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Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class - And What We Can Do about It Paperback – April 28, 2007
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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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
National radio host Thom Hartmann is the award-winning, best-selling author of fourteen books currently in print in more than a dozen languages on four continents. Hartmann is also an entrepreneur, an internationally known speaker on culture and communications, and an innovator in the fields of psychiatry, ecology, and economics. The former executive director of a residential treatment program for emotionally disturbed and abused children, he has helped set up hospitals, schools, famine relief programs, and communities for orphaned or blind children in India, Africa, Australia, South America, Europe, Israel, Russia, and the United States. His national radio program, syndicated by Air America Radio, is carried on more than eighty stations across the United States and on Sirius Satellite Radio. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Louise, and his attack cat, Higgins. You can find him on the Web at www.thomhartmann.com.
Top Customer Reviews
The book walks through so many of the big lies (taxes, big government, trickle down economics) of the faux conservatives-- which he calls, so appropriately-- "Cons."
As a publisher of a progressive website, I kept reading stretches of chapters and saying to myself-- "Wow, that would make a great article." While the book is a non-fiction book, it started off in the first two pages touching my heart, bringing tears to my eyes. (watching inconvenient truth brought tears too.) It is a very fast, smooth read. You do have to put it down every now and then, to deal with outrage build-up.
As usual with Hartmann's books (amazingly, Amazon lists over 200 results in a search for Thom Hartmann) he offers great solutions as well as unique, insightful perspectives on the problems.
I'm recommending this to my readers (300,000 unique visitors a month) at opednews dot com as the best book they'll see this year.
I'm also a big fan of his radio program, for 3 years now, and I've yet to hear Thom say that "a living wage" would be the equivalant to 18 bucks an hour. He has demonstrated that if you stimulate demand you improve the health of the economy, thus why the unemployment rate has dropped every time we've raised the minimum wage, short of those times when we had serious oil shortages, like in the 70's.
Even if we did raise it to 18 bucks an hour, the wage/productivity ratios at your average McDonalds would be still be better than 1:1, meaning McD's would still make a profit. As it is, it's a 1:4 ratio (meaning one week of sales pays for a month of labor), which was the same wage/productivity ratios in domestic industry immediately prior to the Republican Great Depression.
For anyone wanting to read a fine book, and to get familiarized with Thom Hartmann and his ideas, this couldn't be a better place to start....although What Would Jefferson Do? is great too.
This book is in no more a liberal volume than conservative one. It is a book about the American promise and American dream.
The neocons in charge are not true conservatives and I found this easy to read book points to the reason why.
True conservatives and true liberals want America to work the way it was founded to work and this book reminds us makes America great.
Reading it has made me feel good about America again. We still have a chance to recapture our real values.
Thom Hartmann's point is one that 99 percent of Americans can agree with: people working full-time should be able to live comfortably. This means establishing and protecting the middle-class, an idea that no longer holds true and hasn't since the early days of Reagan. Thom highlights what needs to be done, and what we the people need to do about it. Highly recommended for anyone isn't currently making over $3 million a year.