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A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track

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A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track Cover

ISBN13: 9780743297677
ISBN10: 0743297679
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Andy Stern, one of the most visionary leaders in America today, has fought relentlessly to ensure that Americans' hard work is rewarded in today's hypercompetitive, globalized world. As the newsmaking president of the fastest-growing, most dynamic union in America, he has led the charge for modernizing the "house of labor" — taking unions out of the past and into the twenty-first century. He has spearheaded the campaign against the "Wal-Marting" of jobs and has innovated transformative solutions to the daunting problems facing Americans, from job insecurity to runaway health care costs. In this powerful critique and call-to-arms, he offers a revelatory dissection of the gathering threats to our standard of living — threats that our politicians have failed utterly to address — and he puts forth a bold, unassailable plan for making vital reforms.

In his eye-opening diagnosis that makes the urgency of the threats vividly clear, Stern shows that Americans are contending with the most disruptive economic upheaval in the world economy since the Industrial Revolution. Yet, in the face of this daunting challenge, the American system simply isn't working well enough for most of us. Stern powerfully portrays how with the pace of globalization relentlessly quickening, the competitive pressures on our jobs and quality of life are heating up even more, especially as housing, health care, and oil prices skyrocket. While CEO salaries soar and business and the wealthy are handed plentiful tax shelters, the incomes of both white-collar and blue-collar workers stagnate, leaving most Americans struggling to pay off ever-escalating debt, instead of saving for retirement. The plain fact is that our system is out of whack, serving the interests of the top sliver of the most wealthy while putting the squeeze on the rest of us.

Meanwhile, our politicians irresponsibly sidestep the crucial solutions that we so desperately need in order to make sure Americans can move into the twenty-first century with their futures secure. As Stern so persuasively shows, it is time for bold thinking and creative solutions to overhaul a health care system in crisis; correct a tax system rigged in favor of business and the wealthy; revamp our inadequate retirement system; and make truly innovative improvements in education. He presents a set of course-correction reforms so compelling, simple, and achievable that readers will find themselves enraged that they haven't yet been enacted. Americans have a right to expect our government to work for us. Andy Stern shows how we can get things back on track to make sure it does.

Review:

"The misleading title of this maverick, clearly argued account from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) president Stern elides the bulk of its contents: he bookends his story with the problem-globalization, a widening income gap and its concomitant crises-and its solutions, but sandwiched in between are several chapters of recent labor history from the vantage point of a key leader. Stern details how he led his union of janitors, home health workers, nurses and other laborers in a split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. According to Stern, this restructuring exemplifies the necessity of revitalizing unions for positive change in America. He's optimistic about the future of unionization in the U.S.: not only does he see membership in the organized labor movement increasing, he casts unions as a major force in implementing sweeping societal reforms. His proposals include altering the regressive Social Security tax to put more burden on high earners (i.e. removing the cap on wages taxed and ending the wage-tax-only), offering universal access to decent health care, implementing guaranteed retirement plans, providing equal access to the Internet and improving public education from pre-K on up. Free market fundamentalists will dismiss Stern's ideas and moderates may not be convinced by his idealism, but he provides an important point of view for organizers and labor historians." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Andy Stern has written an important book that reveals the alarming facts about how our government is failing to meet the challenges of globalization and putting America's future at risk. His bold vision for reform is a call to arms that should be read by all Americans." George Soros, financier and philanthropist

Review:

"The future of the American dream may lie in the hands of Andy Stern and his bold vision for reform. Read A Country That Works to understand the forces that split the American labor movement in 2005. Or read it for a glimpse into the heart of a man who has devoted his life to the struggle for a better deal for American working people. Either way, be prepared to throw out all your stereotypes about 'big labor' and embrace a vital agenda for change." Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America

Synopsis:

The maverick leader of the fastest-growing union in the United States proposes a revolutionary paradigm for America and labor--in which workers and management and all Americans can thrive in the global economy.

About the Author

Andy Stern is president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest and fastest-growing union in the United States and Canada. In July 2005, to more effectively represent workers' interests in the twenty-first century, he led his union, along with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and several others, out of the AFLCIO to start the Change to Win federation, the first new labor movement federation in fifty years. Stern is the leader of a number of successful, trailblazing campaigns to value and reward the work of America's workers. He was a key strategist in the creation of Wal-Mart Watch, a campaign to push for better work conditions and health care benefits for the company's employees. Stern also helped to found America Votes, a coalition of many large-membership organizations whose goal is to increase voter participation. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and he lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Contents

Chapter One: A Country That Doesn't Work

Chapter Two: Globalization Is for Real

Chapter Three: Change Has Got to Come

Chapter Four: A Story of Transformation

Chapter Five: Taking It to the Next Level

Chapter Six: The Strength of One

Chapter Seven: Pushing Past Partisan Roadblocks

Chapter Eight: Don't Let Them Fool You

Chapter Nine: A Plan for a Country That Works

Conclusion

Notes

Acknowledgments

Special Acknowledgment

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Will Bocock, June 5, 2011 (view all comments by Will Bocock)

Professor Stern probably did not intend this comparison; but the title of his book sounds as though it were written by former Alaska Governor Palin. Is there an opening for rapprochement of S.E.I.U. and the Tea Party?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
psezone9, December 31, 2006 (view all comments by psezone9)
Andy's view on the country is very eye opening. His vision of our country is on track and he shows us that we need to remain strong and united if we are to preserve a country worthy of our children living in.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(14 of 36 readers found this comment helpful)
Eric Sisneros, December 10, 2006 (view all comments by Eric Sisneros)
The "restructuring" of SEIU in California will displace hundreds of loyal staff when several public sector locals are merged into only 4 statewide as of January 1, 2007.

Heads have already begun to roll but not before direct dealing with OPEIU members garnered offers of a 41% cut in pay with the expectation of working 12-16 hour days.

For the past 5 months Mr. Stern and his representatives in California have ignored information requests and have refused to bargain in good faith with OPEIU members who have loyally worked for his union.

How can Mr. Stern disrespect his employees, circumvent the National Labor Relations Act, and then offer suggestions on how to repair the labor movement in America?

Mr. Stern, treat the union staff with the same dignity that you demand for your members. Come to the table with our official, elected representatives and negotiate in good faith.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(70 of 99 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743297677
Author:
Stern, Andy
Publisher:
Free Press
Author:
Stern, Andrew
Subject:
Labor & Industrial Relations
Subject:
Industrial relations
Subject:
Labor movement
Subject:
Labor & Industrial Relations - General
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Public Policy - General
Subject:
Labor & Industrial Relations - Unions
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
Labor movement -- United States.
Subject:
Labor unions -- United States.
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
October 2006
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 11.2 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Labor

A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$22.25 Backorder
Product details 224 pages Free Press - English 9780743297677 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The misleading title of this maverick, clearly argued account from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) president Stern elides the bulk of its contents: he bookends his story with the problem-globalization, a widening income gap and its concomitant crises-and its solutions, but sandwiched in between are several chapters of recent labor history from the vantage point of a key leader. Stern details how he led his union of janitors, home health workers, nurses and other laborers in a split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. According to Stern, this restructuring exemplifies the necessity of revitalizing unions for positive change in America. He's optimistic about the future of unionization in the U.S.: not only does he see membership in the organized labor movement increasing, he casts unions as a major force in implementing sweeping societal reforms. His proposals include altering the regressive Social Security tax to put more burden on high earners (i.e. removing the cap on wages taxed and ending the wage-tax-only), offering universal access to decent health care, implementing guaranteed retirement plans, providing equal access to the Internet and improving public education from pre-K on up. Free market fundamentalists will dismiss Stern's ideas and moderates may not be convinced by his idealism, but he provides an important point of view for organizers and labor historians." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Andy Stern has written an important book that reveals the alarming facts about how our government is failing to meet the challenges of globalization and putting America's future at risk. His bold vision for reform is a call to arms that should be read by all Americans."
"Review" by , "The future of the American dream may lie in the hands of Andy Stern and his bold vision for reform. Read A Country That Works to understand the forces that split the American labor movement in 2005. Or read it for a glimpse into the heart of a man who has devoted his life to the struggle for a better deal for American working people. Either way, be prepared to throw out all your stereotypes about 'big labor' and embrace a vital agenda for change."
"Synopsis" by , The maverick leader of the fastest-growing union in the United States proposes a revolutionary paradigm for America and labor--in which workers and management and all Americans can thrive in the global economy.
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