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

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

4.7 14
by Thom Hartmann, Greg Palast

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By the bestselling author and XM and Sirius Satellite radio host heard on more than eighty radio stations coast to coast seven days a week Reveals how the middle class, nurtured as the backbone of democracy by our Founding Fathers, is being undermined by so-called conservatives Shows how we can reverse the erosion of the middle class and restore the egalitarian vision


By the bestselling author and XM and Sirius Satellite radio host heard on more than eighty radio stations coast to coast seven days a week Reveals how the middle class, nurtured as the backbone of democracy by our Founding Fathers, is being undermined by so-called conservatives Shows how we can reverse the erosion of the middle class and restore the egalitarian vision of the Founders Expanded edition with a new chapter on immigration and a new afterword by Greg Palast 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.

Product Details

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
BK Currents (Paperback)
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
2 MB

Meet 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.

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Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class - and What We Can Do About It 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my Dad who was a staunch Republican, but was beginning to feel that his party had become something entirely different than he hoped or imagined. After reading Screwed he was able to realize that what he has been led to believe and what is actually taking place in Washington bear little resemblence to one another. This book will give you the tools and knowledge to smack down just about any right wing talking point. Great historical tidbits and writings from the founding fathers thoughout the book. By the way, my Dad will not be voting for a Republican in this election and the book is being passed around to some of his other conservative friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do you feel like there is something wrong in politics these days? Thom gives you an honest history lesson how reagan redistributed the nations wealth and what the middle class must do to keep from becoming extinct.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must read book for anyone striving to understand what is going on in our country. Mr. Hartmann is articulate and knows his facts. He has no personal agenda except to dispense information which is vital to anyone who cares about the direction of this country (which should be everyone especially if they have children who will inherit the twisted legacy we are leaving). Read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Highly disturbing, historically revealing. Goes back to the roots of our Constitution and Bill of Rights -- and how the current ruling Corporatocracy came to be -- and what we must do to save the middle class in this once great Republic. If we don't turn it around -- I feel for my kids and their kids. Our entire politic is corupt to the core. We ignore it at our peril.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Since the early 1980s, American politics have been meshed with the interests of large corporations. The result is a new form of 'corporatocracy,' which Thom Hartmann links to the woes of the middle class. He believes that the political Conservatives who pushed for privatization and special corporate tax breaks intentionally harmed the American middle class, which he calls the bedrock of democracy. While the U.S. government has helped corporations and wealthy citizens, it has increasingly taxed the public and killed social programs that fostered the middle class. Hartmann focuses on the U.S.' future, which, he says, depends on having a healthy middle class. He adds a historical perspective by quoting America's founders, who predicted the dangers of creeping corporatism, economic elitism and an incipient aristocracy. Although he is very assertive in his attacks on Conservatives and corporations, his approach is refreshing. We found this impassioned analysis interesting, but ¿ fair warning ¿ you won't like it much if you're a corporate lobbyist or a Bush supporter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was absolutely moved and determined to improve middle class life because of this book! Even to the point of wanting to start a crusade against the Cons. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends because I believe that if a progressive movement doesn't start soon, my generation - the 18-25 crowd could do something about it and fight off the injustice that the government and the current administration is doing to us like conning Social Security, privatizing healthcare, screwing up public education [which I am a product of the beginnings of NCLB's effects], etc. Not just for today's generation, but for my children's and future generations to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the title suggests, Thom Hartmann's book explains how the middle class has been screwed by the very government it trusted. But Hartmann spares neither guilty Democrats nor Republicans in making his point. In the past 25 years, the middle class has been dangerously eroded through deceptive policies that enrich and benefit the elite and leave the rest of us behind. It is the middle class that is the foundation of our democracy - without it we will no longer be a democracy. We are now at a dangerous crossroads. The US has entered a new gilded age, not entirely dissimilar to the age of the Carnegies and Rockefellers at the turn of the last century. It took several decades, a Depression, and a leader with the stature and respect of FDR to set us on the right path again. If we don't take back the democracy that is being lost in the 21st century gilded age, we stand to lose the solid middle class that is the glue for keeping democracy in tact and healthy. Perhaps because Hartmann is not an economist by trade, he is able to clarify often abstract and complex issues. He cuts through the gobbledygook of statistics and economic theory and offers an everyman's explanation of what has happened. It is both lucid and provocative. It's hard to know what will be the stimulus for garnering a more active public when the corporatocracy controls the media that feeds the middle class the 'facts' as they want to them to be heard, controls the educational agenda that keeps people from really learning how to think, and controls the machines that tally our votes. Hartmann's analysis is surely a start.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is truly a wake up call. I was surprised to know who owns our ballot boxes and programs to run them. No wonder we don't get who we actually vote for. Another thing, I'm tired of hearing Boomers don't pay their way and we will break Social Security. Well the truth came out, we boomers have paid twice and extending our retirement so we can pay for the greed of our elected officials and big business. I say -- READ THIS BOOK and find out that we truly are being SCREWED by our own people --- They have sold us out for their GREED. Read it plus in the back of the book is the research to back it up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Short book with great points and factual information.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The books itself is written at an 8th grade level, -readable. Although, the book's editing lacks a smooth transition between ideas. Further, those ideas are never developed beyond a few pages or completely evolved. It's a hodgepodge, that requires the reader to correlate to the theme. The poor rating has nothing to do with the author's political opinions. Nonetheless, the author does not present the oppositions arguement.