American Reformation Project

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Dismantling the American Dream: Globalization, Free Trade, Immigration, Unemployment, Poverty, Debt, Foreign Dependency, and More
by Kenneth A. Buchdahl

Can we save the American Dream A Book Review


 by Glenn R. Jackson

What is the American Dream?  Isn't it true that each defines the Dream differently based on your personal preferences?  Yet with each of these many and varied definitions of the American Dream it is nevertheless uniformly true that they are based on, or more accurately written in stone upon, the bedrock of American principles, history, and generational inheritance.  Without our fellow Americans who lived before us, and the American nation for which they believed and lived, there would be no American Dream for any of us to aspire.

In growing numbers Americans are feeling that Dream slipping away.  An American heritage, once so safely assumed, seems to be lost to growing segments of our nations citizens.

In Dismantling the American Dream, Kenneth Buchdahl connects the dots of the forces that are eroding Americas heritage and explains in great detail how they have created the perfect storm of American middle class destruction.  Is it true that the American Dream is being dismantled before our eyes, and if not soon corrected, will lead to the dissolution of the great American middle-class?  Kenneth Buchdahl answers with a resounding - Yes.

First and foremost it is good to see the recognition by Buchdahl of American culture as critical to the building of the American Dream.  As Buchdahl writes the development of a culture is grounded in a unique American personality and intricate system of values and beliefs that is responsible for Americas enviable situation.  And it is that enviable situation that has contributed to creating the forces that are working rapidly, knowingly or not, to dismantle the American Dream.

Dismantling the American Dream chronicles the unintended impact of Americas pop culture belief in globalization as a force for good in our economy and the failure of leadership to recognize that belief gone awry.  Americas political leaders continued belief in free trade and give-away trade deals, in the face of the near deathblow of NAFTA to American manufacturing is but one of the delusions of globalization that Buchdahl lays bare.

The destruction of Americas middle class engine of opportunity, Americas job markets, is yet another dot that Buchdahls book brings into sharp focus in viewing the dismantling of the American Dream for an increasing number of Americans.  Not only does Dismantling the American Dream show the devastating impact on manufacturing jobs, but for once the threats to Americas high tech/high skill jobs posed by misguided immigration laws and off-shore outsourcing are explained and connected to the same systematic forces that destroyed Americas manufacturing base.

Of particular interest to those parents of Americas future generations, but in reality a critical issue for us all, is the loss of Americas intellectual property and methodology because of the rush to globalization.  The concern that I (Buchdahl) have is that we are not only exporting our physical manufacturing plants and service center offices, but we are also exporting the intellectual property and brainpower associated with all of these manufacturing and service businesses.  Most ominous of all When this critical knowledge is gone from the United States - its gone for good...Ultimately, Asia (China), the Middle East and South America will have control over our manufacturing, technology and professional businesses simply because of the low wages and cost structure they enjoy today.

In other words, all of the hard work from generations of Americans to build a sophisticated and complex economy, the hard fought foundations of Americas middle class successes, will be handed free to other nations because their citizens are viewed as being plentiful and cheap.

Sadly, while America loses its knowledge lead, Buchdahl explains in chapter 7, Is Free Trade Helping or Hurting Nations, those gaining from that knowledge are not the worlds poor, but the elites in those poorest nationsin many cases the very ones keeping their fellow citizens captive to poverty.

Kenneth Buchdahls Dismantling the American Dream is the beginning of the long overdue examination of what the disciples of globalization have brought upon America.  His book is the first serious effort to demonstrate the interactions of the forces at work dismantling the American Dream - Free Trade, Immigration, Unemployment, Poverty, Debt, Foreign Dependency, and Globalization.  All forces with a clear Made in America stitching on their label, for it is Americas own leaders that have brought this upon their entrustment, and who seem strangely to be incapable of making the necessary changes to reverse their treacherous course. - "So in the Libyan Fable it is told that once an eagle, stricken with a dart, said when he saw the fashion of the shaft, with our own feathers, not by others' hands are we now smitten."

I hope that Kenneth Buchdahls excellent book will be a catalyst in awakening the public and Americas leaders to the troubles upon us.

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