on May 8, 2012
This is the book I have been waiting for. Not only does Bradley get into the problems facing us he offers up possible solutions. Sorry he is no longer serving in elective office but happy he still has a voice. Highly recommend this to any in dispair due to where we have been over the last 20 years and fearful of where we are going. There is hope!
on May 17, 2012
Bradley's book could make you cheer or cry -- cheer because we finally have someone laying out a concrete series of steps to revive our economic prosperity -- or cry because Bradley is no longer an influential Washington politician.
Is it surprising that it takes a former NBA star to prescribe a more rational plan for solving our economic problems than our president or any current member of Congress? Not if that professional basketball player was raised with the values of a small-town banker father and schoolteacher mother, turned down athletic scholarships but played ball and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, won a Rhodes scholarship, served three terms in the US Senate, and has more that a decade of experience as a corporate consultant and investment banker.
Perhaps it is Bradley's freedom from political ambition with it's need to raise outlandish sums of money and pander to every potential voter that allows him to address economic problems squarely. He cites his experience in 2010 as one of four former Senators -- two from each party -- challenged by Esquire magazine to within three days develop a plan to balance the federal budget by 2020. After grueling negotiations and compromises, they did so. Perhaps that is a strategy when current politicians refuse to compromise. But only if their solution will be adopted without further debate.
The most refreshing thing about Bradley's book is that he delivers the message without sugar coating. He defines what he considers problems and offers a variety of specific solutions for each. He warns us that everyone will have to give up some things to reach our goal of sustained prosperity. He criticizes people from both political parties but he also cites leaders from our founding fathers to the present who have offered problem-solving solutions. How unusual to be devastatingly honest but upbeat!
There is an incredible amount of wisdom packed into 161 pages.
on May 8, 2012
Senator Bill Bradley was known for his no-nonsense approach to politics and reaching across the asile to solve problems. Today, Washington is awash with dogmatic extremists on both sides who are more interested in winning elections than serving the needs of the American People. Americans are sick and tired of empty promises and status quo politics. Americans want honest answers, not sound bites based on fear and funded by special interest's money. Senator Bradley's book offers exactly what the American People are looking for: Real non-partisan answers to real issues. Senator Bradley examines each issue from the view point of both sides, and then applies his trademark common sense approach to provide a way through the muck created by the party extremists and their financial puppet masters. An ideal book for anyone looking for honest answers.
on June 20, 2012
Bill Bradley is one smart guy, and was a great US Senator.
So when I saw he had written a book that boldly identifies and lists all of the political/social problems that many of us are aware of, I was pleased and jumped at the chance to read it.
I am very disappointed.
While he does a fine job of laying out the problems and issues of the day that keep our government from solving so many of the problems that face us (huge deficits, worthless wars, low spending in education and infrastructure, multiple tax cuts for the rich, etc.), I never saw anything remotely suggesting what I and my politically active friends could do or should do.
I agree with nearly 100% of what he says and haven't the faintest idea of what he wants us to do.
Maybe there's a Book 2 in the works, but if not, what's the point of his book ?
I expected better.
on May 8, 2012
Remember civics class? those of you who are old enough will ! I have a feeling this is a book that should be required reading in every freshman high school class. His interviews have been brilliant so far
on April 7, 2013
Former Senator, New York Knick basketball player, and Olympic athlete Bill Bradley offers his substantial insights into the workings of government and how, by focusing on cooperation and the good of the country instead of party, we can all do better. And by "we" he means all of us - the politicians, the media, and the American people. We are all in this together and only by working together can we find resolutions to all of the challenges that face us here in America.
But accomplishing this won't be easy. Bradley begins by reminding us that even though politicians all love this country, it is easy for the "members of the club" to become absorbed into the cynicism that dominates Washington DC today. The "duopoly" of the two parties cater to the extremes and the media play along because it is easier - and more profitable - to turn gossip into news than to report honest policy discussions. And the people - you and me - force politicians into playing the game at either end of the spectrum where compromise is seen as treachery, and then turn around and voice our perpetual dissatisfaction because politicians are dancing in the corners in which we have painted them.
Still, Bradley notes that "the sad irony is that many members of the club may be idealists underneath," and like most Americans living their daily lives, continue to believe in the country's fundamental health and promise for the future. In the chapter, "Breaking the Logjam," Bradley offers some concrete proposals to encourage economic growth and job creation in the immediate, the proximate, and the long-term. He dispels some of the common myths (e.g., that the wealthy are "job creators") and offers solutions that will improve the employment picture now while positioning us to lead the world in the future. His ideas are too numerous to list here, but well worth the time spent reading the book. One quote, though perhaps oversimplified, summarizes his philosophy:
"I cannot emphasize enough the requirement of balance: asking something from everyone. Democrats want the rich to bear the burden; Republicans want primarily the poor to sacrifice. Both political parties champion the middle class and neither asks anything significant of it in this crisis. A true solution cannot give the middle class a pass."
In short, politicians need to put country ahead of re-election. They need to be honest with us as citizens. And we need to be honest with them - and with ourselves.
In "Celebrating Selflessness," Bradley provides the most emotionally inspirational chapter of the book. In it he relates stories that contradict the assumption by both parties that human beings are basically selfish. Instead, he says, most people may actually prefer to be unselfish if given the chance by politicians and the media. In "Raising All Boats," Bradley discusses the major source of disheartenment - that the system is rigged to give all the benefits to the very wealthy while the middle class bears the brunt of the burden. "The elevator is no longer working," he quotes, meaning that the middle class and the working poor can no longer count on getting ahead by working hard and being honest. This dissatisfaction becomes fertile ground for demagoguery from both parties.
In the remaining chapters Bradley cites such disparate leaders as Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, FDR, and Eisenhower as recognizing the critical role of government and how "free markets" dominated during times of robber-barons, monopolies, and "too big to fail." Further, he addresses our long-standing ambivalence about our role in foreign affairs and how our forthcoming challenges with China stem not from military prowess but from economic domination. In short, while America bickers amongst itself and accomplishes little, China moves its own future forward, which more and more intertwines with the future of the world.
Bradley argues that we need both "collective caring" and "personal responsibility" to move forward. In his final chapter, "The Path to Renewal," he proposes that solutions should include taxing labor less and things more, adoption of a massive infrastructure program, investments in research, embracing talented immigrants while educating our own citizens for a lifetime in a world of constant change, reduction of our structural budget deficit, and leading the world "by example."
There is so much more in this relatively short book and I strongly encourage anyone interested in the future of America to read it.
on February 22, 2015
Wanted to hear the intelligent and thoughtful man Bradley's take on current problems; I'm not done reading it yet. So far a bit dry, but good commonsense suggestions. My question is why doesn't he get more leverage with politicians and the public... I wish he made himself heard more.
on July 23, 2012
Bradley, Bill, We Can All Do Better, Vanguard Press, 2012, ISBN 978-59315-729-6, 161 pages, Hardcover, $24.99'' On January 23, 1965, a `Profile' of Bill Bradley, the author of this thoughtful book, We Can All Do Better, was published in The New Yorker, written by John McPhee, called `A Sense of Where You Are'. The title of this excellent piece was chosen by famed New Yorker editor William Shawn and it was a quote from Bradley that Shawn thought was appropriate as a title for McPhee's article. How right he was, or rather, how right Bradley was. Although Bradley was talking about a basketball player's intuition on the court ( he was an All-American Basketball player when he was at Princeton), `A Sense of Where You Are` could well have stood as a title for this, his latest book, written 47 years later, about the current political and social scene in America,.' Older readers, perhaps a little misty-eyed, will remember best the young Bill Bradley, Rhodes Scholar, Olympic Gold medalist, called the greatest college basketball player of all time, professional with the New York Knicks from 1967-1977 during which time they won 2 NBA championships, and election in 1982 to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Younger readers, zealous hearts still aflame, will know Bill Bradley as a member of the US Senate representing the state of New Jersey from 1979 to 1997, as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, and as author of six books on American politics, culture, and economy. ' Bradley's view of America appears at first to be one of disillusionment. He writes," ... the land is engulfed by arrogance, hypocrisy, and self-righteousness.", but anyone knowing anything at all about Bill Bradley will be assured that he is not one to walk away from any challenge. Those many years ago, he said to John McPhee, " ... the only way to solve a problem is to go through it rather than around it." The man who sharpened his basketball skills through phenomenal feats of discipline and dedication, for example, by throwing thousands of practice shots at hundreds of baskets, working at a problem until he mastered it, has not changed over the years. Because Bill Bradley has always believed in the basic goodness of the American people, his message to them is that you can't wait for someone else to fix a problem, you have to get in there and do it yourself. His challenge is in the title of this unflinching analysis- We Can All Do Better. The emphasis being on the `we' and the `all'. '' As the American people, Democrats and Republicans alike, head for the polls this Fall, they would all do well to read, and take to heart, this stirring call to positive action which points towards a better life for everyone regardless of political stripe. '
on September 24, 2012
Bill Bradley did a great job of tapping into the sense of frustration with our current political system that many, many Americans are feeling regardless of their political party. Bill takes great effort in presenting the type of balanced, common sense approach to solve, yes solve, this countries economic and political ills which are very real, but admittedly, still not easy. If this sounds like a commercial, its not, but could be. I bought about 10 copies for various friends and actually am going to send another copy to the Editor of the Arizona Republic to get his opinion.
Buy this book. Spread the word that if everyone can truly consider taking off their "blue" or "red" uniform and can lay down their political hyperbole, we can actually get something done. What do we have to lose? Our democracy is already in severe peril when people such as the Koch Brothers and other Billionaires along with their ringleader, Carl Rove, are systematically stealing out pocket books, our minds, our votes (aka Florida 2000) and most of all have ZERO problem decimating the Middle Class, which is and always has been the muscle of America.
While you may not agree with every word Bill Bradley says in this book, it will still be one of the best and most inspiring 174 pages you will ever read. Buy it. Talk about it. Buy it for others. Spread the word of Common Sense please.
on June 7, 2014
This book has some good ideas. The author is not so political that he can't keep it sensible. Decent analysis of where we are and where we need to go. I'm tempted to give this book to all of the extremists I know on both sides of the isle.