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Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do about It

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Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do about It Cover

ISBN13: 9781576754146
ISBN10: 1576754146
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The American middle class is on its deathbed. Ordinary folks who put in a solid day's work can no longer afford to buy a house, send their kids to college, or even get sick. If you're not a CEO, you're probably screwed.

America wasn't meant to be like this. Air America Radio host Thom Hartmann shows that our Founding Fathers worked hard to ensure that a small group of wealthy people would never dominate this country — they'd had enough of aristocracy. They put policies in place to ensure a thriving middle class. When the middle class took a hit, beginning in the post-Civil War Gilded Age and culminating in the Great Depression, democracy-loving leaders like Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower revitalized it through initiatives like antitrust regulations, fair labor laws, the minimum wage, Social Security, and Medicare.

So what happened? In the last twenty-five years, we've witnessed an undeclared war against the middle class. The so-called conservatives waging this war are only interested in conserving — and steadily increasing — their own wealth and power. Hartmann shows how, under the guise of "freeing" the market, they've systematically dismantled the programs set up by Republicans and Democrats to protect the middle class and have installed policies that favor the superrich and corporations.

But it's not too late to return to the America our Founders envisioned. Hartmann outlines a series of commonsense proposals that will ensure that our public institutions are not turned into private fiefdoms and that people's basic needs — education, health care, a living wage — are met in a way that allows the middle class to expand, not shrink.

America will be stronger with a growing, prospering middle class — rule by the rich will only make it weaker. Democracy requires a fair playing field, and it will survive only if We the People stand up, speak out, and reclaim our democratic birthright.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the 'cons' have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American." Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine

Review:

"Thom Hartmann's book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con's war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet." Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall

Review:

"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again." Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places

Review:

"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America's middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world." David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World

Review:

"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom's great work, it helps show us the way forward." Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While

Review:

"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull's eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called 'free market.' Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now." Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy

Book News Annotation:

Welcome to the middle class. In four years you have lost over $1600 in buying power a year, about one million private sector jobs and, chances are good, your health insurance. Talk show host Hartmann describes how the middle class is an anomaly in a free market economy, buttressed by entitlements, including minimum wage and fair labor laws, but how it is most certainly not an anomaly in a democracy. He argues the middle class has been the victim of systematic dismantling of the entitlements set in place in the Franklin Roosevelt years and shortly thereafter, and how the practice of medicine could be for health, the rules of pay could be fair, and the playing field of entitlement could be level. Mainly he urges the middle class to avoid getting crewed by getting involved. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The American middle class is on its deathbed. People who put in a solid day's work can no longer afford to buy a house, send their kids to college, or even get sick. If you’re not a CEO, you’re probably screwed. 

 

As Air America Radio Host Thom Hartmann shows, this death is no accident.  Like the Founding Fathers, patriots such as Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower knew that economic opportunity and democracy go hand-in-hand. They believed in maximizing the public good and they worked tirelessly to build the strongest middle class the world has ever seen.  But now, under the guise of “freeing the market,” conservative and corporate forces are waging a covert war against the middle class, dismantling policies like Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage, and fair labor laws — the very safeguards that foster economic opportunity and citizen engagement. The result is an economic system designed to line the pockets of the super-rich, the impending extinction of the middle class, and a very real, very dangerous threat to democracy itself.

 

By exposing the systematic efforts to destroy the middle class, Screwed empowers readers to stand up, speak out, and reclaim their democratic birthrights.

About the Author

Thom Hartmann is an American broadcaster, author, and psychotherapist. He hosts a 3-hour daily radio show broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio, 29 terrestrial radio stations, podcast via mp3 archives at both The White Rose Society and Air America Radio Premium, and streamed for free on RadioPower.org, Air America's website, and The White Rose Society. His national program, which airs weekdays from noon until 3 p.m. ET, is now syndicated by Air America Radio.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

aurelio23, October 16, 2006 (view all comments by aurelio23)
The rape of the Middle Class is nothing new. It is still debatable whether such rape has often been necessary to create the need for change in a given culture. We are aware that rape ?as aptly named by Thom ? has been a constant in most civilizations, beginning with the Sumerians, the Greeks, the Romans and a succession of kingdoms and republics. ?Screwed? presents a fearful review of what is in store for the US. Unless??
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(27 of 51 readers found this comment helpful)
Cheryl Marseilles, September 4, 2006 (view all comments by Cheryl Marseilles)
This is a great book to read for us everyday middle class people, who are trying to stay ahead ,but just can't seems to make it. A very direct book on life in the US, and how we just can't get ahead .
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(42 of 65 readers found this comment helpful)
jasonduerr, August 23, 2006 (view all comments by jasonduerr)
Thom Hartmann's writings range from extrordinary to amazing. In each and every one of his books and articles, readers can expect facts and history that you were unaware of all your life to suddenly illuminate the way you see the world around you.

I find myself with new tools to interprerate and make sense of news items that sould be screaming headlines in a free society.

Though I do not always agree with Mr. Hartmann (we're talking a 99-1 ration of agreement), I am amazed at his ability to frame arguments for the real facts, and even in the face of total disagreement (such as his radio guests sometimes featured in the first hour), he can walk away from an argument agreeing that one's strong feelings stem from a common ground: love for America.

I write this as I place my order for this book. My other books by Mr. Hartmann have been excellent reads, as well as gifts for relatives that didn't expect to agree on so many issues with a professed liberal. Lastly, it has been my personal tradition every year near the 4th of July, to celebrate the meaning of America by re-reading Thom's summary of the Boston Tea Harbor incident from his previous work, "Unequal Protection".

Every interested American, no matter what side of the fence you are on, will find much common cause with Thom's viewpoint.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(70 of 93 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781576754146
Author:
Hartmann, Thom
Publisher:
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Foreword by:
Miller, Mark Crispin
Foreword:
Miller, Mark Crispin
Author:
Hartmann, Thom
Subject:
History
Subject:
Civics
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Social classes
Subject:
Middle class
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - General
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Public Policy - Economic Policy
Subject:
Civics & Citizenship
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Bk Currents
Publication Date:
20060931
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
239
Dimensions:
9.32x6.44x.93 in. 1.20 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » American Studies » Culture Wars
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Labor
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Culture
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » Sociology » Social Classes

Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do about It Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 239 pages Berrett-Koehler Publishers - English 9781576754146 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the 'cons' have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
"Review" by , "Thom Hartmann's book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con's war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
"Review" by , "The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again." Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
"Review" by , "Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America's middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
"Review" by , "I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom's great work, it helps show us the way forward."
"Review" by , "Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull's eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called 'free market.' Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now." Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
"Synopsis" by ,
The American middle class is on its deathbed. People who put in a solid day's work can no longer afford to buy a house, send their kids to college, or even get sick. If you’re not a CEO, you’re probably screwed. 

 

As Air America Radio Host Thom Hartmann shows, this death is no accident.  Like the Founding Fathers, patriots such as Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower knew that economic opportunity and democracy go hand-in-hand. They believed in maximizing the public good and they worked tirelessly to build the strongest middle class the world has ever seen.  But now, under the guise of “freeing the market,” conservative and corporate forces are waging a covert war against the middle class, dismantling policies like Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage, and fair labor laws — the very safeguards that foster economic opportunity and citizen engagement. The result is an economic system designed to line the pockets of the super-rich, the impending extinction of the middle class, and a very real, very dangerous threat to democracy itself.

 

By exposing the systematic efforts to destroy the middle class, Screwed empowers readers to stand up, speak out, and reclaim their democratic birthrights.

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