Monday, September 29, 2014

How the Poor Can Save Capitalism (BOOK REVIEW)

For photo of the author, see attachment

How the Poor Can Save Capitalism
Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class
by John Hope Bryant  
Foreword by Ambassador Andrew Young
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Hardcover, $24.95                                                                     
174 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4696-1800-5

Book Review by Kam Williams
“This book is about saving America and returning her to her original promise, her original founding ideas and ideals. It is about planting, nurturing, and growing a sustainable middle class… This 21st C. definition  of freedom is expressed as self-determination—the opportunity that comes from one’s own hands and one’s own bold ideas connected to action, personal risk, personal investment, and hard work.
This book is about creating a new, sustainable business plan that returns this country to its original big, bold, audacious dream… This idea is both utterly liberal and the very definition of conservative at the same time.”   
Excerpted from the Introduction (page 7)

It’s no secret that, by most measures, black folks are the only ethnic group that’s far worse off than it was before Barack Obama took office. Whether you’re talking home ownership, unemployment, high school graduation, wages, access to healthcare, net worth, retirement savings, college attendance, financial aid or consumer debt, African-Americans have experienced a dispiriting downward mobility. So much for hope and change.
 Rather than risk offending the Obamapologists permit me to quickly add that stonewalling Republicans in congress are as much to blame for the skyrocketing black misery index. Nevertheless, not to worry. Before you plunge into the depths of despair, I have good news to report.
For a man has arrived with an answer for the crisis in John Hope Bryant, with an emphasis on Hope. Mr. Bryant, who is the Chairman of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, has written a self-help book with the controversial title: How the Poor Can Save Capitalism. He is also the co-founder of the Gallup HOPE Index, the only national opinion poll which measures the financial dignity and economic energy of America’s youth.
The focus of his timely tome, however, is giving impoverished people a helping hand. His plan might be thought of as akin to the micro-finance model implanted around the world by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Mr. Bryant see the woes of those stuck in cycles of poverty as having as much to do with self-esteem, depression and values as being broke and/or jobless.
And the solution he envisions is what he terms the fifth “big bang,” namely, “the unleashing of empowered human capital.” The goal under this theory is for each individual to become “the CEO on you.” Weighing in a little heavier on pep talks than practical solutions, the opus struck me like an extended motivational speech offering little more than “hope” to gullible ghetto dwellers still waiting for the change promised way back in 2008.
            Where’s the beef?

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