Summary of Screwed

The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class - and What We Can Do About It

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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Screwed book summary
The American Dream once meant financial security, but those days are over. How did this happen?


7 Overall

6 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Since the early 1980s, American politics have been meshed with the interests of large corporations. The result is a new form of "corporatocracy," which Thom Hartmann links to the woes of the middle class. He believes that the political Conservatives who pushed for privatization and special corporate tax breaks intentionally harmed the American middle class, which he calls the bedrock of democracy. While the U.S. government has helped corporations and wealthy citizens, it has increasingly taxed the public and killed social programs that fostered the middle class. Hartmann focuses on the U.S.' future, which, he says, depends on having a healthy middle class. He adds a historical perspective by quoting America's founders, who predicted the dangers of creeping corporatism, economic elitism and an incipient aristocracy. Although he is very assertive in his attacks on Conservatives and corporations, his approach is refreshing. getAbstract found this impassioned analysis interesting, but – fair warning – you won't like it much if you're a corporate lobbyist or a Bush supporter.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What caused the demise of the middle class
  • How conservatives are harming the U.S.
  • How to save the middle class and defeat the Conservatives or "Cons."


America's war against the middle class began in the early 1980s and continues unabated. Consider this: In the first few years of the 21st century, five million people lost their health insurance. By 2006, more than 45 million Americans could not cover the costs of a major health problem. Some of this...
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About the Author

Air America radio talk show host Thom Hartmann has written 14 books, and speaks frequently on culture and communications. He is the former director of a treatment facility for abused children and has set up hospitals, relief programs, schools and communities for orphaned or blind children in Africa, Australia, Europe, India, Israel, Russia, South America and the U.S.

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