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 government to work 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? Air America Radio host Thom Hartmann shows that over 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 both Republicans and Democrats to protect the middle class and have replaced them with policies that favor the only the privileged few.
But the middle class is the very thing that makes America great. Thomas Jefferson himself believed that our very democracy depends upon our ability to play referee to the game of business, protecting labor and the public good. It is both our right and our responsibility, Jefferson wrote, to control “overgrown wealth” from becoming “dangerous to the state.”
We must not stand by while our democracy becomes a corporatocracy, serving an elite group of billionaire CEOs. There is another way. Thomas Jefferson knew how to build a middle class. Franklin Roosevelt knew how. We’ve done it before and we can do it, again. Following Hartmann’s commonsense proposals, we can recreate a prospering middle class that will ensure that our public institutions are not turned into private fiefdoms, meet people’s basic needs—for education, health care, a living wage—and keep America strong,
About the Author
Thom Hartmann is the host of a nationally syndicated Air America Radio program and is the author of eighteen books, including The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It’s Too Late; We the People: A Call to Take Back America; What Would Jefferson Do?, and Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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