“I wrote this book because I love my country and I'm concerned about our future,” writes Bill Clinton. “As I often said when I first ran for President in 1992, America at its core is an idea—the idea that no matter who you are or where you're from, if you work hard and play by the rules, you'll have the freedom and opportunity to pursue your own dreams and leave your kids a country where they can chase theirs.”
In Back to Work, Clinton details how we can get out of the current economic crisis and lay a foundation for long-term prosperity. He offers specific recommendations on how we can put people back to work and create new businesses, increase bank lending and corporate investment, double our exports, and restore our manufacturing base. He supports President Obama’s emphasis on green technology, saying that change in the way we produce and consume energy is the strategy most likely to spark a fast-growing economy and enhance our national security.
Clinton also says that we need both a strong economy and a smart government working together to restore prosperity and progress. He demonstrates that whenever we’ve given in to the temptation to blame government for our problems, we’ve lost our commitment to shared prosperity, balanced growth, financial responsibility, and investment in the future. That has led our nation into trouble because there are some things we have to do together. For example, he says, “Our ability to compete in the twenty-first century is dependent on our willingness to invest in infrastructure: we need faster broadband, a state-of-the-art national electrical grid, modernized water and sewer systems, and the best airports, trains, roads, and bridges.
“There is no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty-first century with an antigovernment strategy,” writes Clinton, “with a philosophy grounded in ‘You’re on your own’ rather than ‘We’re all in this together.’” Clinton believes that conflict between government and the private sector has proved to be remarkably good politics, but it has produced bad policies, giving us a weak economy with few jobs, growing income inequality and poverty, and a decline in our competitive position. In the real world, cooperation works much better than conflict, and “we need victories in the real world.”
America's 42nd president takes aim at GOP dogma in this feisty manifesto. Clinton's book often reads like a well-honed stump speech, with semipithy slogans ("put America back in the future business"), partisan one-liners (the main accomplishment of Republican administrations "was not to reduce the size of the federal government, but to stop paying for it"), and a rehash of his own administration's success in cutting deficits and spurring growth in the 1990s. But Clinton also mounts a cogent, well-informed attack on the GOP's "antigovernment ideology." Deploying statistics, charts, and international comparisons, he contends that the Republican mania for cutting taxes, abolishing regulation, and hobbling the state has led to slower growth, soaring deficits, drastic inequality, and lower quality of life for Americans, and argues that raising taxes to fund investments in technology, education, health care, and infrastructure is just plain good government. His specific policy agenda is a list of small-bore initiatives of varying quality directed at everything from the mortgage crisis to Social Security reform; its centerpiece is a disappointingly brief and at times unclear discussion on renewable energy subsidies that includes a dismissal of nuclear power. Still, hit-and-miss details aside, Clinton delivers a smart, forthright, appealingly folksy defense of activist government.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is an ok read especially since it repeats the democrat view of government. There are several charts from independent groups to support Mr Clinton's discussion.
If you haven't read the book, you shouldn't have a review.
This book has great ideas and a good read. Read for yourself and make a firm decision based in fact. President Clinton has a deep understanding of what's policies are effective and responsible for the future of this country. He's not perfect, who is, but at least he has real ideas that are good for the many and not the few. Can't say that about our current congress or the few running for president today.
Great book!! Really makes you think about the opportunities we have as Americans to make change. Read this book and let's get to work improving America and the world.