SCREWED – The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do About it – THOM HARTMANN

I had barely finished « What Would Jefferson do? » that  I hurried to buy « Screwed » as I kept hearing it on Thom Hartmann’s radio program. And then I heard he was also coming to Santa Monica, CA with his upcoming book « Cracking the Code » (which I will review in a little bit).
Not only his this book (so far) my favovite but it also contains a foreword by Mark Crispin Miller and an afterword by Greg Palast!!! Talk about endorsement.
So here is Thom Hartmann again defending the Middle Class of America and doing it with bravado. His knowledge of our democracy (as brilliantly demonstrated in What Would Jefferson do?) is here put into demonstration in each of the chapters of this book. My favorite chapter concerns Thomas Paine against the Freeloaders. Paine was such a wonderful progressive character who needs to be REALLY rescued from obscurity. Also, it contains one of my favorite « to the point » paragraphs of the book: « Most Americans [] don’t realize that a middle class is created and maintained by direct intervention in the marketplace by a democratic government, including laws protecting labor, defining minimum wage, and taxing great wealth. Without these progressive laws, America would revert to what it looked like during the Robber Baron Era – the average worker earning the equivalent of around $10,000 a year in today’s dollars and a wealthy elite so rich and powerful that every branch of government was under its direct and indirect control ».

The scary part is that this is where WE ARE again!. And the author proves it.
The other big chapter of the book is the one about Healthcare in America and is reminiscent of what Michael Moore has showed in his movie Sicko as well. The United States is STILL the only western industrialized nation without Universal Healthcare and it ranks so low in its healthcare quality that some third world country seem to actually do better.

I loved this book and I wish I had the space to talk about it more. Also, I tremendously enjoyed seeing and talking to Mr. Hartmann when he came at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica, CA on November 29, 2007. He is a wonderful speaker (and his radio show is testament to that) and his knowledge of current politics, psychology and the crisis facing this country is impressive. I recommend this book and his author’s radio show for anybody interesting in the state of country.

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