- Hardcover: 239 pages
- Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; First Edition edition (September 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1576754146
- ISBN-13: 978-1576754146
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #968,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class -- And What We Can Do About It Hardcover – September 1, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Beginning with the Reagan administration, the U.S. government has steadily instituted policies and legislation that favor corporations over citizens, argues Air America host Hartmann (The Ultimate Sacrifice). Analyzing the rhetoric and policies of the current administration's "compassionate conservatism," Hartmann goes on to detail the ways in which safety nets for working people (from progressive taxation to antitrust legislation to Social Security) have been steadily weakened, and argues that an empowered, educated middle class is crucial to a functioning democracy. Chapters detail the ways in which what gets called "the free market" is not really free (for good reason, he notes), how "We the People create the middle class," how the policies of the Founding Fathers and figures like FDR still have a lot to teach us, and ways for "Leveling the Playing Field." Though far from comprehensive, and despite its sensationalist title, Hartmann's latest is an intelligent critique of the contemporary plight of the middle class.
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About the Author
Thom Hartmann is the award-winning, best-selling author of fourteen books currently in print in over a dozen languages on four continents. He is the former executive director of a residential treatment program for emotionally disturbed and abused children, and has helped set up hospitals, famine relief programs, schools, and communities for orphaned or blind children in India, Uganda, Australia, Colombia, and the United States.
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Top customer reviews
Despite my wish for something more than what was offered, this is a very good introduction to a complex subject. It is ideal for someone just beginning the process of exploring these issues in modern America. Hartman gives voice to the strong discontent with the structure of American economics at present and offers compelling, evocative reasons for this current state and what we might do to overcome it. In essence, Hartman chronicles the political right's unrelenting efforts to destroy the New Deal and Great Society programs so critical to American wellbeing in the era since Reagan and with it the economic bulwarks on which has rested the greatest, most equitable social structure ever established. He characterizes this as something akin to a conspiracy, and while I usually discount such broad interpretations there can be no doubt but that the coordinated efforts to roll back the New Deal/Great Society society--and its characteristic commitment to social equanimity--is indeed a strategic effort involving large-scale planning and execution on a broad front.
Thom Hartman's core point is that for democracy to work there cannot be an oligarchy of a small number of superrich and a mass of peons; it requires relative equal opportunity and less disparity of income. We must oppose every effort to create such a society in favor of greater equality of opportunity. The political right denies this is the case, and creates a mythical past in which freedom and liberty reign and all may achieve their dreams, but this also strips from that mythical past the social responsibility of all for the commons of American life. He ranges broadly through American history to make his points, showing how Robber Barons plundered the nation in the latter nineteenth century, corporate greed created the Great Depression, and the modern corporatocracy is pressing for the dissolution of the social safety net in the pursuit of greed as a positive good. His closing lines are a call to arms to fight this corporatocracy at every turn: "We are fighting a war in America for the very heart and soul of our country. But it's a war we can do something about. Don't let yourself be screwed, speak up, fight back, and never, never yield" (p. 215).
Hartmann shows that it’s not too late to return to the America our founders envisioned. Democracy requires a fair playing field. It will survive only if We the People stand up, speak out, and reclaim our democratic birthright. (from [...]
I bought this book for my Son-in-law as part of his birthday present. He had previously owned, and already read the book, and had loaned it to a co-worker. The co-worker quit, and he never got the book back. He was very pleased to have this book in his posession again.
I bought it at a discount from a Amazon second party/used book dealer. It was advertised as a very good condition,
collectors edition, signed by the author. It was all that, but the seller failed to state it was signed "To Sue!" It was no problem though, we all got a big laugh out of it!!
Delivery was very fast. Ordered it on 3/08/14 and it was delivered on 3/12/14 which was alot faster than many other used book dealers on the Amazon website!