The Real State of the Union
Ted Halstead, ed.
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Buy *The Real State of the Union: From the Best Minds in America, Bold Solutions to the Problems Politicians Dare Not Address* online

The Real State of the Union: From the Best Minds in America, Bold Solutions to the Problems Politicians Dare Not Address
Ted Halstead, ed.
Basic Books
287 pages
March 2004
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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With an upcoming election that could determine the course of American prosperity, security and liberty, The Real State of the Union is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of this great nation. This collection of essays, edited by Ted Halstead, President of the New America Foundation (from which many of the essayists come), offers realistic and bold solutions to the biggest challenges America faces today: Social Security and Medicare; lack of health insurance; declining public schools with poor performance results; too many citizens out of work; too many citizens in jail; too many citizens getting sick; lack of corporate trust; lack of trust in government leadership; racism; anger towards leadership; the aging population and the problems it poses, and so much more.

But unlike a book filled with rants and raves about whatís wrong with this country, these essayists offer ideas and research that give workable solutions to the problems they speak of. Featured contributors are mainly members of the New America Foundation and many are specialists in their fields, as well as seasoned reporters and columnists. The expertise here REALLY comes from experts and not your typical hothead pundits who like to blame, blame, blame but rarely, if ever, offer a modicum of intelligent advice in the way of how to fix what they are complaining about.

The creative solutions offered include ways to keep the Baby Boomer population from becoming the new poor by keeping Social Security solvent, shoring up Medicare and examining universal health care, encouraging personal savings to ward off a disastrous plunge towards the poverty level of millions of families struggling to make ends meet, empowering workers, paying teachers what they are worth, closing the income gap, radically reforming the unfair tax system, giving children a leg up on education savings, and more. Even better than just offering solutions, these essayists also pierce big holes in the current administrationís plans and give detailed reasons why the economic, security and military policies do nothing to help build a stronger nation.

This is not a right-wing or left-wing attack on the other side, and both the Republicans and Democrats are called to task over and over again throughout The Real State of the Union for their shared failure to keep the American people prosperous, safe, healthy and free. Both parties are equally guilty for gutting responsible politics and replacing what little good they have done with laws and bills that continuously favor the rich and powerful. The trickle-down theory didnít work then, as this book points out, and it wonít work today. Americans deserve much more.

I strongly suggest every American citizen read this book, but even moreso, I urge them to read it and PASS IT ON to their representatives and senators, demanding that these great ideas be examined and implemented. If enough of our elected officials were forced to read these powerful and effective concepts for improving the state of the union, we just might have a great future for our children to look forward to.

It is THAT important.

© 2004 by Marie D. Jones for Curled Up With a Good Book

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