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The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America--and What We Can Do to Stop It Paperback – November 11, 2014
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"Never one to shy away from the truth . . . inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."―Van Jones, cofounder of RebuildTheDream.com and author of The Green Collar Economy
"Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he uncovered them or they selected him."―Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer, and environmental activist
"Thom Hartmann channels the best of the American Founders with voice and pen. His deep attachment to a democratic civil society is just the medicine America needs. "―Tom Hayden, author of The Long Sixties and director, Peace and Justice Resource Center.
"Thom Hartmann is a literary descendent of Ben Franklin and Tom Paine. His unflinching observations and deep passion inspire us to explore contemporary culture, politics, and economics; challenge us to face the facts of the societies we are creating; and empower us to demand a better world for our children and grandchildren."―John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestselling book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
"Right through the worst of the Bush years and into the present, Thom Hartmann has been one of the very few voices constantly willing to tell the truth. Rank him up there with Jon Stewart, Bill Moyers, and Paul Krugman for having the sheer persistent courage of his convictions."―Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth
"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann's work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else."
―Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
"I've read all of Thom Hartmann's books and value them greatly for their fresh discovery of American corporate history and how corporatism came to dominate our culture and its political economy. Now comes a work steeped in eye-opening history, fact-based interpretation, and imagination about how the past, present, and future are connecting to drive Americans into the ground-unless they become part of a conscious society that commands its future as befits 'we the people.' The two final chapters 'Democratizing the Economy' and 'Epilogue: A Letter to My Great-Grandchildren' are sufficiently priceless."―Ralph Nader
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My only qualm was that it was so much (mostly hard-to-digest) information at once--I had to take a break to fully let everything sink in!
He tells of some hopeful movements that might see us through, but need nurturing and outspoken support to survive. A well written, convincing view of our history and future. Should be mandatory reading for anyone wishing to enter politics.
Copyrighted in 2013, we're now a lot closer to 2016 than when it was written. Some trends he predicted have changed, such as the changed impact of oil on our economy; I don't take the 2016 timeline as exact, but the trends are there and the time is soon, nevertheless. If you read only one book about the economic and political storms of today, it should be this one!
"The Crash of 2016" is a provocative and troubling look at an economic implosion that will occur unless we take drastic measures to stop it. "A story of how America was dragged into the Crash of 2016." Well-known progressive national and international radio and TV talk show host and accomplished author, Thom Hartmann places his focus on an economic crisis that may turn into the Fourth Great Crash since the Declaration of Independence in 1776. This stimulating 294-page book includes sixteen chapters broken out by the following five parts: 1. The Economic Royalists and the Corporatist Conspiracy, 2. Why We Crashed, 3. "Oppression, Rebellion, Reformation", 4. The Great Crash, and 5. Out of the Ashes.
1. A professional and gifted author Hartmann is a master at engaging the public with a well- balanced narrative of history, current events and foresight.
2. The book has great format and flow. It's entertaining, enlightening and the pages turn themselves.
3. Hartmann is a great and passionate thinker. His knowledge of history, and his ability to identify patterns is only matched by the skill to convey his conclusions in a lucid, straightforward manner.
4. Troubling, straight-forward eye-opening conclusions. "This crash is coming. It's inevitable. I may be off a few years plus or minus in my timing, but the realities of the economic fundamentals left to us by thirty-three years of Reaganomics and deregulation have made it a certainty. We are quite simply repeating the mistakes of the 1920s, the 1850s, and the 1760s, and we are so far into them it's extremely unlikely that anything other than reinflating the recent bubbles to buy a little time here and there will happen."
5. Consistent use of terms. Hartmann does a great job of defining new terms and being consistent in their use. You will not only understand the terms fully as he applies them throughout the book but it may even become part of your lexicon. Phrases like "the Great Forgetting" and "the Economic Royalists" are now imbedded in my brain.
6. So what was the Tea Act really about? "The purpose of the Tea Act was to give the East India Company full and unlimited access to the American tea trade and to exempt the company from having to pay taxes to Britain on tea exported to the American colonies. It even gave the company a tax refund on millions of pounds of tea that it was unable to sell and holding in inventory." In other words, corporate mooching.
7. Thought-provoking and great quotes abound, ""Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters."
8. A great job of pointing out those elements in our society that threaten our representative democracy. ""We no longer have a government of, by, and for the people--representative democracy. We have government by plutocracy--the rule of the rich for the rich by the rich," Moyers said on my television program. "Plutocracy has one purpose, which is to protect wealth."
9. An expose of those pushing and driving the agenda of the Economic Royalists. "A new generation's legal system with Royalist interpretations: Corporate personhood is real, money is speech, democracy is not sacred, and organized money should always have privilege over organized people."
10. The policies of the New Deal that held the Royalists in check and allowed a middle class to thrive. Great stuff!
11. How Reagan stole the Leisure Society. " As a result of the Reagan tax cuts, that era from 1947 to 1979, in which all classes of Americans saw their incomes grow together, ended. A new era, in which only the wealthiest among us got rich off a booming economy, commenced."
12. In fairness, Clinton does not go unscathed. "Tariffs were ditched, and then Bill Clinton moved in to the White House in the 1990s. He continued Reagan's trade policies and committed the United States to so-called free-trade agreements such as GATT, NAFTA, and the WTO, thus removing all the protections that had kept our domestic manufacturing industries safe from foreign corporate predators for two centuries."
13. The Monopoly Endgame. "Rising health-care, food, and energy costs can all be traced back to this problem of monopoly in America."
14. Interesting points. "Jefferson noted the absurdity of a rigid Constitution--or at least an interpretation of that Constitution--that does not change as the nation grows and times change, saying, 'We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.... Let us follow no such examples, nor weakly believe that one generation is not as capable as another of taking care of itself.'"
15. The rise of the Kocktopus, find out what this is all about.
16. The impact and background behind the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. "As a result of Citizens United, outside political spending skyrocketed from just $68 million in the 2006 midterms, to over $304 million in the 2010 midterms. That's a 400 percent increase in corporate cash influencing elections and buying politicians, just ten months after the Citizens United decision."
17. Troubling strategies exposed. "Kick more voters off the rolls, and let corporations have more of an influence in who wins them--that's ALEC's strategy."
18. The scenarios confronting us due to the looming Crash of 2016. Interesting case studies, Germany and China.
19. In part five, Hartmann provides a path to redemption. "First things first: We need to tip the scales of power away from organized money and back to organized people. And the way to do that is to get rid of this whole idea of corporate personhood."
20. In defense of a Green Revolution. "A new study by the research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance has found that unsubsidized renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels such as coal and gas. In fact, it's a lot cheaper."
21. Notes linked.
1. Hartmann does a great job of summarizing the illness, providing the path to a cure but less so in the prevention department.
2. Hartmann does wonders with words but more graphs would have added value and provided readers with a visual tool. The one chart provided shows clearly how compensation failed to match actual productivity.
3. Some great scientific and practical discoveries that are helpful to humanity do result from the Military Complex. I do understand Hartmann's point, I just wanted to throw that out.
4. Comprehensive Notes section but a formal and separate Bibliography never hurts.
In summary, I really enjoyed this book. Hartmann exposes the underbelly of the impending economic crash and provides hope and ideas on how to recover from it. It's a thought-provoking and interesting book. Hartmann has a great grasp for what ills our society and provides insightful history and compelling observations, my main concerned is how practical his guidance is. How can we mobilize the populace against this well-funded force that manages to compel people to vote against their own interest in favor of the Economic Royalists without having to hit rock bottom? And that is the question...a very solid book, I highly recommend it!
Further suggestions: "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class - And What We Can Do about It (BK Currents (Paperback))" and many others by Thom Hartmann, "Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History" by Matt Taibbi, "Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class" by Jacob S. Hacker, "The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America--and Spawned a Global Crisis" by Michael W. Hudson, "Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich--and Cheat Everybody Else" by David Cay Johnston, "The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity--and What We Can Do about It" by Les Leopold, "Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction" Barry C. Lynn, "Beyond Outrage: Expanded Edition: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it (Vintage)" by Robert B. Reich, and "The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street" by Robert Scheer.
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TH believes in 'Climate Change' and even uses the absurd term 'Denier' for us who dont believe in his 'religion of Climate Change.Read more