The Real State Of The Union: From The Best Minds In America, Bold Solutions To The Problems Politicians Dare Not Address

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Basic Books, Apr 20, 2009 - Political Science - 304 pages
Resulting from a collaboration between The Atlantic Monthly magazine and the New America Foundation, The Real State of the Union features 18 original essays on the most important facets of our national well-being. Written by many of our nation's most insightful observers, the essays provide an objective and penetrating analysis of the most critical challenges facing America as well as innovative solutions to many of them. The State of the Union Address is among the nation's oldest rituals, but one that has deviated from its original purpose: Rather than a candid assessment of the country or a meaningful self-evaluation by the current administration, it has become a political spectacle marked by self-congratulation and spin. The Real State of the Union seeks to turn an empty exercise into a more meaningful national dialogue about the social, political, and economic health of our country. Rejecting the political correctness of both parties, this volume tells the American public what it needs to know about the real problems that plague the country and why the political solutions that are offered too often fail to address the real nature of those problems.

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Contents

II
3
IV
7
V
13
VI
15
VIII
27
IX
34
XI
43
XII
49
XXXVII
139
XXXVIII
145
XXXIX
153
XL
155
XLII
162
XLIII
167
XLV
173
XLVI
175

XIII
51
XV
63
XVII
71
XIX
78
XXI
83
XXII
85
XXIII
92
XXV
97
XXVII
102
XXIX
109
XXX
111
XXXI
116
XXXIII
123
XXXV
127
XXXVI
129
XLVII
185
XLVIII
191
XLIX
197
L
199
LII
217
LIII
229
LIV
242
LV
250
LVII
261
LVIII
263
LIX
275
LX
279
LXI
281
Copyright

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Page 6 - The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.
Page 16 - Here the rewards of his industry follow with equal steps the progress of his labour; his labour is founded on the basis of nature, selfinterest; can it want a stronger allurement? Wives and children, who before in vain demanded of him a morsel of bread, now, fat and frolicsome, gladly help their father to clear those fields whence exuberant crops are to arise to feed and to clothe them all, without any part being claimed, either by a despotic prince, a rich abbot, or a mighty lord.
Page 241 - The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.
Page 16 - The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles; he must therefore entertain new ideas, and form new opinions. From involuntary idleness, servile dependence, penury, and useless labor, he has passed to toils of a very different nature, rewarded by ample subsistence. — This is an American.
Page 15 - ... poverty. This conception of American life and its Promise is as much alive to-day as it was in 1780. Its expression has no doubt been modified during four generations of democratic political independence, but the modification has consisted of an expansion and a development rather than of a transposition. The native American, like the alien immigrant, conceives the better future which awaits himself and other men in America as fundamentally a future in which economic prosperity will be still more...
Page 9 - Faith in America, faith in our tradition of personal responsibility, faith in our institutions, faith in ourselves demand that we recognize the new terms of the old social contract. We shall fulfill them, as we fulfilled the obligation of the apparent Utopia which Jefferson imagined for us in 1776, and which Jefferson. Roosevelt and Wilson sought to bring to realization. We must do so, lest a rising tide of misery, engendered by our common failure, engulf us all.
Page 4 - As we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our Union has never been stronger.
Page 250 - I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war. I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow a dictator that's in our — and it's in our — when it's in our best interests.
Page 250 - We meet here during a crucial period in the history of our nation, and of the civilized world. Part of that history was written by others; the rest will be written by us.

About the author (2009)

Ted Halstead is President of the New America Foundation and is the author (with Michael Lind) of The Radical Center: The Future of American Politics. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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