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Monday, 29 November 2010 07:20

Mark Karlin on Thom Hartmann's Latest Book, "Rebooting the American Dream"

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THOM HARTMANN'S "INDEPENDENT THINKER" REVIEW OF THE MONTH FOR TRUTHOUT/BUZZFLASH:

NOVEMBER 2010

Each month or so, BuzzFlash is privileged to have nationally syndicated progressive talk show host and author Thom Hartmann review a progressive book or DVD exclusively for BuzzFlash/Truthout.  See all of Thom's reviews for Truthout/BuzzFlash at "Independent Thinker."

This month, Mark Karlin, Editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout is guest reviewing Thom Hartmann's newest book, "Rebooting the American Dream." The book is being exclusively excerpted in installments on Truthout.  It can also be ordered in hardcover as a gift with a minimum donation to Truthout/BuzzFlash.

Rebooting the American Dream - 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country

By Thom Hartmann

Reviewed by Mark Karlin, Editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout

If you listen to Thom Hartmann on his radio program or watch him on the RT Network, you know that he unrelentingly hammers home on saving America's middle class.  He repeatedly reminds us that a nation that is in rapid decline as a producer of goods will economically deteriorate and lose the ability for the majority of its citizens to prosper.

Such is the state of America today, Hartmann argues -- and given our increasing reliance on foreign goods and the closing of factories in the US -- it would be hard to provide any evidence to the contrary.  Once a nation's economy becomes dependent upon raw goods and finished products manufactured abroad, it has lost control over the financial well-being of its people.

In "Rebooting the American Dream," Hartmann offers a detailed plan to get America back on track by rebuilding its production capacity and bringing balance to its economic wealth.  Using Alexander Hamilton's plan for the nation's economic independence as a point of departure, Hartmann offers detailed solutions to many of our vexing problems. Senator Bernie Sanders, who is a regular Friday guest on Hartmann's radio program, writes of "Rebooting the American Dream": Hartmann's "very specific ideas as to how we can save the collapsing middle class and rebuild the American Dream are worthy of serious thought and discussion."

If we increasingly become a nation of unemployed and low-wage workers who must shop at Wal-Mart to buy cheap goods made for near slave wages overseas, we are doomed to become a third-world economy for the masses. But Hartmann is ever optimistic that the true innovative spirit of America can be tapped, along with a recognition that we must reclaim our industrial capacity even if it means we will pay a bit more for goods.  In the long run, we will be a more prosperous nation for more of our citizens if we reclaim our economy from global corporations whose only loyalty is to profits, not to the US or the workers of America.

Hartmann reminds us that we have the power and revolutionary tradition to rebel against entrenched power -- which is what gave birth to America -- and recreate an economy and nation that builds its strength from the middle up, and not from the top down.  That's why chapters such as "Roll Back the Reagan Tax Cuts" and "Wal-Mart is Not a Person" are so compelling.

Ever the advocate of individual activism, Hartmann closes his book with a refrain heard often on his radio program, "Tag You're It":

“Tag, You’re It!” is about tried-and-true methods—most that we’ve used before in this country and all that we’ve at least flirted with—that can bring back a strong middle class and restore America to stability and prosperity without endangering future generations. It’s straightforward, easily understood, and the only obstacle to implementing virtually every chapter’s suggestion is the power of vast wealth (usually corporate wealth). Past presidents—most famously Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt—have openly challenged this corporate power, and the time has come for the current or next president (and Congress) to do the same. But they won’t if We the People don’t demand it.

Thom doesn't waste time complaining about the deteriorated state of the nation.  There's too much work to be done, and it's our job to do it.  If we don't get about the business of "Rebooting the American Dream," who will?

Thom Hartmann is a New York Times bestselling author and host of the top nationally syndicated progressive radio talk show. You can learn more about Thom Hartmann at his website and find out what stations broadcast his program. He also now has a daily television program at RT Network. You can also listen to Thom over the Internet.

**** Mark Karlin is Editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout, and in full disclosure a colleague and friend of Thom Hartmann.
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