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Our new book: The Betrayal of the American Dream

More than three years in the research and writing, our new book is the distillation of our work chronicling the plight of the American middle class for more than three decades.

The Betrayal of the American Dream is available in bookstores and can be ordered in hardcover and as an e-book from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Indiebound.org.

Twenty years ago, we warned in America: What Went Wrong? that federal policies were dismantling the middle class. But as we describe in The Betrayal, we vastly underestimated how quickly the nation’s economic elite would consolidate their power and undermine the economic lives of virtually everyone else.

This book tells how it happened:

* How trade policies bought and paid for by major corporations have wiped out millions of good-paying jobs;

* How Congress allowed companies to kill 85,000 pension plans in the last generation; and

*How the rich went from paying 51 percent of their income in federal taxes in the 1950s to 16 percent in our time.

And we tell what else is in store for most Americans if the economic elite continue to have their way.

We tell this story in raw numbers and through the lives of Americans: those who have been victimized by these policies as well as those who have perpetrated this assault on the middle class.

Our book is a call for a return to a balance in policies so that everyone may have an opportunity to realize the American dream.

The Betrayal is receiving a strong response. One Amazon reviewer called it “extremely thought-provoking,” a “powerful, extraordinary book that will make every American ponder long after we close it.”

The Columbia Journalism Review said “the dedication reveals the emotional heart of their enterprise: Not merely number-crunching chroniclers of middle-class decline, the authors are invested in the fate of the people who exemplify it.”

Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of the Washington Post, wrote that its publication “. . .during the home stretch of the national political campaign injects a provocative populist imperative into an increasingly intense and perhaps decisive partisan debate over the fate of the American middle class.”

By Don and Jim on 7.31.12

Comments

  1. Manuel Dayenian Says:

    Congratulations Mr. Barlett and Mr. Steele on the launch of your newest research text “The Betrayal of the American Dream”, which I am proud to say I pre-ordered the hardcover version on July 20, 2012, that I am currently awaiting delivery of.

    I have been waiting for the results of your research since as early as Saturday, January 01, 2011.

    There were two critical events that occurred in the United States back in Year 1972. As part of our greatest accomplishments as Americans, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)‟s Apollo program returned once again and for the last time Americans safely from the Moon; such an accomplishment was solely due to American manufacturing supremacy and all that it entailed (including a budgetary and taxing environment that allowed for an America that was a creditor Nation), a manufacturing supremacy that previously defeated the superior weapons of Nazi Germany & Japan [weapons such as Jet fighters, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), and Super Submarines carrying Bomber Planes] during World War II. That same year of 1972, President Nixon went to the People’s Republic of China (which is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party) as part of implementing the dismantling of American manufacturing via deactivating the American Industrial Policy approved and developed by President George Washington and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton respectively, a dismantling that has reduced the American middle-class to rubble, made the United States into the greatest debtor nation on Earth, and is causing the American loss of being the number one superpower.

    I look forward to learning and studying the results of your current findings, however, I want to express not only my gratitude that you have continued your research on the United States middle-class, I also want to express my respect for your approach of conducting due diligence in the obtainment of accurate research data and honest interviews.
    Carpe Diem!
    Manuel Dayenian
    Generation-X
    Wednesday, August 01, 2012.

    August 1st, 2012 at 1:08 am

  2. Henry Coxe Says:

    Bartlett & Steele with their newly released book are back again with “Betrayal of the American dream” a sequel to “Inequality in America”advising us that nothing has changed. Things are unfair to us poor folks who make a living , somebody (probably the rich) somewhere are taking away our money, jobs, & lives. The negative, sad, worn out thinking of “let the rich pay their fair share” (Why should anyone pay 51% of their income to the Federal government?!)arises to stir the anger among those who are looking for answers & perhaps blame for the financial situation in the country.
    What else can one expect? It’s the election season & class warfare is alive & well spurred on by B & S.

    August 1st, 2012 at 5:30 pm

  3. Allen Levy Says:

    What troubles me the most is the passivity with which the middle class has accepted this turn of events. Is it that they still believe in the aspirational promise of American society? Is it that they have been narcotized by the media? Does the middle class consider this to be the normal state of things?—that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and that’s the way it is and has always been? Does the middle class not see that our lives have been made poorer not only monetarily, but also in terms of cultural activities? Mass transit? Access to health care? Access to higher education? Do things really have to get so bad that an armed revolution is the only solution? It won’t affect me….I’m relatively old, but I fear for my kids.

    August 6th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

  4. Pavulous Says:

    Love your work.

    August 7th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  5. Debbie Golden Says:

    If only your books could be made into movies or TV shows so that the people MOST affected by what has happened could watch them and get it. Most Americans are among the walking dead in this country. They do not have even a small inkling of what is happening and why. I have also seen the documentary “ThriveMovement.com” and it was one of the most thought provoking docs I have ever seen, especially at this time in our lives. Yes, that was a plug for it! I do think a revolution is coming…as an astrologer, the planets are all lined up for such a thing to occur in the U.S.

    August 11th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

  6. Jane Yavis Says:

    Thank you sirs, for excellent Journalism. Something sadly missing in America Today. I have not yet bought your books, but have listened to simply riveting Radio Interviews. As a 42 year employee with the same Company,,I can relate to so much of what you wrote. Entering the workvorce in the 60’s anyone with ambition and desire could succeed to a degree,,,then something happened. Reaganonomics defined by those considering themselves as far more enlightend than us opened the door to leveraged Corporate Mergers, Massive Lay Offs, Golden Handshakes. Restructuring overseas and Cronyism few workers have been able to escape. Arrogance replaced the dignity of labor and we no longer made anything but wealth for a few at the expense of the Promise of Wealth in a Stock Market few understood for the many who were told their loss was only on paper. We didn’t wake up one morning to this,,,it was a slow erosion that simply reached lightnening speed in the 2000’s.

    When I listen to the first Homeland Security Secretary go on somekind of self-promotion tour to enlighten us in 2012- if we had a national Disaster or War, we would not recover because we don’t make anything here,,,,,I wonder where he was during Katrina,,,,,Iraq War,,,,,,9-11 rebuilding,,,,etc,,,,, when everything had to be imported. Did he not read your book while he was Governor of a Commonwealth that lost how many manufacturing jobs under his Governorship,,and closed a Shipyard in Philadelphia? Was he not raised in the Rust Belt Region of Erie, Pa.??? Now all of a sudden, President Obama is sending jobs away?

    He is just one of the many head in the sand politicians who could have spoken up, but didn’t because of Wall Street Clout.

    Again, Thank you sirs,,,,,Think you speak for many of us. And you do all of America a great service, you say it far better than any of us could.

    August 12th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

  7. Jane Yavis Says:

    Alan Levy and Debbie Golden - Unfortunately, because it happened first to those with whom we had little affiliation, maybe we just wrongly hoped it would never touch the rest of us. We are our Brother’s Keeper,,,,, a part of Christianity many seem to dismiss as a radical concept. We don’t really need the armed revolutioin aspect,,,,we can simply cast our ballots in November.

    August 13th, 2012 at 7:58 am

  8. john mannarino Says:

    If the President read this book he would have more than enough data to address the Republicans on the plight of the middle class and its bleak prospects fo rthe future.

    September 4th, 2012 at 10:43 am

  9. JimC Says:

    Gentlemen, I have been a big fan of yours since first reading, America, What Went Wrong? in the Philly Inquirer 20+ years ago.

    I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school and eventually got a college degree. In the past two decades I have been living The Betrayal: my pension was converted to a cash value plan, and then in 2002 I lost my IT job and never found another one.

    When I heard you had a new book coming out I re-read all your previous books, and have just finished The Betrayal of the American Dream.

    Many, MANY thanks; this project has really helped me get through the current election season!

    Take care and stay well and keep up the good works.

    P.S. I have been trying to locate a copy of the report recommended at the end of the new book, “Shifting Responsibility - How 50 Years of Tax Cuts Benefited the Wealthiest Americans”, but the links on the Wealth for Common Good website no longer work, so if anyone reading this knows a current location please post a reply!

    October 19th, 2012 at 9:09 am

  10. Manuel Dayenian Says:

    Happy New Year 2013 Mr. Barlett and Mr. Steele!

    After reading “The Betrayal of the American Dream”, I am finding that more researched texts are needed to fully document with data / evidence how the United States went from [1] being a creditor Nation that through superior manufacturing capability defeated the superior weapons of Nazi Germany and Japan during WWII with the culmination of said manufacturing directly responsible for making successful NASA‟s Apollo program to send Americans safely to and from the Moon to [2] the dismantling of American manufacturing via deactivating the American Industrial Policy developed by President George Washington and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton respectively, a dismantling that has reduced the American middle-class to rubble, made the United States into the greatest debtor nation on Earth, and is causing the American loss of being the number one superpower.

    I have two suggestions to begin with:

    {SUGGESTION 1} A full study of Free Trade and the ACTUAL effects on the United States and the middle-class {SUGGESTION 1}. Ross Perot and Sir James Goldsmith had pre-warned those who would listen in that Free Trade will be harmful to the American people. What is a shame is that I have been unable to find new copies of Sir Goldsmith’s texts on the subject with titles of (a) The Trap [ISBN-10: 0786701854 / ISBN-13: 978-0786701858] and (b) The Response to: GATT and Global Free Trade [ISBN-10: 0333665120 / ISBN-13: 978-0333665121].

    {SUGGESTION 2} Using United States Civil Service records, United States Military records, and other data sets to conduct a full study to compare and contrast the quality and cost-effectiveness of work conducted by the Civil Service pre-President Reagan and then after President Reagan began the processes of privatizing all the work once done by said Civil Service {SUGGESTION 2}.

    Year 2013 MUST be the year of rebuilding the United States and rebuilding the American middle-class. CRITICAL to such rebuilding is your contribution of fully researched and data supported texts addressing such topics as suggested above.

    I look forward to your next researched works.

    Carpe Diem!

    Manuel Dayenian
    Generation-X
    Tuesday, January 01, 2013.

    January 1st, 2013 at 2:56 am

  11. Juan Greenman Says:

    Since MBA grad school in 1968, when I first perceived the increasing inability of Americans to do any productive work because of automation, I have never heard until tonight on
    Book TV, anyone address what we are going to do with massive numbers of unemployables. Of course, in the late ’60s few people worried about outsourcing except the textile industry. 45 years later and we are still talking free market and the laws of comparative advantage on the right and the vote prostitution nanny state on the left. We have never had a strong sense of strategy and we will pay dearly for the lack.

    January 7th, 2013 at 3:36 am

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  14. Lois and Mike Michalik Says:

    Just finished reading your book. We have been saying for years that our Congress should be putting tarrifs on the imports. We knew that americans were losing their jobs, we just did not realize how bad it really is. I wish Congress would stop allowing lobbyist having so much influence on them and truly start working for the american people, We are telling The Betrayal of the American Dream. We have a song on utube called the Snyder tune, it is about how our governor of MI and his emergency managers are selling our public schools to the bussinessman for one dollar a piece. Hope you will look at it and share it (

    March 14th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

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  18. Helen L. Wilson Says:

    Dear Mr. Barlett,
    I am glad to see that you and Mr. Steele are still at it. I thought of you today when an email you sent me In 1998
    in response to my question of what had changed and how and why after the publication of Who Stole the Dream, fell out of an old address book. I was stunned at your accuracy in predicting what was happening beneath the surface then that we (the middle class) are all seeing more clearly today. Thank you for your work. I am glad you have a recent book I can read, one I will share with my writing classes.

    December 17th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

  19. Manuel Dayenian Says:

    Happy New Year 2014 Mr. Barlett and Mr. Steele!

    I have been looking forward to more of your research and I am concerned that I am not seeing more and more of the results of your research regarding the destruction of the American middle-class and those who are deliberately causing such destruction. I submit that my two previous suggestions, which are again as follows, provide two areas of several that explain why the United States and the Nation’s core of the American Middle-class have been moved on the course of destruction that must be reversed NOW:

    {SUGGESTION 1} A full study of Free Trade and the ACTUAL effects on the United States and the middle-class {SUGGESTION 1}. Ross Perot and Sir James Goldsmith had pre-warned those who would listen in that Free Trade will be harmful to the American people. What is a shame is that I have been unable to find new copies of Sir Goldsmith’s texts on the subject with titles of (a) The Trap [ISBN-10: 0786701854 / ISBN-13: 978-0786701858] and (b) The Response to: GATT and Global Free Trade [ISBN-10: 0333665120 / ISBN-13: 978-0333665121].

    {SUGGESTION 2} Using United States Civil Service records, United States Military records, and other data sets to conduct a full study to compare and contrast the quality and cost-effectiveness of work conducted by the Civil Service pre-President Reagan and then after President Reagan began the processes of privatizing all the work once done by said Civil Service {SUGGESTION 2}.

    Another year has passed, and another year must be incremented in that Year 2014 MUST be the year of rebuilding the United States and rebuilding the American middle-class. CRITICAL to such rebuilding is your contribution of fully researched and data supported texts addressing such topics as suggested above.

    I continue looking forward to your next researched works.

    Carpe Diem!

    Manuel Dayenian
    Generation-X
    Tuesday, January 05, 2014.

    January 5th, 2014 at 9:24 pm

  20. money tree Says:

    Great work. Hard to find an article of this high quality.
    Thank you

    February 7th, 2014 at 3:32 pm

  21. albert venti Says:

    I look forward to this one if its anything like the masterpiece Life Legend and Madness - awesome reading…again and again.

    February 15th, 2014 at 7:01 am

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