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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country » User review

Hartmann is labeled a "progressive", but most of his solutions are those that worked in the past

  • Dec 30, 2010
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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 there is a colossal failure, some political figures feel the need to apologize to the offender when they are asked to follow the law and pay for the consequences.
Thom Hartmann is a serial entrepreneur and commentator that has studied history, both long and short term. He uses the writings of people such as Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton to explain how the United States has gone off the track that the founding fathers set down, generally as a result of pressure from the right wing conservatives. Alexander Hamilton, the adversary of Thomas Jefferson, wrote the original 11-point plan that Hartmann lists and used as a basis for his discussion, ironically Hamilton was the strongest early proponent of large business interests. Hamilton was also the creator of the American Central Bank and large financial institutions are one of the large corporate interests that led the country into the problems it now has. Conservatives often argue that what they are trying to do is take the country back to a point more in line with the constitution and what the founding fathers intended. As people that have actually read the writings of the founding fathers know and Hartmann points out once again, their arguments based on these references are without foundation.
By far, the best story in the book is a recitation of a conversation the author had with activist/comedian Dick Gregory while they were on a trans-Atlantic flight. The topic was the attempt by the United States to impose its' values via military force. Gregory made the telling and extremely valuable point, "When you've got something really good, you don't have to force it on people. They will steal it!"
The solutions put forth by Hartmann are not all that radical, most of them are little more than a reinstitution of policies by passing laws that were in force before Ronald Reagan became president. Or in some cases, a policy of simply enforcing laws that have largely gone ignored for decades. If you are not a right wing zealot, then it is quite possible that reading this book will depress you. However, many solutions that are being implemented in other countries and described by Hartmann prove that there are answers, and to paraphrase Gregory, "they are good enough to steal."

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More Rebooting the American Dream: ... reviews
review by . September 05, 2010
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 …
review by . October 05, 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 …
About the reviewer
Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #78
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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Wiki

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.

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Details

ISBN-10: 1605097063
ISBN-13: 978-1605097060
Author: Thom Hartmann
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
First to Review

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