Jim MacDougald is a person who has lived the American Dream. An "army brat", he was raised living on or near Army posts in an environment far-removed from entrepreneurism and business. With the strong encouragement of his mother (who worked in Civil Service), and his father, he entered the business world after college. He worked in the pension and group health insurance field before leaving to start his own company with his wife as his partner, working from their home. The company ultimately grew enough to go public, and employed more than 1500 people in 7 states when it was acquired by another public company in 1999.
Jim used his knowledge of pensions and health insurance to look into the practices of the public sector, and was shocked to find that none of the disclosure and reporting rules that are legally-mandated to all private sector companies, applies to the public sector. The massive research undertaken by 10 researchers was so far-reaching and shocking that MacDougald compiled it in his book, "Unsustainable". The book was provided to every Congressman, Senator, Governor, major talk-show host, and economics writer and has shaped the national dialogue on public sector pay and benefits disparity, underfunded public sector pensions, and abuses of taxpayer dollars. It achieved Amazon "best seller" status within weeks of its publication, and the term "unsustainable" has entered everyday usage by the press and political pundits.