Sunday, December 1, 2019

Book Review: 'SHOWDOWN IN THE ECONOMY OF GOOD AND EVIL: Optimizing America Book 2' by Jarl Jensen


Entertaining and enlightening

Author Jarl Jensen has the courage to place before the public a novel that is not only searingly written as a story but also points out the flaws in our current society. Jarl is an inventor of multiple patented medical devices, and as a successful businessman and executive for several companies he now turns his creativity to writing this astonishingly fine book of ideas that could change our world. As he has stated, ‘The world is in crisis, but there is a solution that nobody is talking about. Debt is running amok on global, national, corporate, and personal levels. Debt is making governing impossible, as spending has to be rationalized for even the most human purposes. Corporations have to lay off staff to help pay for their mounting debts. People have to cut back their spending to pay for school debt, mortgages, and credit card bills. Trade used to build peace, but now we talk about trade wars. The United States has been in an unending war against terror with no end in sight. Something is fundamentally wrong with the system, and this book exposes the reader to both the problem and the solution.’ 

Keenly aware that the best way to point our flaw and focus on repair Jarl continues to tell a story that underlines all of his concepts. For the full impact of Jarl’s analysis and suggestions of altering our current direction then we must read this book rather than depend on reviews. But Jarl’s synopsis is a fine roadmap to continue his bristling series, OPTIMIZING AMERICA, of which this is the second volume: ‘Benevolent billionaire Justin Wolfe establishes an autonomous economic experiment on a farm near Savannah, Georgia. The theory: give people the means to advance in life through daily direct deposits and even the formerly homeless can become entrepreneurs who contribute meaningfully to society. Wolfe tasks economics whiz kid Evan White to roll out an advanced economic system that creates a higher standard of living than most citizens in neighboring Savannah enjoy. All this from the entrepreneurial spirit of homeless people bussed in from around the country. The farm gets national attention as a 60 Minutes crew shows up to report on the farm. Tensions rise as Justin clashes with his tech billionaire friend Elliot Larson and Federal Reserve Banker Lloyd Blankfein at a Jekyll Island party. The ensuing bad press puts the farm under increasing pressure by those who do not want it to succeed.’

The characters involved touch us all – ‘the disheveled potpourri of humanity's lost souls who are America's homeless; the turbulent young technology billionaire; the hapless recluse who runs the janitorial services on the farm; the young and profane farmer's daughter whose cooking brings the farm to life; the uproariously funny Pete Smiley; the devilishly arrogant Elliot Larson; the carefree movie theater entrepreneur; the hard working members of the farm; and Muna, an Ethiopian immigrant who became homeless before turning bread into a business. These and other members of the farm just outside Savannah act as a strange ensemble, with alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive on a farm where anybody can find an opportunity to make their life better.’

This book is not only a fine thriller but it also should be on the Required Reading list for all of us. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.