The United States is in the midst of an economic implosion that could make the Great Depression look like child's play. In The Crash of 2016, Thom Hartmann argues that the facade of our once-great United States will soon disintegrate to reveal the rotting core where corporate and billionaire power and greed have replaced democratic infrastructure and governance. Our once-enlightened political and economic systems have been manipulated to ensure the success of only a fraction of the population at the expense of the rest of us.
The result is a "for the rich, by the rich" scheme leading to policies that only benefit the highest bidders. Hartmann outlines the destructive forces - planted by Lewis Powell in 1971 and come to fruition with the "Reagan Revolution" - that have looted our nation over the past decade, and how their actions fit into a cycle of American history that lets such forces rise to power every four generations.
However, a backlash is now palpable against the "economic royalists" - a term coined by FDR to describe those hoarding power and wealth - including the banksters, oligarchs, and politicians who have plunged our nation into economic chaos and social instability.
Although we are in the midst of what could become the most catastrophic economic crash in American history, a way forward is emerging, just as it did in the previous great crashes of the 1760s, 1856, and 1929. The choices we make now will redefine American culture. Before us stands a genuine opportunity to embrace the moral motive over the profit motive - and to rebuild the American economic model that once yielded great success.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Cal H on 29-04-15
New twist/ much learned
I have read all the books talking about market crashes and so forth. This one is unique - and was certainly worth my while. it has a different twist and it brings in unique historical facts that add much to my knowledge of market forces and economics. If you are a Republican, you may have to bite your tongue in a few places and just grin and bear it. Do not let the political views of the author cloud the message being delivered. I have to admit, it does get dry in some parts and I had to skip one chapter as it got too deep into the politics. There is much truth in this book it is definitely a must read (or in this case a must listen).
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Madeleine on 04-05-14
Good analysis, interesting conclusions
Hartmann's book is a very good, plain language look at the history of economics and the pendulum swings from liberal to conservative economic policies. It's a far easier read, but makes similar points to Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century. So, if you peeked at that but found it daunting, this is a more accessible book that focuses specifically on the US.
Like Piketty's book, it argues that, far from hindering economic growth and stability, high levels of taxation of the super rich were directly responsible for the enormous growth of the middle class and dominated during the US's most prosperous decades. And that we now find ourselves in a second 'gilded age' where a small percentage holds the overwhelming bulk of the wealth. Both books use incontestable, factual data to show that trickle-down economics never worked, that high taxation of the rich never stifled economic prosperity for the vast majority of Americans, and that any policies that enable and perpetuate the vast accumulation of wealth in the hands of a very few spells economic misery for the many and, in the case of Hartmann's book, threatens the fabric of democracy as we know it.
The let down in this book is Hartmann's repeated use of the word 'royalists' to represent supporters of the unregulated, anti-taxation, free market forces. I found it distracting and annoying dogmatic. To call them 'royalists' is misleading. There is no monarchy being ideologically defended here. Royalists, at least, hold an ideological belief in the responsibility of a monarch to rule in the best interests of his/her nation. These people are oligarchs (or aspire to be oligarchs) in a lawless, ethic-less anarchy where the only thing that is good is greed.
18 of 22 people found this review helpful