“2010 – 2019 will be the decisive decade. The decisions we make and the actions we take in this decade will determine the future of America and the American Dream for all of us”, write societal and economic thinkers Frank Islam, George Muñoz, and Ed Crego in their provocative and visionary book Renewing the American Dream: A Citizens Guide. The authors challenge the standard ways of thinking about government, business, the economy, and the role of the nation’s citizens, and describe their revolutionary concept of problem solving that envisions America as a shared venture enterprise.
Frank Islam (photo left), George Muñoz, and Ed Crego present a collaborative vision of a future America where government, business, community based groups, and non-profit organizations work together to renew America and revive the fading American Dream. The authors point out that the decline in the vibrancy of America did not begin with the 2008 economic downturn. They present evidence that the need to re-energize the country began long before that time frame. Indeed, the authors consider the decline to be the result of an enemy from within the United States itself. They view the 2008 – 2009 events as the end result of events that have been unraveling the American Dream over many years. The authors demonstrate that the distortion of the American Dream by Americans themselves, whether in government, business, or the average person on the street, contributed to the current crisis facing the entire country.
George Muñoz (photo left), Ed Crego, and Frank Islam show the reader an America that has become a nation of deficits. The deficits are not only the well known budget and trade deficits, but also what they call a civic deficit. Cynicism and skepticism have replaced civic responsibility and involvement in the social and political process. The authors point to a debtor nation where business and consumers have become over leveraged with credit obligations. The end result of indebtedness, in a slowing economy, is a reduced middle class and increased levels of impoverished citizens. The authors also see a divided nation, where politics is strongly polarized and discussion of real solutions is lacking. To counter these deficits, the authors provide a workable and effective Renewal Framework that forms a structural foundation for their proposal of what they call Enterprise USA. The proposal is guided by the experience of the authors as businesspeople.
Ed Crego (photo left), Frank Islam, and George Muñoz maintain that instead of ideology and bickering over policies and programs, the basis of Enterprise USA is a combination of facts, analysis based on hard evidence, and rational decision making. The journey to revitalize the American Dream cannot be just the province of the politicians, lobbyists, and special interests. There must be participation from the citizens, business, community organizations, and the non-profit sector. The civic involvement of the citizenry is a cornerstone of the renewal concept and a firm belief of all of the authors. They make a call to all people to become informed, involved, independent, and interested in the real issues that affect the entire nation. The key to the success of the Enterprise USA initiative is everyone working together toward the common goal of reviving and reinventing the American Dream for the twenty-first century.
For me, the power of the book is how Frank Islam, George Muñoz, and Ed Crego present their case for the renewal of the American Dream in a way that includes involvement, cooperation, and teamwork from business, government, not for profit groups, community based organizations, and the everyday citizen. The authors share a plan of action that transcends the usual partisan disputes and gridlock that handcuffs the making of policy to lobbyists and special interests. The Enterprise USA proposal is not just another government program or special interest bonanza, but includes strong input from every person in America. It is a strong example of a public-private partnership, where ideology, selfish interests,and preferential treatment are set aside for the betterment of the economy as a whole. The authors set out the overall goals well, and then share the steps necessary to put the initiative into action, including techniques for preventing it being hijacked or co-opted by special interests, lobbyists, and partisan politicians.
I highly recommend the daring and revolutionary book Renewing the American Dream: A Citizens Guide by Frank Islam, George Muñoz, and Ed Crego, to anyone seeking a workable and non-partisan solution to America’s economic decline and for the rapidly decaying American Dream. This book is timely and a results oriented antidote to the usual nostrums and half truths that substitute for ideas. In place of conflict, the proffered framework is based on listening, understanding, and working together for the benefit of all people.
Read the important and idea packed book Renewing the American Dream: A Citizens Guide by Frank Islam, George Muñoz, and Ed Crego, and get involved in the revitalization of the American Dream and the rebuilding of the middle class. This book is a clarion call for citizen participation in that renewal process. The future is simply too important to leave to the special interests, lobbyists, and those who fail to see beyond the shortest of short term personal gain. The twenty-first century presents an opportunity for reinventing the American Dream. This book provides one way of starting on that critical road to recovery.