cover image Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country

Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country

Thom Harmann, Berrett-Koehler, $24.95 (200p) ISBN 9781605097060

Nationally-syndicated radio host and bestselling author Hartmann (Screwed) takes up his progressive cudgels once again. His theme this time: the need to turn back the clock 30 years and undo the legacy of Reaganomics. Turning the clock back further still, he recounts a story about how George Washington had to have an American suit specially made for his Inauguration because, even after the revolution, fine clothing (and much else) was still imported from Britain. Unlike many who argue the need for a return to protectionist policies, Harmann doesn't fault China for skirting rules of free trade, but rather applauds their successful adoption of Hamiltonian economics, which in his opinion made America great. While many of his 11 points are broadly accepted by progressives (a carbon tax, for instance) his take on corporate reform is unique. Not only does he support strict regulation of corporate lobbyists and disavow the belief that the First Amendment endows corporations with rights, he suggests the U.S. replace large corporations with cooperatives and adopt a shareholder-free "social-capital" model; profits not used for reinvestment would be divided between employees and the community, avoiding "the pitfalls of both modern capitalism and old-fashioned communism." (Oct.)