Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation, " offers an unprecedented view of the nexus of ingenuity, greed, high-mindedness, and hypocrisy that is ...Show synopsisSchlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation, " offers an unprecedented view of the nexus of ingenuity, greed, high-mindedness, and hypocrisy that is American culture. He reveals the vast and fascinating workings of the shadow economy by focusing on marijuana, pornography, and illegal migrant workers.Hide synopsis
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Here, you'll discover all about the darker side of our economy. Schlosser covers three large areas of the black market: marijuana (hence the title), illegal immigration, and pornography. It's very interesting to learn that we are, sometimes, unwittingly contributing to the growth of these industries. I never knew that each time I bought strawberries, for instance, that I might be supporting the exploitation of poor migrant farm workers. Not only that, but also the book shows a humane, compassionate side of the story. You will learn about the plight of these strawberry pickers. They are working jobs for pay unimaginable -- yet it is more than they would ever dream of making back in Mexico. Does that make it okay for us to use them and then forget about them? You'll become much more conscious of what you buy and don't buy after reading. The book also opened my eyes to the irony of marijuana -- why does our society punish the usage of marijuana more harshly than murder? Does that sound reasonable to you? Also, there would be huge profits to be gained if marijuana were sold legally -- and just tax it! Schlosser covers the effect of marijuana, it's history (which is very surprising, if you ask me), and how it's illegal status gave rise to a large illegal drug trade. It's very interesting to find out that once upon a time, the colonies required the citizens to grow hemp because of its versatility and usefulness. In fact, George Washington used to have a huuuge hemp farm. So where is our current War on Drugs going and are our tax dollars spent towards a fruitless endeavor? Read the book and find out! Last but not least, pornography. This section was longer than the other two combined, and for a good reason perhaps. Pornography has always been a topic concerning our basic right: freedom of expression. So how does the supreme court or any society determine when this expression crosses the line? How do we define obscenity? Again, this book opened my eyes to other societies around the world that legalized pornography and then made it widely available -- and guess what, at first its sales peaked and then people gradually lost interest in buying it. So does widespread porno degrade our society? Most likely not. Also, the book covered the lives of the people in the sex industry. Schlosser met with non-mainstream people who dreamt of making it big as a porn star. He also met the big shots who made porno become a part of our pop culture.
All in all, this is worth a read if you are interested in the economy we all dabble in but don't see in full form everyday. Read it if you wish to know where our money is being spent. Read it if you care about protecting our rights and becoming a better informed citizen. The book will not offer you bias such as, 'Sex is the devil!' or 'Marijuana will kill you', etc. Your education begins here.
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