It has become the fashion in book publishing to have a short title of hot words and then a very long subtitle describing what the book is really about. The subtitle of a new book by Peter Schweizer, called Architects of Ruin, is: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy -- and How They Will Do It Again If No One Stops Them.
The collapse of our economy last year appeared to happen so quickly. The housing market went bust. In fact, leftwing activists and politicians had been laying the groundwork for many years. Peter Schweizer, a bestselling author and scholar, explains how it happened, and how the same people responsible for the collapse are now using the crisis they caused to bring about a massive overhaul of the American economic system. This is not the "change" the country voted for in 2008.
The author explains that the seeds of the housing collapse were sown years earlier in the political effort to broaden homeownership among minorities and the poor. This campaign ended up hurting the very people the politicians were pretending to help. The author tells how the followers of Chicago radical Saul Alinsky harangued the banks, claimed they were guilty of discrimination, and used demonstrations to force them to sell houses to people who could not afford them. He tells how professional shakedown organizations, such as ACORN, intimidated banks into making irresponsible loans, all the while lining their own pockets to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. And Mr. Schweizer names the well-known politicians who promoted this racket.
This new book called Architects of Ruin is much more than a story about the past. It is also an urgent warning about the future. We must learn the lesson that the housing crisis was not a failure of capitalism, but of leftwing social engineering. The real culprit is not the economy; it is the government.
Listen to the Audio version of this commentary.