Book Reviews

Go To Hopkins & Company Homepage

Go to Executive Times Archives


Go to Book Review List


The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America by Larry Elder




Click on title or picture to buy from



A Libertarian Manifesto

Foes of the hypocrisy of political correctness will particularly enjoy Larry Elder’s book, The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America. Since Elder has said them, so I guess they can be said in America, but we can leave that aside for now. Among the ten things are statements that Elder supports with facts: blacks are more racist than whites; the glass ceiling is full of holes; media bias is real; illegitimacy is America’s greatest problem; there’s no health care crisis; we’re losing the war on drugs; there’s little difference between Republicans and Democrats. Here’s an excerpt from the media bias chapter, in a section about the different numbers media sources gave over the same few days on the number of people who are paid the minimum wage:

“So, what’s the real number? Ten million? Three hundred thousand? That leaves a lot of space in between. More importantly, very few heads of households work for the minimum wage. So, it is a myth that the typical minimum wage toiler is a married guy with three kids, trying to make ends meet.
For sheer unadulterated gall, look no further than the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also known as ACORN. ACORN goes from state to state, raising signatures for ballot initiatives to increase the minimum wage. ACORN eventually came to California, to gather signatures to put a minimum wage hike proposal on the ballot. To accomplish this, the organization needed to hire lots of workers. So ACORN filed a lawsuit, seeking to exempt itself from California’s minimum wage and overtime laws!
The Investors Business Daily published excerpts from ACORN’s brief, where it explained why they needed an exemption from paying the very minimum wages their organization was attempting to increase. Said the brief, ‘The more ACORN must pay each individual outreach worker – either because of minimum wage or overtime requirements – the fewer outreach workers it will be able to hire.’ Well, duh.”

I found myself nodding and smiling more often than I expected while reading this book. I began to get skeptical about the quality of Elder’s facts, when I ran across an error in the text. On page 136, Elder uses as an example of the absence of a glass ceiling, the facts around the merger of First Union Bank and Bank of America. Those banks did not merge. The merger was between Bank of America and Nation’s Bank. From that point on, I wondered what other facts Elder got wrong, and the book lost a rating star on that point. Whether you agree or disagree with Elder, he presents a readable and interesting case for his point of view in The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America.

Steve Hopkins, December 12, 2001


ã 2001 Hopkins and Company, LLC