Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class - And What We Can Do about It

Berrett-Koehler Publishers
9
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By the bestselling author and XM and Sirius Satellite radio host heard on more than eighty radio stations coast to coast seven days a week Reveals how the middle class, nurtured as the backbone of democracy by our Founding Fathers, is being undermined by so-called conservatives Shows how we can reverse the erosion of the middle class and restore the egalitarian vision of the Founders Expanded edition with a new chapter on immigration and a new afterword by Greg Palast The American middle class is on its deathbed. Ordinary folks who put in a solid day's work can no longer afford to buy a house, send their kids to college, or even get sick. If you're not a CEO, you're probably screwed. America wasn't meant to be like this. Air America Radio host Thom Hartmann shows that our Founding Fathers worked hard to ensure that a small group of wealthy people would never dominate this country--they'd had enough of aristocracy. They put policies in place to ensure a thriving middle class. When the middle class took a hit, beginning in the post-Civil War Gilded Age and culminating in the Great Depression, democracy-loving leaders like Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower revitalized it through initiatives like antitrust regulations, fair labor laws, the minimum wage, Social Security, and Medicare. So what happened? In the last twenty-five years, we've witnessed an undeclared war against the middle class. The so-called conservatives waging this war are only interested in conserving--and steadily increasing--their own wealth and power. Hartmann shows how, under the guise of "freeing" the market, they've systematically dismantled the programs set up by Republicans and Democrats to protect the middle class and have installed policies that favor the superrich and corporations. But it's not too late to return to the America our Founders envisioned. Hartmann outlines a series of commonsense proposals that will ensure that our public institutions are not turned into private fiefdoms and that people's basic needs--education, health care, a living wage--are met in a way that allows the middle class to expand, not shrink. America will be stronger with a growing, prospering middle class--rule by the rich will only make it weaker. Democracy requires a fair playing field, and it will survive only if We the People stand up, speak out, and reclaim our democratic birthright.
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About the author

Thom Hartmann is the host of a nationally syndicated Air America Radio program and is the author of eighteen books, including The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It’s Too Late; We the People: A Call to Take Back America; What Would Jefferson Do?, and Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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Published on
Apr 28, 2007
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Pages
16
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ISBN
9781605098692
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / Political Economy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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The United States is more vulnerable today than ever before-including during the Great Depression and the Civil War-because the pillars of democracy that once supported a booming middle class have been corrupted, and without them, America teeters on the verge of the next Great Crash.

The United States is in the midst of an economic implosion that could make the Great Depression look like child's play. In THE CRASH OF 2016, Thom Hartmann argues that the facade of our once-great United States will soon disintegrate to reveal the rotting core where corporate and billionaire power and greed have replaced democratic infrastructure and governance. Our once-enlightened political and economic systems have been manipulated to ensure the success of only a fraction of the population at the expense of the rest of us.

The result is a "for the rich, by the rich" scheme leading to policies that only benefit the highest bidders. Hartmann outlines the destructive forces-planted by Lewis Powell in 1971 and come to fruition with the "Reagan Revolution"-that have looted our nation over the past decade, and how their actions fit into a cycle of American history that lets such forces rise to power every four generations.

However, a backlash is now palpable against the "economic royalists"-a term coined by FDR to describe those hoarding power and wealth-including the banksters, oligarchs, and politicians who have plunged our nation into economic chaos and social instability.

Although we are in the midst of what could become the most catastrophic economic crash in American History, a way forward is emerging, just as it did in the previous great crashes of the 1760s, 1856, and 1929. The choices we make now will redefine American culture. Before us stands a genuine opportunity to embrace the moral motive over the profit motive-and to rebuild the American economic model that once yielded great success.

Thoroughly researched and passionately argued, THE CRASH OF 2016 is not just a roadmap to redemption in post-Crash America, but a critical wake-up call, challenging us to act. Only if the right reforms are enacted and the moral choices are made, can we avert disaster and make our nation whole again.

When the Founding Fathers were searching for the best and fairest form of government, they studied the models of Athenian democracy, the Roman republic, and the Iroquois Confederacy and created what is now called a modern liberal democracy. Today, 81 nations can be described as fully democratic. Yet in numerous countries around the world democracy has failed or is tottering, and in the United States its principles are increasingly under siege from corporate and other forces. Americans pride themselves on their democracy, but today’s legislative process often no longer reflects the vision of the Founders.

In What Would Jefferson Do?, Thom Hartmann shows why democracy is not an aberration in human history but the oldest, most resilient, and most universal form of government, with roots in nature itself. He traces in particular the history of democracy in the United States, identifies the most prevalent myths about it, and offers an inspiring yet realistic plan for transforming the political landscape and reviving Jefferson’s dream before it is too late.

"Hartmann has done it again. Passionately written and filled with original historical research, What Would Jefferson Do? offers important insights into the meaning and nature of democracy and what we must do to counter the warlords, theocrats, and corporate aristocrats who now place it at risk."--David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and The Post-Corporate World

"A riveting and absolutely essential book for anyone who wishes to reflect upon and awaken to the real meaning of America and the hope it still offers to the world."--Jacob Needleman, author of The American Soul:Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders

"A call to vigilance and action--to awaken the better angels of our democratic spirit and wrest our planet away from the corporate overlords. Infused with an optimistic spirit, What Would Jefferson Do? is a true 'patriot act' in the tradition of Thomas Paine."--Chuck Collins, United for Fair Economy, and coauthor of Wealth and Our Commonwealth

"Thom Hartmann looks at the big picture and asks the hard questions. He's an important voice for reclaiming our democracy."--Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen

"Thom Hartmann calls on us to take control of the helm and guide our nation back to its base of 'We the people.' Read this book for its historic grounding; heed his SOS for our future well-being."--Medea Benjamin, cofounder of Global Exchange and Codepink:Women for Peace

"Thom Hartmann offers us an eye-opening view of how democracy is threatened. America needs this book now more than ever before."--Greg Palast, author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy




From the Hardcover edition.
The United States is more vulnerable today than ever before-including during the Great Depression and the Civil War-because the pillars of democracy that once supported a booming middle class have been corrupted, and without them, America teeters on the verge of the next Great Crash.

The United States is in the midst of an economic implosion that could make the Great Depression look like child's play. In THE CRASH OF 2016, Thom Hartmann argues that the facade of our once-great United States will soon disintegrate to reveal the rotting core where corporate and billionaire power and greed have replaced democratic infrastructure and governance. Our once-enlightened political and economic systems have been manipulated to ensure the success of only a fraction of the population at the expense of the rest of us.

The result is a "for the rich, by the rich" scheme leading to policies that only benefit the highest bidders. Hartmann outlines the destructive forces-planted by Lewis Powell in 1971 and come to fruition with the "Reagan Revolution"-that have looted our nation over the past decade, and how their actions fit into a cycle of American history that lets such forces rise to power every four generations.

However, a backlash is now palpable against the "economic royalists"-a term coined by FDR to describe those hoarding power and wealth-including the banksters, oligarchs, and politicians who have plunged our nation into economic chaos and social instability.

Although we are in the midst of what could become the most catastrophic economic crash in American History, a way forward is emerging, just as it did in the previous great crashes of the 1760s, 1856, and 1929. The choices we make now will redefine American culture. Before us stands a genuine opportunity to embrace the moral motive over the profit motive-and to rebuild the American economic model that once yielded great success.

Thoroughly researched and passionately argued, THE CRASH OF 2016 is not just a roadmap to redemption in post-Crash America, but a critical wake-up call, challenging us to act. Only if the right reforms are enacted and the moral choices are made, can we avert disaster and make our nation whole again.

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