Michael A. Smith also has worked as a journalist, public relations executive, and congressional aide. He is the author of seven novels, described at www.writermichaelasmith.com
Naked America: Stripped of Its Many Myths, the Bare Truth Suggests Revolutionary, Economic, Political, and Social Reformsby Michael Smith
Michael A. Smith examines many of the nation's original ideals, and presents compelling information indicating most of them have been transformed into myths. For example, many regularly describe the United States as the land of economic opportunity, yet 20 percent of American households earn
Every society has its ideals, and its myths. In Naked America, author
Michael A. Smith examines many of the nation's original ideals, and presents compelling information indicating most of them have been transformed into myths. For example, many regularly describe the United States as the land of economic opportunity, yet 20 percent of American households earn half of all income, and own more than half of all the nation's assets. Education is touted as the road to success, although only one-third of high school graduates achieve a postsecondary education degree. Two-thirds of future jobs in what has become essentially a service economy are projected to be low- or very low-paying. In the world's self-proclaimed "greatest democracy," pessimism about government is widespread and only 35 percent of registered voters vote regularly. Although more than 80 percent of Americans profess to be practicing Christians, New Testament ethics appear overwhelmed by mindless materialism, pervasive marketplace fraud, a high crime rate,
constant ideological bickering, and cultural kitsch. To rectify this situation and turn America's ideals into reality, the author proposes many wide-ranging social, economic, and political reforms.
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These 56 essays begin with an analysis of the nature of humankind, the purpose of life and the role of government in achieving those goals. The author then constructs a statistical picture of many important current issues. When the facts suggest a less than ideal situation, Smith proposes a remedy or alternative. The 650-page book contains over 800 footnotes. In a time when the majority of Americans say they are dissatisfied with government solutions, and bemoan do-nothing politicians, this book is full of unique and controversial alternatives: a new social contract, a direct democracy, a “wealth exchange economy,” and a revamped education system that both rewards merit and prepares students for work. Several essays question our current societal attitudes, values and goals, mainly our emphasis upon consumerism and hedonism. Conservatives, nationalists and religious fundamentalists are not going to like this book, with its emphasis upon science and technology and the need for constant change. I certainly didn’t agree with every essay. However, if you want to be intellectually stimulated, or challenged to reaffirm your own contrary thoughts, Naked America is a book worth reading.