Working the Pivot Points: To Make America Work Again

Working the Pivot Points: To Make America Work Again

by Frank Islam, Ed Crego

NOOK Book(eBook)

$8.99 $9.99 Save 10% Current price is $8.99, Original price is $9.99. You Save 10%.

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details


The nation is in a pivotal period. We ignore the current conditions at our peril. Frank Islam and Ed Crego recognize this. That is why they have written this book as the sequel to their book, Renewing the American Dream: A Citizen’s Guide for Restoring Our Competitive Advantage, that they co-authored with George Munoz in 2010. In this new book, Islam and Crego plot the progress—or lack thereof—that has been made since 2010 and identify major pivot point areas that must be addressed in a positive manner to move the nation forward rather backward. They introduce the pivot point construct as a way for identifying, analyzing and thinking about what needs to be done at the key pivot points which include: the debt and deficit “crisis,” congressional dysfunction, citizen dysfunction, individual economic well being, global competition, manufacturing, immigration, education and innovation. Islam and Crego have structured this book to be a primer and participant’s guide for concerned citizens who want to get involved in “working the pivot points.” Each substantive chapter ends with a section called Pivot Point Report Card to enable the reader to engage in an organized reflection on the status of that pivot point at the time he or she is completing the chapter

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984612635
Publisher: IMC Publishing
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 401
File size: 631 KB

About the Author

Frank Islam is a successful entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist with a special commitment to civic, educational and artistic causes. He sold his information technology firm, the QSS Group in 2007, and currently heads the FI Investment Group. Frank serves on numerous boards and advisory councils including the U.S Institute of Peace, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Brookings Institution. He also serves on various boards and councils at more than one-half dozen universities including Johns Hopkins, American University, and George Mason University.

Ed Crego is known as a “consultant’s consultant.” He has led major consulting practices specializing in strategic planning, customer focus and organizational transformation. His clients include organizations such as: Motorola, John Deere, Volkswagen, Marriott, National Automobile Dealers Association; American Medical Association, and the U.S. Departments of Labor, Commerce and State.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface: Pivot Points in Perspective xiii

The Confidence Game xiii

American Misery xv

American Melancholy xvii

American Mania xviii

Tipping Points, Turning Points and Talking Points xx

Why This Book? Why Now? Why Us? xxi

Ch. 1 Pivot Points in American History: The Way We Weren't 1

Revisionist History 1

The Platform for Pivot Points 3

Pivot Points on Parade 4

Pivot Point Takeaways 27

Ch. 2 The Deficit and Debt Crisis: Poised on a Pivot Point 29

The Debt Ceiling Debacle 30

The "Debate" in Context and Perspective 31

Simpson-Bowles Moves Center Stage 32

Paul Ryan's Private War Goes Public 34

The Stupor Committee 35

Free for All 37

Stuck in a Time Warp 38

Noncompromising Positions 40

Ch. 3 Attention Deficit Disorder: Show Me the Money 41

Fiscal Cliff or Bunny Slope? 42

From Cliff Dwelling to Mountain Climbing 45

Sequestration Nation 47

Fuss Budgets 49

One Mans Debt Ceiling/Another Man's Floor 50

A Tale of Two Countries 52

It's the Econometrics Stupid 55

The Economic Abyss 58

The Skilled Worker Shortage Fallacy 60

Pivot Point Recommendation: Create a National Jobs Agenda 63

Ch. 4 Congressional Dysfunction: Beltway Blues 68

The 112th's Report Card 68

You Can't Get There from Here 70

In God We Trust 72

Trust-Busting 73

Congress at the Crossroads 76

Getting to Maybe 78

Pivot Point Recommendations: Working on "Yes" 82

Structure: Break Up the Island States of America 83

Knowledge: Make Congress Smarter 86

Finance: Control the Big Money Interests 88

Ch. 5 Citizenship Dysfunction: Coming Together or Coming Apart? 93

The Great Divide 93

The Politics of Division and Subtraction 95

High Anxiety, Low Information, Moderate Expectations 96

The Divine Right: Conservatives, God, Politics and Policy 99

A Case Study: Gun Control vs. Mind Control 102

A Citizens Mind 104

Citizenship in the United States 106

Education, Civic Education and the Civic Literacy Gap 107

Time for 21st Century Citizenship 110

Pivot Point Recommendations: All for One and One for All 113

Education: From STEM to STERN 113

Collaboration: National Service Not Military Service 115

Participation: Voter Expression Not Voter Suppression 119

Interdependence Day: Celebrating the "Us" in USA 121

Ch. 6 Individual Economic Well-Being: The 100 Percent 125

Income Inequality: Trends and Tragedies 126

Inequality Takes Many Forms 127

Health Inequality 128

Unemployment and Underemployment Inequality 128

Generational Inequality 129

Gender Inequality 129

Asset Inequality 130

The Incredible Shrinking Middle Class 130

A Permanent Underclass? 132

Clash Warfare 134

The Not So Great Redistribution Debate 136

Hands On, Hand Up, Hands Off 139

Labor's Love Lost 143

Pivot Point Recommendation: Renew the American Dream 147

Job Creation 147

Wage Enhancement 148

Asset Building 149

Social Safety Net Development 150

The Rationale for Attacking Inequality 151

Hope Dies Last 152

Ch. 7 Global Competition: Up Against the BRIC Wall 156

Competitiveness Assessment 157

Overall Competitiveness Assessment 158

Basic Requirements Competitiveness Assessment 158

Efficiency Enhancers Competitiveness Assessment 158

Innovation and Sophistication Competitiveness Assessment 159

Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis 160

Brazil Strengths and Weaknesses 160

Russia Strengths and Weaknesses 160

India Strengths and Weaknesses 161

China Strengths and Weaknesses 161

United States Strengths and Weaknesses 161

Competitiveness Sustainability: Chinks in the BPJC Wall 162

The Context for Competition: Is Globalization Dead? 165

American Competitiveness: Good to Great 166

Pivot Point Recommendation: Global Competitiveness Commission 169

We've Only Just Begun 170

Ch. 8 Manufacturing: Slip, Sliding, Away? 174

The Manufacturing Imperative 175

The State of Manufacturing 176

The State of Manufacturing Legislation 179

National Manufacturing Strategy 180

"Make It in America" Agenda 180

National Infrastructure Bank 182

Manufacturing Ideas 182

Andrew Liveris 182

Brookings Institution 183

The Information Technology and Information Foundation 184

Manufacturing Renewal Recommendations 184

Primary Recommendations 185

Subsidiary Recommendations 185

The Manufacturing Need 186

Pivot Point Recommendations: Back in the Driver's Seat 187

National Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure Bank (3-1 Bank) 188

Job Creation Linkage 189

Small Business and Entrepreneurial Financial and Technical Assistance 190

Manufacturing the Future 191

Ch. 9 Entrepreneurs: I Have a Dream 194

No Fire in the Belly. No Fuel in the Tank 194

Small May Not Be So Beautiful 196

Small Business Scorecard 196

Start-ups and Entrepreneurial Job Creation 199

The Federal Government, Entrepreneurs and Small Business 200

Growing the Gazelle Companies 202

Pivot Point Recommendation: Help the Mainstream and Main Street 205

Making the Case for Small Business 207

Ch. 10 Immigration: Don't Fence Me In 210

Immigrant Nation 211

Importing Talent 212

Exporting Talent 213

Immigration Straightjacket 214

Mexican Immigration Today: A Trickle or a Stream? 215

Reform-Senate Style: An Idea Whose Time Had Come 216

A Building Consensus-Bushwhacked 219

Reform-House Style: What's This About Comprehensive? 220

Pivot Point Recommendation: Strategic Immigration Reform 223

A Dissenting View on "High-Tech" Immigrants 224

Differing Views on Costs and Benefits 225

Ch. 11 Education: Up in the Error 230

Higher Education, Student Loans: Victors and Victims 231

Attainment, Accountability and Avoidance 233

The Need for Customer-Centered Reform of Higher Education 234

Education Reform in Motion ... 241

American Students versus the World 245

Doomed by Demographics? 247

Charter Schools: Cure or Curse? 249

Educational Statesmanship 252

Pivot Point Recommendation: Create 10,000 Union Cities 254

Ch. 12 Innovation: Progress Is Our Most Important Product 259

Innovation Inhibition 259

Patents Pending 261

Patents Periscope 262

The Innovation Playing Field 263

Innovation Opportunities 265

Innovation Industry Targets: Health Care, Government and Education 267

Innovation Partnership: The Public and Private Sectors 268

Making America the Creation Nation Again 270

Pivot Point Recommendations: A "Mojo" Agenda 272

Establish a National Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure Bank (3-1 Bank) 272

Right Size, Modernize and Incentivize the Federal Government 275

Prepare the 21st Century Workforce 277

No More Jobs? 279

Epilogue: Pivot Forward 284

American Exceptionalism Defeats Extremism 284

The Citizens' Mood-2012: Realistic/Skeptical Not Cynical 288

A League of Their Own 289

The Reasons 290

The Responses 293

The Recommendations 294

Political Messengers Need New Ideas 296

Decomposing Congress 298

Congressional Omens and Indicators 300

The Citizens' Mood-2013: Concerned, Skeptical but Caring 303

The Pivot Point Crystal Ball 304

Expected Case 306

Best Case 307

Worst Case 307

Greasing the Pivot Points 308

Patience, Persistence and Principles 311

Acknowledgments 313

Bibliography 315

Endnotes 320

Index 358

Customer Reviews