Blood Suckers and the Walking Dead

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America - George Packer


The Unwinding is one of the scariest books I've read in a long while. It reminds me of one night while I was in the hospital undergoing a process called plasmapheresis, plasma exchange. I lay in a bed hooked up, while my blood was drained, cleaned out and returned with Albumin mixed in. In the bed next to me, lay another patient watching a vampire/zombie movie. I couldn't hear it, but I saw characters suck blood from others, I saw transformations, I saw fires destroying a mansion and chandeliers impaling creatures. I don't go in for blood, gore , vampires, cruel and tortuous punishments. I don't watch movies like this, but I was stuck on a bed with blood entering and leaving a portin my jugular vein.
George Packer, the author, chronicles how select U S citizens, from meager beginnings are infected by something, maybe a good idea, maybe greed, and become vicious. They attack the poor, the middle class, the civic leaders and the country.Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Packer, in short chapters, spotlights Walton, owner of Walmart, Oprah, Jay Z, Biden, Elizabeth Warren Newt Gingrich and many lesser known operatives such as Connaughton, Rubin, Thiel. His descriptions of their meteoric rises would be inspiring if they didn't leave so many of their neighbors behind. He shows the devastation left as Wall Street and multi national banks devour industry by closing American factories and providing inflated credit to naive homeowners and entrepreneurs. 
He also chronicles poor people who are unable to break out and up. They are destroyed by lack of education, alcohol, drugs and most of all The SYSTEM. The haves knowingly take from the have nots. They tear down unions, move factories, underfund schools. Legislators travel around their states talking, but never seeing, listening or caring about anything other than the big money.Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
The middle class and working poor look at their houses as assets, but they become liabilities when the bubble bursts. For the elite, it is like Angry Birds or that Candy Crush(2 games I've never played). They are always trying to get to the next level to be number one, buying their way if need be.
The losers lose their homes, their families, their self respect. The winners, the .1 or .01 win multiple homes, cars, boats, jets, multiple families and the disdain of Occupy Wall Street. Somehow many people still want to play, still think they have a chance and join the Tea Party.
I hope I haven't ruined it for you. Packer doesn't reveal any secrets. What is so amazing about this book is the way he tells the story of the Unwinding of America. The personal stories which read like fiction, but are sadly true for so many. 
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