124 Slices
Medium 9781576757611

Starting Salem in New Hampshire

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

From The Prophet’s Way: A Guide to Living in the Now

He who helps in the saving of others, saves himself as well.


IN JULY AND AUGUST 1978, GOTTFRIED MüLLER’S CHILDREN’S orchestra came for four weeks to the United States and toured the halls he had requested and which Louise Sutermeister and I had set up and publicized; they also took a trip to Florida. I traveled with him and the kids, and in each city Herr Müller gave speeches to groups of invited guests.

In one city only two people showed up to hear him. He knocked himself out, giving a powerful and enthusiastic speech about Salem, the coming times, and the work he was doing. He was dramatic, dynamic, and moving.

Afterward I asked him why he’d gone to so much trouble for just two people; he could have just sat with them and talked.

“When only a few people show up, then you know it is the most important speech you must give,” he said. “Just as when a person donates only $1 to Salem, that is the most important donation.” It reminded me of the story Jesus told in the Bible about the widow who could afford to give only a few mites (pennies) and how her contribution was more important and spiritually powerful than those of the wealthy elite. Similarly, one person has often been at the pivot point of world changes. If that one person happened to be in an audience that had only a few people—or even only that one person—giving that speech may be the event that could eventually lead to the transformation of the world.

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Medium 9781605095592

CHAPTER 23 Capitalists and Americans Speak Out for Community

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In America, no other distinction between man and man had ever been known but that of persons in office exercising powers by authority of the laws, and private individuals. Among these last, the poorest laborer stood on equal ground with the wealthiest millionaire, and generally on a more favored one whenever their rights seem to jar.

—Thomas Jefferson: Answers to de Meusnier Questions, 1786

ALTHOUGH WE HAVE MUCH THAT WE MIGHT CHANGE ABOUT OUR GOVERNment and business, it’s clear that we also have a great and noble heritage on which to build and many great leaders in whose footsteps we can follow. Unlike America’s Founders, however, we don’t have to start from a blank piece of paper.

The Founders set the principles for us, and they inspired the world over—from the French Revolution to Tiananmen Square. Our job is to pick up the torch of liberty.

In this chapter we ask, “Is this a biased view, or do others see a problem, too?” This time we look to three powerful proponents of capitalism and free enterprise: a billionaire, a Nobel laureate who was chief economist of the World Bank, and Business Week magazine.

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Medium 9781609949853


Sisson, Dan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

IT IS RARE WHEN A BOOK ABOUT OUR EARLY REPUBLIC IS RELEVANT forty years after it was originally published. It is rarer still when that book provides insight into national problems we refuse to solve two centuries later.

You are therefore holding in your hands (or reading on your pad or computer) one of the most important books you will ever encounter. Here is why: Unlike other histories of this era, this book is written from a revolutionary perspective much like Jefferson’s generation viewed the world.

The American Revolution of 1800 was not just about an election. It was about a life-and-death struggle for power between democratic-republican principles and oligarchic-plutocratic values based on corruption. In short, this book, by implication, is about the identical crisis America faces today.

The author’s unique analysis is based on the idea of faction controlling party and how both undermine constitutional government. In an age where modern parties and the factions that control them have paralyzed our government, this book validates the politics of the Founders.

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Medium 9781576754634

Chapter 3 The Rise of the Corporatocracy

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Walking through a park on a sunny summer day in Portland, Oregon, I stumbled across a stunning example of what has happened to the middle class in the cons’ America.

Thirty or more people were sitting on blankets and lawn chairs under a big oak tree in a semicircle around a middle-aged, suit-wearing woman with a flip chart. Those in the circle wore mostly casual clothes, and the average age seemed to be midforties, although there were a few as young as midtwenties and a few who looked to be in their sixties. Two men in the group—both in their fifties, by appearance—had gone to the trouble of dressing in business suits, although they looked painfully uncomfortable sitting on their lawn chairs in the open park.

As I walked by, I heard the woman extolling the virtues of “cheerfulness" and rhetorically asking her students, “Would you want to hire you?”

Welcome to the world of those who have fallen out of America’s white-collar middle class and are tapping their IRAs, 401(k)s, and overextended credit cards to pay for workshops like this one to figure out how they can get decent-paying jobs to replace the ones they’ve lost.

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Medium 9781605097060

Chapter 5 Medicare “Part E”—for Everybody

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.”

—Lyndon Baines Johnson

THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT REASONS FOR HAVING A STRONG SOcial safety net, one based in sound economic policy and the other in our common humanity. So it’s no surprise that the countries that have strong social safety nets tend to have resilient economies and a higher quality of life.

Ultimately, social safety nets are about managing risk and unforeseen contingencies. On the one hand, there are the risks that we want people to take, such as starting a new business. On the other hand, there are unforeseen events that are so severe—like becoming paralyzed in an accident—that no one person (unless incredibly wealthy) could handle the expenses associated with them. In both cases, by setting up a social safety net that distributes the costs of responding to them across the wide spectrum of society, we minimize both the societal cost and the individual suffering.

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