Michael Lewis’s premise in The Fifth Risk is that Donald Trump and his minions are destroying essential parts of our Government. Lewis documents the hiring of incompetent candidates for many Government departments (their only commonality is their loyalty to Trump). Candidates hostile to the departments they’re supposed to run are the norm. Lewis maintains that all this dysfunction–like the Jenga game on the cover of The Fifth Risk–will eventually lead to collapse and disaster. Lewis says that Government is supposed to protect us. The current Environmental Protection Agency is NOT protecting us as programs are gutted and scientists are driven out. Willful incompetence and ignorance in the Trump Administration, along with record-breaking turnover in staffs, promises Big Problems ahead.
One of the more chilling stories in The Fifth Risk involves the beginning of the Transition Team. “In June, Chris Christie received a call from Trump Advisor Paul Manafort. ‘The kid is paranoid about you,’ Manafort said. The kid was Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. Back in 2005, when he was a U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Christie had prosecuted and jailed Kushner’s father, Charles, for tax fraud. Christie’s investigation revealed, in the bargain, that Charles Kushner had hired a prostitute to seduce his own brother-in-law, whom he suspected of cooperating with Christie, videotaped the sexual encounter and sent the tape to his sister.” (p. 18). And these are the type of people running our Government!
The Fifth Risk presents a troubling picture of how our Government is being deliberately crippled. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Prologue: Lost in Translation 15
I. Tail Risk 33
II. People Risk 81
III. All the President’s Data 127