by Robert Kuttner
Retail price $14.95
Amazon Price: $10.17
Barack Obama approaches the Presidency at a critical moment in
American history, facing simultaneous crises of war, the
environment, health care, but most especially in the economy. If he
is able to rise to the moment, he could join the ranks of a small
handful of previous presidents who have been truly transformative,
succeeding in fundamentally changing our economy, society, and
democracy for the better.
But this will require imaginative and decisive action as Obama
takes office, action bolder than he has promised during his
campaign, and will be all the more difficult given the undertow of
conventional wisdom in Washington and on Wall Street that resists
fundamental change. Decades of regressive politics and political
gridlock have left America in its most precarious situation since
the onset of the Great Depression. The collapse of the housing
bubble continues, as does the financial meltdown it triggered; a
revival of 1970s style stagflation threatens; incomes continue to
lag behind inflation; our household and international debts pile
higher; disastrous climate change looms; energy and food prices
continue their escalation; and the ranks of un- and under-insured
Americans grow as the health insurance system unravels.
Facing their own great challenges, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin
Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson rallied the American people to
overcome deadlocked politics in order to achieve progressive
transformations—abolishing slavery, transcending economic
depression, and redeeming the promise of civil rights. In his own
way, Ronald Reagan oversaw a grand shift in public attitudes and
government direction. Each president used exceptional leadership to
change the national mood, and then the national policy.
By appealing to what was most noble in the American spirit, these
presidents energized movements for change, and in turn put pressure
on themselves and on the Congress to move far beyond what was deemed
conceivable. They generated accelerating momentum for far-reaching
reforms that proved politically irresistible.
Solutions to our multiple challenges do exist, but they won’t be
found in overly cautious or expedient quick fixes. With his
exceptional skill at appealing to our better angels, Barack Obama
could be the right leader at the right time to re-awaken America to
the renewed promise of shared prosperity coupled with responsibility
towards future generations and the international community with whom
we share the Earth. Invoking America’s greatest leaders, Robert
Kuttner explains how Obama must be a transformative president—or a
Robert Kuttner goes into some detail regarding the economy and
how progressive programs could be a great help. He recognizes the
political problems involved in getting these programs started and
recommends some strategies that Barak Obama could pursue. His
presentation is very insightful - maybe he should be an advisor to
the president elect.
Very interesting: He wrote this book and submitted it to publication
well before the election and at least a half year before it became
obvious to most people as to how wide and deep the present
depression (my word) is. Is this guy a prophet?
~Reviewed by Jerry C.