The three of us have lived the American Dream and represent the diversity that is America. We first discussed writing this book in mid-2009 because of a strong concern for America’s future.
Our natural tendency as entrepreneurs and proud citizens of this great nation was not to want to believe that America was on a downward trend. Based upon our analysis of all of the available evidence, however, we concluded that the United States was in a crisis. What are the dimensions of that crisis?
2000 to 2009 was the decade of decline for the United States. Here is what we looked like as a nation, at the end of 2009, as a result of that decline:
- The annual budget deficit was above $1.4 trillion and rising
- 1 out of 5 Americans was un- or underemployed
- 1 out of 8 mortgages was in default or foreclosure
- 1 out of 8 Americans was on food stamps
- 1 out of 9 families couldn’t make minimum payments on credit cards
In turbulent times such as these, we would have expected our political and business leaders to come together much as they did after 9/11. Instead, what we saw was ritualistic Kabuki theatre within the Washington Beltway and inertia outside of it.
We were disappointed and dismayed. We learned that we were not alone. As we talked with others, we realized that many shared our perceptions and concerns about America’s fragile condition and the lack of shared leadership to confront it. From the UPS driver to the waitress in the coffee shop, nearly everyone we spoke with was disgruntled and disillusioned. They were all trying to make sense of the current situation, searching for answers, and looking for ways to make a difference.
This convinced us of the necessity for this book. It persuaded us that we are all in this together and that as citizens we have the right and responsibility to speak out and to make our voices heard. We present our analyses and recommendations in the book. Readers as citizens should use them as a starting point. Accept what makes sense. Reject what does not. Add their ideas and stir the pot. The important thing is that they participate
We do not profess to have all the answers or even to know all the right questions. We do believe that it is imperative, however, for citizens to take a more proactive and prominent role in the quest for America’s future. That is why we have written this book.
Although we deal with the current state of things, we don’t see our work as a current affairs book. We see it instead as a future affairs book. It takes a hard look at where we are right now virtually in real time and sets out a course of action which we as citizens can embrace to participate more fully in creating the country’s future in this decisive decade.
Our hope is that the book will advance the cause of Enterprise USA and help bring the citizen’s voice to the forefront in the national debate and dialogue on the future of America. If that occurs, the American dream will not be at risk. It will be in good hands – the hands of the American people. We are confident, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that in those hands the American dream will prevail.