A Note from author Thomas A. Kochan
Discussion of the American Dream is back in fashion, judging from recent articles in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Business Week and the column of liberals such as Bob Herbert and Paul Krugman and conservatives Robert Brooks and Steven Rattner.
But to date these accounts focus more on describing the essence of the problems facing working families in America than on solutions. I believe we can do something to restore faith in the American Dream, but it will take creative new thinking and a new coalition of progressive community, labor, business, and government leaders. Most of all it will require workers and families to stand up and say "Enough is Enough" and insist they be given the tools they need to contribute to and prosper in today's knowledge based economy and to meet their family and community responsibilities.
Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families Agenda for America is my effort to outline a plan of action for getting on with this long overdue task. It is a very personal story. I use my own experiences growing up in an era where if one listened to the advice our parents and worked hard in school, we had a very good chance of achieving the essence of the American Dream, i.e., achieving a higher standard of living for our families than we experienced growing up. And I draw on the lessons learned from working with many of America's best labor, business, and government leaders to improve our nation's economic performance and the quality of work and family life.
The Preface will give you a sense of the basic ideas and approach of the book. I hope you enjoy it, but most of all I hope it sparks the actions needed to restore the American Dream for all working families.