An idealistic look at reforming the American Republic
Oct 5, 2010
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 and has a lot of useful historical information to share.
This book presents several valuable ideas, such as ending the private bankers' control of the Federal Reserve system and moving to amend the Constitution to ensure that corporations are no longer given "personhood" and rights that have let them manipulate the political system. Hartmann also promotes health care as a right which should not be subverted by corporate greed (though he fails to point out how allopathic medicine has been instituted as a monopoly by cooperation of both corporate interests and the government, so even in many other countries low quality standard care goes to people with state-based insurance and those with wealth buy services from providers who offer better options that go beyond what insurance covers).
Hartmann presents valuable reform ideas, though he seems naively idealistic at times and not committed to even deeper, more comprehensive changes to the systems that govern our society. He promotes protectionist tariffs to protect American jobs, which sounds nice but can no longer work in de-industrialized America of the 21st Century. Hartmann also falls for the man-made global warming myth and carbon taxes - clean energy alternatives do need to be implemented, but the way to do that is by making free energy and suppressed technologies available and accessible.
This books is strongest in its examination of the abuse of corporate power and exploration of solutions to reigning in that power. Its weaknesses appear where the author implies that the suggested plans will in themselves resolve the problems that are observed in our society. Ultimately, a shift in consciousness of the masses and wholesale changes in the paradigms and systems underlying our civilization would be needed to bring about the ideal society that Hartmann envisions.
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 … more
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
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.