At The Brink , the new book by economist Dr. John Lott (author of More Guns, Less Crime  and other books; also, he is a friend of mine), provides a detailed examination of five areas where the Obama administration is about to take us over the edge into, perhaps, the irrevocable collapse of our republic. Unfortunately, Dr. Lott makes it clear that these problems are not just Obama’s doing, but the result of bad policy decisions that have been coming from D.C. for a long time.
The five areas that Dr. Lott examines, in his thorough but readable manner: Obamacare; the stimulus bills that actually destroyed more jobs than they created; how Obama’s gun control policy was politically driven when not actually criminal; the regulatory destruction of business (at least businesses that were not contributing money to the Obama campaign); and the effects of tax policy.
The theme of each chapter was not new to me and I suspect may not be new to many readers of this review, but the depth of information that Dr. Lott marshals is gratifying. For example: I knew that 90% of Americans were happy with their medical care before Obamacare. What was a bit surprising was hearing that even the uninsured were satisfied with their health care. Only 3.9% of uninsured Americans in a 2006 Kaiser Family Foundation survey described themselves as “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with their medical care. A 2003 ABC News/Washington Post survey taken in 2003 was only a bit worse: 4.9% of the uninsured were “somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied” with their medical care.
Dr. Lott uses statistics for the U.S. and Europe to demonstrate that the U.S. performs better — often much better — than Europe at the factors that should be among the demanding tests of the quality of a medical care system. For example: the percentage of cancer patients who survive for five years. The U.S. — ranked only 37th in medical care by the World Health Organization — performs better or far better on this measure than a number of countries that WHO ranks as having better medical care systems.