Thom Hartmann has delivered another lucid explanation of what's gone wrong in America in recent decades, and, as ever, he is brief and to the point. I read this latest in one sitting and came away with talking points for my own work and a renewed hope that change is possible.
Hartmann is unrelenting in his assertion that Reaganomics and Clintonomics have undone our nation, abetted by corporate interests and the Supreme Court. Globalization has beggared the U.S., crushing the middle class, moving manufacturing and corporate headquarters offshore, and further entrenching the super-rich. CEO pay in this country was at about the world standard before Reagan, some 30 times that of entry-level workers. Now it is routinely 500 times greater than the lowest, and sometimes 5,000 times that level.
The author demonstrates and explains why higher taxes have always raised wages and reduced the size of government and why unions are essential to worker rights. He shows why all of the other developed nations in the world have benefited from universal health care and shows that a simple majority in Congress could make Medicare available to anyone who wanted to join - and that it would be easily and immediately revenue neutral.
Only once does Hartmann slip back into the faith-based thinking that must have been part of his youth when he sideswipes "our belief in the supremacy of science." (He wandered off into magical thinking in one brief stretch of his otherwise thoughtful The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Revised and Updated: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It's Too Late). Blaming "our belief" in science for environmental damage is an unfortunate confusion of cause and effect, for which I nearly bumped this review down to four stars - but Hartmann is otherwise so good that I gave him a pass. We don't "believe" or "disbelieve" in science, or shouldn't. We accept or don't accept the results of repeated experiments, and it isn't science that dumps toxins in rivers or allows genetically modified species to go wild, it is public policy and, often, corporate greed at work.
Elsewise, Thom, good on you. And tomorrow, the revolution.
The message of this book is a harsh and depressing one, unfortunately it is all too real. Those who closely follow what has happened to the United States in the last thirty years, since Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency, have seen the middle class decline. This decline has largely been in purchasing power, the level of the real wages of this group has declined and an enormous amount of economic power has been concentrated in the top two percent. Corporate power has grown so strong that even when … more
Thom Hartmann is a leading voice in "progressive" political discourse. Thom looks at the roots of American government and economic policies and offers suggestions to reverse the trends toward corporate monopolism and anti-democratic decisions. He shares ideas from the likes of Thomas Jefferson (who has inspired some of Hartmann's earlier writings) and Alexander Hamilton, while criticizing the Reagan era trend toward unchecked corporate influence. Hartmann is a solid writer who explains things clearly … more
In this new work, Thom Hartmann covers 11 straightforward solutions to America's current problems. At the core of each is a call to reclaim economic sovereignty and to wrest control of democracy back from the corporate powers that have hijacked both America and her citizens.
What's particularly unique about Hartmann's solutions is that all have been proven to work. Every single one of his 11 steps either was historically part of what built America’s greatness in the past (such as enforcing the Sherman Act and breaking up big corporations or returning to a tariff-based trade policy), or has worked well in other nations (like a national single-payer healthcare system —Medicare Part "E" for "Everybody"—or encouraging the growth of worker-owned cooperatives like the $6 billion Mondragon cooperative in Spain).
Hartmann's solutions are essentially nonpartisan. Virtually all have been promoted at one time or another in American history by both political parties, although today most (but not all) fall into the realm of "progressive solutions." Both Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan will find broad areas of agreement with this book.
From addressing the problem of a warming globe to the death of America's middle class to the loss of our essential liberties, Rebooting The American Dream shows how America can reclaim the vision of our Founders and the greatness we held both at home and abroad for over a century.