The Nature of Good Government

Herbert D Smith

Publisher: Ink Start Media Pages: 140 Price: (paperback) $8.99 ISBN: 9781960075468 Reviewed: June, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

H. Doyle Smith explores resolutions to some of the nation’s greatest struggles in government and economics in The Nature of Good Government.

Drawing from the Bible’s Ten Commandments and his experience in a variety of careers (Army service at the Pentagon, managing a department store, CPA, auditor and more), Smith offers his perspective on how to govern a nation well. He states that “[t]he principles behind the Ten Commandments are the basis of American law.” As such, he reworks each command, replacing the idea of God with government, thus creating a new set of rules for peaceful communal living. For example, Smith alters the command “You shall have no other Gods” to “You will not take the law into your own hands.” Similarly, “You shall not make graven images…” is translated to: “You will not use the government’s name or resources unwisely.”

With this biblical structure as the framework, Smith explores the basics of economics, using historical and current examples to illustrate concepts. Finally, he concludes with “remedial actions” for solving issues involving social security, taxation, urbanization, education and more.

Smith admits that many of his “discussions…will be obvious to the reader,” and unfortunately, he’s right. He spends much of the book reviewing basic economics rather than his discussion on good government. At moments, readers may feel bogged down by Smith’s textbook-like mathematical scenarios and history lessons (such as a full chapter dedicated to the history of megaeconomics). Excessive formatting and typographical errors mar the book’s presentation and, in turn, Smith’s credibility. For instance, he refers to a flowchart that’s missing, fails to provide references for quoted material, and breaks numerous paragraphs mid-sentence.

Readers seeking to understand the impact of economics on communities and government policy, as well as ideas for bettering American life, may find some useful insights here. However, a thorough edit and a greater focus on his “remedial actions” would have increased the book’s appeal.

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