Summary of The Fourth Revolution

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8 Overall

7 Importance

8 Innovation

9 Style


In this critique of the modern welfare state, British journalists John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge argue in favor of the Ronald Reagan-Margaret Thatcher agenda of less government. They suggest that modern governments are out of control, and they offer compelling examples – such as the US government’s ill-fated public housing projects and George W. Bush’s embrace of the surveillance state. Treading in ideologically tricky territory, Micklethwait and Wooldridge work to offer a measured tone and reasonable prescriptions. While always politically neutral, getAbstract finds that this study will intrigue policy makers and interested citizens wishing for solutions to the seemingly intractable challenges of government bloat.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the welfare state evolved,
  • How big government spun out of control and
  • Why a downsizing of government is necessary.

About the Authors

Editor in chief of Bloomberg News John Micklethwait is a former editor in chief of The Economist, where Adrian Wooldridge is managing editor. They co-wrote five books, including The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea and The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America.



The Nanny State

To understand the out-of-control impulses of modern nations, consider Augustus Gloop, the gluttonous child in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Just like young Augustus, who gorged himself on Willy Wonka’s river of chocolate, the modern nation-state grows ever more torpid and greedy. The welfare state continues to do more and more, even as it becomes less and less effective. Progressives spur it on, envisioning a role for government in every corner of modern life. The “Leviathan” of big government is now out of control.

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    Valeriy Mitrokhin 10 months ago
    I personally believe that all governments are never under any circumstances under the control of the parliament or the people. It simply makes an appearance for the greater part of the people and periodically someone who has heavily backed off publicly confirms the flogging, so, we all control. But once again, this is my point of view and I will be very happy if I am mistaken

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