Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy



President Bill Clinton Gives Us His Views On The Challenges Facing The United States Today And Why Government Matters Presenting His Ideas On Restoring Economic Growth, Job Creation, Financial Responsibility, Resolving The Mortgage Crisis, And Pursuing A Strategy To Get Us Back In The Future Business He Explains How We Got Into The Current Economic Crisis, And Offers Specific Recommendations On How We Can Put People Back To Work, Increase Bank Lending And Corporate Investment, Double Our Exports, Restore Our Manufacturing Base, And Create New Businesses He Supports President Obama S Emphasis On Green Technology, Saying That Changing The Way We Produce And Consume Energy Is The Strategy Most Likely To Spark A Fast Growing Economy While Enhancing Our National SecurityClinton Also Stresses That We Need A Strong Private Sector And A Smart Government Working Together To Restore Prosperity And Progress, Demonstrating That Whenever We Ve Given In To The Temptation To Blame Government For All Our Problems, We Ve Lost Our Ability To Produce Sustained Economic Growth And Shared ProsperityClinton Writes, There Is Simply No Evidence That We Can Succeed In The Twenty First Century With An Antigovernment Strategy, Based On A Philosophy Grounded In You Re On Your Own Rather Than We Re All In This Together He Believes That Conflict Between Government And The Private Sector Has Proved To Be Good Politics But Has Produced Bad Policies, Giving Us A Weak Economy With Not Enough Jobs, Growing Income Inequality And Poverty, And A Decline In Our Competitive Position In The Real World, Cooperation Works Much Better Than Conflict, And Americans Need Victories In Real Life From The Hardcover EditionBack to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy

William Jefferson Bill Clinton born William Jefferson Blythe III was the forty second President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001 He was the third youngest president, older only than Theodore Roosevelt and John F Kennedy He became president at the end of the Cold War, and is known as the first baby boomer president, as he was born in the period after World War II He is the husband of the junior United States Senator from the state of New York and a Democratic candidate in the 2008 US presidential election, Hillary Rodham Clinton.Clinton was described as a New Democrat and was largely known for the Third Way philosophy of governance that came to epitomize his two terms as president His policies, on issues such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, have been described as centrist Clinton presided over the longest period of peace time economic expansion in American history, which included a balanced budget and a reported federal surplus Clinton reported a surplus of 559 billion at the end of his presidency, based on Congressional accounting rules His presidency was also quickly challenged On the heels of a failed attempt at health care reform with a Democratic Congress, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years In his second term he was impeached by the U.S House for perjury and obstruction of justice, but was subsequently acquitted by the United States Senate and completed his term Polls of the American electorate taken at this time showed that up to 70% were against pursuing the allegations N Y Times December 21, 1998.Clinton left office with a 65% approval rating, the highest end of presidency rating of any President who came into office after World War II Since leaving office, Clinton has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work He created the William J Clinton Foundation to promote and address international causes, such as treatment and prevention of HIV AIDS and global warming In 2004, he released a personal autobiography, My Life.

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  • Audio CD
  • 5 pages
  • Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy
  • Bill Clinton
  • English
  • 04 October 2017
  • 0307990699

10 thoughts on “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy

  1. says:

    I think this book matches with Al Gore s The Assault on Reason Clinton provides a well thought out although partisan view of US government downsizing from the end of his golden era 1997 administration to Obama s midterm point approximately September 2010 If you can get past the democratic slant, anti tea party pings, and self praising hints I promise this book will provide some valid insights to our economic down fall Clinton provides a survey level explanation of the relationships I think this book matches with Al Gore s The Assault on Reason Clinton provides a well thought out although partisan view of US government downsizing from the end of his golden era 1997 administration to Obama s midterm point approximately September 2010 If you can get past the democratic slant, anti tea party pings, and self praising hints I promise this book will provide some valid insights to our economic down fall Clinton provides a survey level explanation of the relationships between major topic such as elimination of upper class tax cuts, degrading educational values, declining export activity and US need to increase RD related green power utlization We needanalysis like this to prepare the average voter for the 2012 election It doesn t matter if you re pro Obama or against, read this book and develop a political opinion for our country s sake I m tired of catch phases and fear politics aren t you We should be well informed so we can vote the correct people into office over the next 2 years

  2. says:

    In 1992 I voted in a presidential election for the second time My candidate was Ross H Perot having graduated from college into a fumbling economy in which I couldn t find gainful employment, I remember telling people that I thought a president with good business sense would be worth four years of disregard for civil rights.Based at least partly on the sway of weird voters like myself toward Perot, Bill Clinton was elected to his first of two presidential terms, and the United States enjoyed In 1992 I voted in a presidential election for the second time My candidate was Ross H Perot having graduated from college into a fumbling economy in which I couldn t find gainful employment, I remember telling people that I thought a president with good business sense would be worth four years of disregard for civil rights.Based at least partly on the sway of weird voters like myself toward Perot, Bill Clinton was elected to his first of two presidential terms, and the United States enjoyed an eight year run of a pretty good economy, which President Clinton spends a great deal of ink reminding us in the early part of his book Back to Work. He does so in that slick, casual, ole buddy way that he always has, which translates into print pretty well and manages to demonstrate his superiority over those who preceded and followed him in office without directly insulting them It s pretty brilliant, actually.With the benefit of time, and with his own freedom post presidency to speak relatively freely, it s easy to see what made President Clinton a good president, and to actually get a little excited about the proposals he s putting forward in Back to Work excited in the face of a still limping economy, oddly enough Clinton s premise here is that modern malaise is a result, in large part, of an anti governmentism that ushered in Ronald Reagan s two term presidency and, to be fair, yielded its own economic resurgence Government isn t the answer to your problems, Reagan famously declared Government is the problem With that he deregulated industries, marginalized the work of many government programs, and generally subverted the legitimacy of federal government as an institution Clinton doesn t quite offer the opposite premise, but he rightly confronts the absurdity inherent in the claim a world in which democratically elected representatives whose mandate is for the well being into remotest futurity my new favorite phrase, from Thomas Jefferson, I believe are inherently dangerous to taxpaying people trying to get by in a free economy managed by unchecked giant multinational companies with obligations only essentially to shareholders and an inherent responsibility to exploit natural resources to their fullest extent and to get as much energy out of employees for as little cost as possibleI guess I m a little worked up As Clinton puts it, Big corporations don t get hurt by the current system They just put plants in other places, create good jobs there, and leave their earnings there p 133 Governments are like family they have to love you Corporations are like, well, corporations everything is negotiable.Clinton confronts the premise of anti governmentalism in a winsome way, making a brief positive case for government in reality, anti governmentalism doesn t merit a long response before getting down to how government, collaborating creatively with business, can create environments where truly amazing things can happen.There are as many problems with Clinton s worldview as there are with Reagan s, of course government collusion with megabusiness has as many pitfalls as government subservience to megabusiness, if the larger vision of what makes for a good society isn t kept in place But it is actually pretty energizing to see the curtain pulled back on a creative approach to governmental economic policy, which this book effectively is Clinton offers forty six preliminary ideas for getting people working again, dealing with bank jitters, and revitalizing American innovation They all sound both good and plausible, based again largely on Clinton s unique delivery he makes the novel seem normal and the normal seem novel. The Secretary of State, for example, is praised for her ongoing work in commercial diplomacy, which strikes me as a taskappropriately managed by the Commerce Secretary and which seems like it would distract from the State Department s important work in cultivating democracy and human rights overseas Meanwhile, many of the examples of corporate innovation for the public good held up by Clinton have a long history, and some seem to be pretty widely accepted business models Clinton showers such relatively mainstreamed business government collaboration with praise their practitioners are Edison and Einstein and Mother Teresa rolled into one You forget that they ve been doing what they re doing for twenty or thirty years now, throughout the Era of Anti Government Again, this is part of Clinton s leadership genius, why some call him beloved and others call him slick To affirm one, I d suggest, is not to deny the other.I would have greatly appreciated some endnotes in this book the claims Clinton makes about his and others presidencies, as well as the outcomes of his proposed best practices, are rosily enough presented that my He s a politician skepticism did occasionally kick in And yet, I found myself inspired muchconfident than I had been in alternative sources of energy wind and solar, in particular , in the potential contained in government corporate collaboration, and ultimatelyknowledgable about the role of government in both navigating economic downturn and,importantly, stimulating innovation and prosperity The reality is that government isn t a problem government simply is, and it is what we the people make of it Clinton s vision for the short term is undergirded by his strong faith in the possibility of creative governance that faith and vision is actually quite contagious This book continues, for me, the Year of Overdue Books It s an odd inclusion, since the idea for what I m reading this year is books I should have read long ago, and Back to Work only came out a few months ago But resolution to the current economic troubles is long overdue, as is a cogent confrontation of the Government is bad for you bias of too many people President Clinton provides both effectively here As he puts it, America needs to get back in the future business If we accept his premises and pursue his recommendations, to quote a song of my childhood from the great Timbuk 3, the future s so bright, I gotta wear shades

  3. says:

    This book is basically Clinton s own brainstorming about what should be changed in the US economic policies He provides some interesting ideas, the writing is fresh and with a lot of financial data It has some flaws, like he uses examples of actions he took during his government that cannot be applied today since the world economy not only the US economy has radically changed since then Also, the ideas he points as working well in other countries cannot be simply copied and applied to the A This book is basically Clinton s own brainstorming about what should be changed in the US economic policies He provides some interesting ideas, the writing is fresh and with a lot of financial data It has some flaws, like he uses examples of actions he took during his government that cannot be applied today since the world economy not only the US economy has radically changed since then Also, the ideas he points as working well in other countries cannot be simply copied and applied to the American economy, given the different cultures and key comparative advantages or disadvantages that exist between them I agree with his arguments on defense expending the US should have left Afghanistan just after the Taliban was gone, etc but the reality is that the deficit is not the worst problem of the US, but what can the US do to revitalize its private sector with a multiplying effect in increased output and job creation I also agree that bank lending can and should play aimportant role on economic reactivation The production side of the economy should be fortified incentives for new business should also be a priority If this is not accomplished, the private sector will not be able to shoulder, for example, the burden of social security or growing international competition especially amidst world recession An effective government does not mean a larger or smaller one, but one which has set priorities and stick by them At the least, the author s ideas were thought provoking

  4. says:

    I really enjoyed this book I can actually point to 3 things I think made this book really good.1 President Clinton used data from what works in other countries and from local governments to make the case for his suggestions and initiatives This is a problem with many people who push policy They ignore when something similar was tried elsewhere whether to good or bad result If a program has been tried, then expand it It takes a little of the risk of investment out of the solution.2 The b I really enjoyed this book I can actually point to 3 things I think made this book really good.1 President Clinton used data from what works in other countries and from local governments to make the case for his suggestions and initiatives This is a problem with many people who push policy They ignore when something similar was tried elsewhere whether to good or bad result If a program has been tried, then expand it It takes a little of the risk of investment out of the solution.2 The book is filled with actionable items If you re in business, you know how important action items are You can talk about changing a culture, but without action items, it s just philosophy 3 The book suggests we try a lot of things and keep what works This is a tenet of Jim Collins research on what makes a great company one of many and is something we should do The problem is that I don t think the United States government has the flexibility to attempt many new things especially not with a conservative government even Dems are conservative when it comes to new ideas The problem, and one that Clinton points out, is that there is a fear of spending It s understandable given the bank bailouts But the problem is that the bank bailouts were done with no strings attached That was the equivalent throwing money at the problem which Republicans always accuse Democrats of doing Intelligent spending which may be impossible for our Congress spends money where it needs to be spent and asks for results For instance, if you have a leaky roof, it s not throwing money at the problem to hire a roofer to fix it But you would expect the money you spent to stop the leak Clinton s book, figuratively, gives us the names of several great roofing companies I don t know how much of this book will be implemented, but there are so many solutions that trying just a handful could have great positive results.Great read for anyone looking for solutions to our current economic crisis

  5. says:

    Old Bill is as Partisan as ever in this little book, and although his denial of responsibility for creating the path to financial destruction through massive deregulation in the financial sector by his administration was probably the saddest thing I ve ever read, I still think that he makes a lot of valid points in this book I just wish he would admit that eliminating Glass Steagall was a really big mistake I mean, nobody could have really seen the financial crisis coming back then, and I don Old Bill is as Partisan as ever in this little book, and although his denial of responsibility for creating the path to financial destruction through massive deregulation in the financial sector by his administration was probably the saddest thing I ve ever read, I still think that he makes a lot of valid points in this book I just wish he would admit that eliminating Glass Steagall was a really big mistake I mean, nobody could have really seen the financial crisis coming back then, and I don t think it was really his fault in the grand scheme of things But really Bill, just say oops, I made a mistake Honestly thats the only reason I ever picked up this book in the first place, because I wanted to see what he had to say about his part in creating the path to the current woes we are in, in relation to the financial meltdown Heck, I mean I make mistakes all the time Difference is I can admit them.Oooohhhhh partisan politics Anyhow, other than his inability to admit some partial responsibility for our current woes, I found a lot of his points both interesting and valid I also like how he extensively cites his evidence from other books that have been written by him, which I m pretty sure you aren t really supposed to extensively do, but really it is rather harmless in the grand scheme of things You can t take facts and numbers for their face value when reading books by people actively involved in politics, as one should know anyways, so it s not even really a big deal I DO think Bill spent some time thinking this current crisis through however, and I m actually really quite blown away by how intelligent he actually is in creating ways to solve the rather complex problems America currently faces Pretty interesting read overall

  6. says:

    There were many times reading this book where I was frustrated that actions were not already being taken in certain fields I appreciate how he lays out strategies and policies of other countries that are doing better than the US in things like energy consumption and clean energy production and jobs creation and explains how they could work in the US The problem is that all 60 of his ideas would take years of implementation when facing a split Congress I took quite a lot of notes, because som There were many times reading this book where I was frustrated that actions were not already being taken in certain fields I appreciate how he lays out strategies and policies of other countries that are doing better than the US in things like energy consumption and clean energy production and jobs creation and explains how they could work in the US The problem is that all 60 of his ideas would take years of implementation when facing a split Congress I took quite a lot of notes, because some of these ideas seem like no brainers Namely, I appreciate the retrofits section, and the explanation of how certain states are making strides themselves, namely Arkansas If states were able to make the decision to push forward themselves with easy fixes, such as painting all state owned properties white in the south, to cut cooling costs significantly and using that utility savings to create jobs retrofitting, which would producesavings, I believe a positive shift would be just around the corner Now it s just starting the process I hope one day there is a leader who is supported by both Dems and Reps and Independents and others who can take the smart ideas from this book and its opponents to help bring the US back to a position of forward thinking The reason I marked the book 4 5 is because he definitely assumes the reader already agrees with him I was hoping to be convinced of the merit of the policies and to have him answer some of the critics but that wasn t really present It wasan outline for people who are already liberal leaning economically

  7. says:

    Back To WorkThe following review appears courtesy of the Washington Independent Review of Books.Bill Clinton, America s 42nd President, has followed an established tradition observed by many of his predecessors in continuing his public involvement after leaving office, in part, through writing The extensive literary output of ex presidents ranges from partisan and defensive apologia to disinterested advice Clinton, whose previous work following two terms in the White House comprises an intimat Back To WorkThe following review appears courtesy of the Washington Independent Review of Books.Bill Clinton, America s 42nd President, has followed an established tradition observed by many of his predecessors in continuing his public involvement after leaving office, in part, through writing The extensive literary output of ex presidents ranges from partisan and defensive apologia to disinterested advice Clinton, whose previous work following two terms in the White House comprises an intimate autobiography My Life, 2005 and a treatise on philanthropy and volunteerism Giving How Each of Us Can Change the World, 2007 , displays elements of both inclinations in his latest book, Back to Work Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy, with an emphasis towards the latter.Exercising a welcome patriotism and openness to ideas, together with a sense of purpose and hope, the former Chief of State proposes here to get America back in the future business He states at the outset America at its core is an idea the idea that no matter who you are or where you are from, if you work hard and play by the rules, you ll have the freedom and opportunity to pursue your own dreams and leave your kids an opportunity where they can chase theirs Clinton looks at the current state of affairs in order to set a direction for change In the face of the country s polarized politics, continued recession and unemployment, and excessive debt, Clinton wants nothing less than to revisit the American dream.Clinton takes a broad approach intertwined with factual analysis throughout Beginning with an invitation to the reader to consider the nature and purpose of government in the United States, the book has an almost philosophical scope Clinton argues that the nation was founded by citizens determined to resist then break away from an empire ruled by a government unaccountable to them The framers of the Constitution created a government both limited and accountable enough to protect individual liberties and strong and flexible enough to respond to challenges and changed circumstances and accommodate people with many different perspectives In a chapter titled Why we need Government, Clinton continues, the role of government is to give people the tools and create the conditions to make the most of our lives Clinton argues that, since the 1980s, American political life has been dominated by an anti government ideology, which tends to see government in hostile terms Spending is to be cut, regulations repealed, and taxes lowered Yet, lack of financial oversight helped to create the recession and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other things, increased spending while taxes were reduced Clinton believes that such anti government ideology blinds its supporters to considering concrete problems with factual analysis, and, over, obliterates the traditional differences in liberal and conservative approaches to American politics, both of which he maintains we need He writes, In a positive political environment, liberals and conservatives could learn from each other and advance the public interest Liberals want to use the government to solve problems and are usually eager to experiment True conservatives arecautious, reminding us that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is Much may be learned from Clinton s restatement of the liberal and conservative tendencies In discussing the 2010 election, Clinton observes perceptively that the results were due in part to the failure of the Democrats to articulate a national vision and sense of purpose to compete with the anti government rhetoric of many of their opponents.Back to Work is divided into two large parts titled Where We Are and What We Can Do In the first part, Clinton begins with an analysis of the causes of the recession and meltdown in 2008 He asserts that the Troubled Asset Relief Program TARP was largely effective in alleviating the worst of the crisis and in preventing unemployment from rising to even higher levels In later sections, he offers thoughts on the difficulties involved in reducing expenditures within the 85 percent of the federal budget that is spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, and interest on the public debt On increasing revenues through taxation, Clinton has particularly insightful, balanced comments on America s corporate tax structure He concludes the first part of his book with a lengthy chapter replete with statistics and charts, comparing an array of current quality of life data points with those of both the United States from post World War II to 1980 and other highly developed countries today There is much room for improvement.For the second part, What We Can Do, Clinton offers a series of 46 recommendations with varying degrees of breadth and magnitude of discussion on moving forward into the future His recommendations might be grouped under headings such as mortgage relief, corporate tax structure, energy and infrastructure development, creation of incentives for domestic manufacturing, tourism, and trade and export Perhaps the most succinct is Clinton s recommendation No 32 Sell, sell, sell The value of Back to Work lies primarily in the feeling Clinton conveys of optimism, persistence and patriotism in the face of difficulty The former president tries to redirect debate from considering how to weaken the scope of government to questions such as How can we move back to a full employment economy with good jobs and rising middle class incomes How can we restore American leadership for peace and prosperity and leave our children and grandchildren a brighter future What do Americans need government to do to achieve these goals As Bill Clinton writes, There is simply no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty first century with an anti government strategy For those reading the book, emphasis should be placed on understanding the nature of a problem rather than upon whether the reader agrees with the specific recommendations Clinton proposes Americans from across the political spectrum have much to contribute in answering these questions and will gain a great deal by reading Former President Clinton s book.Robin Friedman

  8. says:

    The most frequently used words in this book are first person pronouns I did this my administration my Foundation the Clinton Global Initiative which leads me to believe he really did write the book himself You can hear his voice throughout It s always all about him Sometimes this tone becomes intrusive and you find yourself counting the I s.While Clinton does offer a good outlook on the problems limited bank loans, dismal education rankings, etc and comprehensively lists over 30 solu The most frequently used words in this book are first person pronouns I did this my administration my Foundation the Clinton Global Initiative which leads me to believe he really did write the book himself You can hear his voice throughout It s always all about him Sometimes this tone becomes intrusive and you find yourself counting the I s.While Clinton does offer a good outlook on the problems limited bank loans, dismal education rankings, etc and comprehensively lists over 30 solutions and while he recognizes the political stalemate at present, he offers no solution on how to get these initiatives passed in the current Congress I don t see any of these suggestions being implemented until after the 2012 election and only then depending on how deeply government continues to be divided.If you like Clinton and the progressive Democrats, you ll like this book if you re a Paul Ryan Republican, you probably won t

  9. says:

    I really enjoyed this book President Clinton presents a concise and not too technical plan for our economy While partisan at points, I felt many of the proposals were of the type that either party may have offered before the current polarization came into force I really enjoyed how he explained things and provided sources for his information Yes, he s a Democrat And, yes, he plugged President Obama But I felt the book should just be read with an open mind and that the different ideas I really enjoyed this book President Clinton presents a concise and not too technical plan for our economy While partisan at points, I felt many of the proposals were of the type that either party may have offered before the current polarization came into force I really enjoyed how he explained things and provided sources for his information Yes, he s a Democrat And, yes, he plugged President Obama But I felt the book should just be read with an open mind and that the different ideas would make good talking points for not just our federal government, but in our States too

  10. says:

    Fantastic read full of common sense, non partisan ideas I also appreciated the logical dismantling of the radical anti government movement Don t read this because you re a conservative or liberal or because you love hate Clinton Read it because you want an education on what we can all be doing to advance our communities and country.If you are a Clinton fan, I d highly suggest the audio version as Bubba reads it himself.

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