America the Possible
"In this third volume of his award-winning American Crisis series, James Gustave Speth makes his boldest and most ambitious contribution yet. He looks unsparingly at the sea of troubles in which the United States now finds itself, charts a course through the discouragement and despair commonly felt… More »
"In this third volume of his award-winning American Crisis series, James Gustave Speth makes his boldest and most ambitious contribution yet. He looks unsparingly at the sea of troubles in which the United States now finds itself, charts a course through the discouragement and despair commonly felt today, and envisions what he calls America the Possible, an attractive and plausible future that we can still realize.The book identifies a dozen features of the American political economy--the country's basic operating system--where transformative change is essential. It spells out the specific changes that are needed to move toward a new political economy--one in which the true priority is to sustain people and planet. Supported by a compelling "theory of change" that explains how system change can come to America, the book also presents a vision of political, social, and economic life in a renewed America. Speth envisions a future that will be well worth fighting for. In short, this is a book about the American future and the strong possibility that we yet have it in ourselves to use our freedom and our democracy in powerful ways to create something fine, a reborn America, for our children and grandchildren"--Provided by publisher.
"The "New Economy Movement," as Gar Alperovitz described it in The Nation, is an effort to unite the various wings of progressive politics into a coherent set of ideas and programs that will be radically different from the current free-market paradigm. The movement arises out of environmentalism: the era of climate change, it asserts, demands a much deeper rethinking of American institutions than much of the political establishment is willing to contemplate. This book, as its title suggests, is the New Economy Movement's manifesto. Gus Speth argues that America faces four problems of such magnitude that any one of them could seriously undermine the nation. All four together will almost certainly lead to a crisis, especially since the problems interact with each other. The four problems are: 1. the growth of inequality in our country, which is not only an economic burden but a social one, as it is creating classes of people who have little knowledge of or sympathy for each others' lives, and little commitment to addressing the problems of others; 2. the increasingly onerous burden of foreign military commitments; 3. climate change; 4. our increasingly polarized and dysfunctional politics. It's the interactions that are the most frightening: how, for instance, will the U.S. respond to sea-level rise in Bangladesh that forces tens of millions of people to flee the coast for higher ground? This would not only create a humanitarian crisis but a diplomatic and military one as well. America, politically paralyzed and economically almost bankrupt, would be called upon to act or cede its strategic supremacy"--Provided by publisher.
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