times higher than UPS, and the Postal Service continues to lose money even though it does not pay taxes. UPS does, and in 1995 it recorded a profit of $943 million, while the Postal Service, despite a first-class postage increase to 32 cents per stamp, lost $1,277 million. Even more astounding is the revelation that some federal offices hire PRIVATE companies to deliver their mail!

Written in non-technical style and an easy-to-understand format, MAKERS AND TAKERS explores many other subjects such as environmental issues, including pollution, acid rain and global warming. You will be riveted to each and every chapter.

Two of my favorite chapters dealt with drugs and food shortages, and how government stalls in allowing some drugs to be approved and/or marketed. For instance, the drug nitrazepam was available in Europe FIVE years before it was marketed here; the delay might have cost 1,200 lives. Contoski discussed another example where the FDA rejected or stalled approval--for 30 years--of drugs for depression, schizophrenia, kidney cancer and epilepsy, giving the "thalidomide" defense as a reason for the delay. The author offers later information that thalidomide has great potential in the treatment of AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, leprosy and prostate and breast cancers.

MAKERS AND TAKERS also discusses inflation, capitalism, fraud and cover-ups on how the Federal Government dissipates the wealth it takes from Americans.

Contoski contends that our government "manipulates" food shortages so that some people may get rich. This procedure produces a glut of farm surpluses, prices fall, and farmers go bankrupt. By the 1980s, however, high-yielding varieties of wheat, rice and corn turned previously starving countries into food exporters. In 1983 Indonesia was the largest importer of rice, but four years later it was exporting rice; Saudi Arabia had so many food surpluses it donated wheat to Egypt; and India subsidized exports because of its huge volume of wheat.

You won't be able to put MAKERS AND TAKERS down. Read it and see why fatalities INCREASED after air bags were installed in cars; why child poisoning INCREASED after child safety caps were made into law; and why taxpayers' money is used--$238,000 for the study of bats in Morocco, and $375,000 to study the Frisbee.

MAKERS AND TAKERS is a real page turner! Enjoy! And look for a review of the author's new book, THE TROJAN PROJECT, in a future edition of JARRETT'S JOURNAL. It's a fictional tale of a computer virus that is spread over phone lines. It's also factual, as it is an expose of the real problems of government today.

Reviewed by A. Heath Jarrett, editor of JARRETT'S JOURNAL
(Reprinted by permission from the October 1997 issue of JARRETT'S JOURNAL)

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