This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class by Elizabeth Warren

This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class

The fiery U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and bestselling author offers a passionate, inspiring book about why our middle class is under siege and how we can win the fight to save it Senator Elizabeth Warren has long been an outspoken champion of America’s middle class, and by the time the people of Massachusetts elected her in 2012, she had become one of the country’s le...

Title:This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class
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Edition Language:English
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:352 pages

This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class Reviews

  • Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》
    Feb 07, 2017

    I'm not into nonfiction, but I will most definitely read this book. More people need to support Warren. What an inspiring soul she is.

  • Bam
    Feb 09, 2017

    "Consider this MY warning: We won’t be silent. We will speak out. And we WILL persist." (Elizabeth Warren at the Senate confirmation hearings for Attorney General Jeff Sessions 2/8/2017.)

    If we hope to save the middle class in this country, it appears we are going to have to do battle with the super-rich and corporations. Trump, who made campaign promises that sounded good to many people, now seems to be trying to push through healthcare, tax cuts and deregulation of Wall Street rules that will b

    "Consider this MY warning: We won’t be silent. We will speak out. And we WILL persist." (Elizabeth Warren at the Senate confirmation hearings for Attorney General Jeff Sessions 2/8/2017.)

    If we hope to save the middle class in this country, it appears we are going to have to do battle with the super-rich and corporations. Trump, who made campaign promises that sounded good to many people, now seems to be trying to push through healthcare, tax cuts and deregulation of Wall Street rules that will benefit the rich instead.

    Elizabeth Warren is speaking out in her new book. If the Democrats are going to survive as a national party, they are going to have to come up with a more progressive policy that works for the people and restores the middle class, such as: single payer health care, a fair minimum wage, etc.

    Chapter One: The Disappearing Middle Class

    Try reading this chapter and not getting really angry at what is being done to the middle class! Unemployment figures are low, but are people able to support their families on the income they earn?

    Did you realize that Walmart is the largest employer in this country? More than a million and a half workers. In 2015, Walmart made $14.69 billion in profits, yet pays such low, low wages that many of its employees have to rely on food stamps, rent assistance, Medicaid, etc. to stay out of poverty. In other words, Walmart benefits from more than $7 billion in subsidies from taxpayers for its employees. I have never thought of it in that way. Quite eye opening. So if Walmart paid their employees a decent living wage, that $7 billion could go for other needs.

    And "Walmart isn't alone. Every year, employers like retailers and fast-food outlets pay wages that are so low that the rest of America ponies up a collective $153 billion to subsidize their workers." EVERY YEAR!

    "Simply promising to 'Make America Great Again' won't do the trick. It's time to get serious about understanding what has gone wrong and working on a plan to fix it."

    Chapter Two: A Safer Economy

    Warren reviews our economy from the Great Depression onwards. Trump is going back to Reagan-era "trickle down" economics with the deregulation of Wall Street and banks--the same institutions that caused the recession of 2008.

    Chapter Three: Making--and Breaking--the Middle Class

    "From 1935 to 1980, most Americans shared in the new income produced. The bottom 90% received 70% of all income growth. The top 10% received 30% of all income growth." Of course, this was mostly white middle class males--most blacks, women and Jews were shut out of certain jobs and opportunities.

    Then President Reagan and his 'trick-down economics' came along in 1980, with deregulation and tax cuts for big companies. Or 'voodoo economics,' as his vice president George H.W. Bush called it. Soon everyone realized this plan reduced government revenues and increased the national debt.

    "The distribution of new income from 1980-2015: The bottom 90% receive 0% of all income growth and the top 10% receive 100% of all income growth."

    Trickle-down economics and tax cuts for the rich have made a shambles of our educational system, infrastructure, medical research, etc. "It is time to bury the idea that tax cuts for the rich will pave the way to a bright future for everyone."

    Chapter Four: The Rich and Powerful Tighten their Grip

    "Big corporations and rich individuals have more influence in Washington than everyone else because they can offer politicians the ingredient that's essential to any battle for reelection: money."

    "Political priorities are shaped by the perception of what problems need to be addressed, and money powerfully shapes perception."

    Chapter Five: The Moment of Upheaval

    Shortly after the election, Warren spoke to the AFL-CIO: "As the loyal opposition, we will fight harder, we will fight longer, and we will fight more passionately than ever for the rights of every human being in this country to be treated with respect and dignity. We will fight for economic opportunity, not just for some of our children, but for all of our children. We do not control the tools of government, but make no mistake, we know what we stand for. The sun will keep rising, and we will keep fighting--each day, every day, we will fight for the people of this country."

    This is Trump 'draining the swamp': by appointing as

    --Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin, 'the Goldman Sachs executive who made a fortune after the financial crash by buying a bank and turning it into a foreclosure machine, seizing people's homes.'

    --head of the National Economic Council: Gary Cohn, the president of Goldman Sachs.

    (As Bill Mahler recently said, the only people he didn't hire from Goldman Sachs, is Goldman and Sachs! :)

    --Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil--a climate change denier.

    --head of the Environmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt--another climate change denier. As attorney general of Oklahoma, he literally shut down the state's own environmental enforcement unit.

    --head of the Department of Education: Betsy DeVos, who used her fortune to help undermine public schools in Michigan.

    --head of the Department of Health and Human Services: Tom Price who has proposed privatizing Medicare and Medicaid and repealing the Affordable Care Act.

    Not to mention Jeff Sessions as attorney general!

    As the title says: "This fight is our fight." Get involved anyway you can.

  • Tulay
    Jun 03, 2017

    Going to re-read and completely digest this book, and memorize some parts then I will write a review. This country, especially now needs more men and women like her. I can hope, can't I?

  • Elissa
    May 10, 2017

    I really wish we could do different sets of stars for books like Warren's:

    • Content (what is the book about?): 5 stars - saving the middle class of America

    • Coherency of ideas (did she explain her thoughts well?): 5 stars - detailing the tilt of how laws started to favor the wealthy and how we can tilt it back

    • Writing style (were the content and coherency conveyed in a manner that wasn't irritating?): 3 stars

    This book is not entirely about Senator Warren's years in public office and what she h

    I really wish we could do different sets of stars for books like Warren's:

    • Content (what is the book about?): 5 stars - saving the middle class of America

    • Coherency of ideas (did she explain her thoughts well?): 5 stars - detailing the tilt of how laws started to favor the wealthy and how we can tilt it back

    • Writing style (were the content and coherency conveyed in a manner that wasn't irritating?): 3 stars

    This book is not entirely about Senator Warren's years in public office and what she has done, though her feistiness and motivated attitude impressed me a lot, and I hope she has a long life in public service. It's more about the history of the middle class in America starting from FDR's years and how corporate lobbying has tilted democracy away from helping the everyman and in favor of the rich elite. She is a very opinionated woman and if you like the idea of deregulation and trickle-down economics, you will hate the content of this book.

    To be completely honest, reading this, I couldn't help but feel powerless, like we as a people are staring down at a mountain of work ahead of us. It will take a lot of pieces, a lot of people, and a lot of pushing to change the course of how lobbying works in our democratic process, and it will likely take years to unravel. I don't know how much faith I have in people that it will happen. But as Elizabeth says, we have to fight, because not fighting means we're going to lose anyway.

    The writing style is easy to digest, written simply and sometimes kind of over-the-top sarcastic-cutely. Insertions of "ha, ha" or "Oops, I meant this" were scattered around. She re-uses the same terms over and over again, like "cops on the beat." I know she chose this writing style to break up the history lesson so it sounded more conversational and less like a textbook (and it works well; the book is very readable) but it was almost patronizing at times.

    But it's a very good primer to see how Senator Warren thinks, and how I hope more public officials start to act in the next few years. I would definitely recommend this book to others.

  • Montcrieff
    Apr 18, 2017

    Paul Krugman (New York Times) April 18, 2017:

    These days, one often hears laments that academia has become too insular, that scholars aren’t willing to participate in the hurly-burly of real-world debate. “Professors, we need you!” declared my New York Times colleague Nicholas Kristof, urging academics not to “cloister yourselves like medieval monks.”

    Such laments are often accompanied by praise for the handful of professors who do step outside the cloister — people like Jill Lepore, who combines

    Paul Krugman (New York Times) April 18, 2017:

    These days, one often hears laments that academia has become too insular, that scholars aren’t willing to participate in the hurly-burly of real-world debate. “Professors, we need you!” declared my New York Times colleague Nicholas Kristof, urging academics not to “cloister yourselves like medieval monks.”

    Such laments are often accompanied by praise for the handful of professors who do step outside the cloister — people like Jill Lepore, who combines the roles of Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer. Oddly, however, I’ve never seen Elizabeth Warren mentioned in this category. Yet it’s hard to think of a better example.

    Warren went from Harvard law professor to highly effective policy activist. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a key part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform, was her brainchild, and by all accounts has been remarkably successful at catching and deterring fraud. Then she became an influential senator, one who was widely expected to be a sort of external conscience for Hillary Clinton’s presidency, de facto leader of the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”

    Then came the Trump upset. Now prominent Democrats need to figure out how to be effective leaders of the opposition — as the party’s base sees it, the resistance. Warren’s new book is in effect a manifesto offering one vision about how that role should be played. Is it persuasive? The answer is complicated.

    Warren lays out a position I’d call enlightened populism. She rails against the growing concentration of income and wealth in the hands of a tiny elite; argues that this concentration of economic rewards has also undermined our political system; and links unequal wealth and power to the stagnating incomes, growing insecurity and diminishing opportunities facing ordinary families. She puts a face on these stresses with capsule portraits of middle-class travails: a Walmart worker who needs to visit a food pantry, a DHL worker forced to take a huge pay cut, a millennial crushed by student debt.

    She also makes good use of the autobiographical mode, contrasting her stories of modern hard times with the opportunities her (and my) generation had in a more generous, less unequal era. Her own success story, she tells us, depended a lot on the now-vanished availability of high-quality, low-cost public universities, plus a relatively high minimum wage — “a $50-a-semester tuition changed my life.”

    But how can the harshening of life for ordinary Americans be turned around? Warren calls for restored financial regulation, stronger social programs and renewed investment in education, research and infrastructure. Isn’t this the standard Democratic position? Yes and no. Yes, what Warren is preaching sounds very much like the second coming of the New Deal — as she herself acknowledges: “We built it once, and we can build it again.” But: Warren brings an edge to her advocacy that many Democrats have shied away from, at least until recently. Even the Obama administration, while doing much more to fight inequality than many realize, balked at making inequality reduction an explicit goal.

    Furthermore, Warren comes down forcefully on the left side of an ongoing debate over both the causes of inequality and the ways it can be reduced.

    One view, which was dominant even among Democratic-leaning economists in the 1990s, saw rising inequality mainly as a result of ineluctable market forces. Technology, in particular, was seen as the driver of falling wages for manual work, and attempts to fight this trend would, the argument went, do more harm than good — raising the minimum wage, for example, would lead to job losses and higher unemployment among precisely the people you were trying to help. Given this view, even liberals generally favored free-market policies. Maybe, they suggested, rising income inequality could be limited by spending more on education and training. But limits on income concentration and support for workers would, they assumed, mainly have to come from progressive taxes and a stronger safety net.

    This view has gained much more prominence over the past couple of decades, mainly because it’s now backed by a lot of evidence (which is why I call Warren’s populism “enlightened”). At the beginning of her book Warren talks about her frustration with politicians refusing to raise the minimum wage even though “study after study shows that there are no large adverse effects on jobs when the minimum wage goes up.” She’s right. Later, she writes about the adverse effects of the decline of unions; that, too, is a view supported by many studies, from such left-wing sources as, um, the International Monetary Fund. So Warren in effect gives intervention in markets equal billing with taxes and social spending as a way to combat inequality, marking a significant move left in Democratic positioning.

    But why has actual policy gone the other way? Here Warren, both in the Senate and now in this book, has been harsher and more explicit than most Democrats have been in the past, condemning the corruption of our system by big money — and naming names. A case in point, recounted in “This Fight Is Our Fight”: Back in 2015 there was a congressional hearing on the Labor Department’s proposed “fiduciary rule,” requiring that investment advisers act in the interests of their clients. (No, that wasn’t already the case — and kickbacks for giving bad advice were a regular part of the scene.) When a prominent financial economist associated with the Brookings Institution, Robert Litan, testified against the rule, Warren did what most politicians wouldn’t: She pointed out that his research supposedly making the case against was effectively a piece of paid advocacy on behalf of a big mutual fund manager. (Litan ended up severing his ties with Brookings, which said he had broken the rules.)

    So “This Fight Is Our Fight” is a smart, tough-minded book. But is it an effective blueprint for progressive political revival? The evidence suggests that it’s incomplete. Consider the case of West Virginia, where Obamacare cut the number of uninsured by about 60 percent, where minimum wage hikes and revived unions could do wonders for workers in health care and social services, the state’s largest industry. That is, it’s a perfect example of a state that would benefit hugely from an enlightened-populist agenda.

    But last November West Virginia went almost three-to-one for a very unenlightened populist who made nonsense promises to bring back long-gone coal jobs, and has tried — so far unsuccessfully — to gut Medicaid, which covers more than a quarter of the state’s residents. Why? A lot of the explanation surely involves identity politics — white and male identity politics. To her credit, Warren repeatedly acknowledges the political importance of prejudice; she’s not one of those people who insist, as Bernie Sanders sometimes seems to, that bigotry won’t be a political factor if only your economic program is progressive enough. But she doesn’t offer any good answers. And let’s be honest: Republicans have gone after Warren herself, in a way they haven’t gone after Sanders, in part because of her gender.

    But maybe it’s a matter of time, and what Democrats need right now is a reason to keep fighting. And that’s something

    Paul Krugman is a distinguished professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and an Op-Ed columnist for The Times.

    © 2017 The New York Times Company

  • BeachVol
    Apr 20, 2017

    I would give this book 10 stars if that were an option.

  • Lynn
    Apr 25, 2017

    I love Elizabeth Warren. I love her story, her commitment, her passion and her politics. I hope she is our next President. This analysis of how trickle down economics has devastated the American Middle Class and about how she thinks the election of Trump will make things much worse, made me only want her to be President more. Before you troll me because you don't share my politics, read the book and listen to the stories of shattered lives it tells. Many of the people I grew up with in the forme

    I love Elizabeth Warren. I love her story, her commitment, her passion and her politics. I hope she is our next President. This analysis of how trickle down economics has devastated the American Middle Class and about how she thinks the election of Trump will make things much worse, made me only want her to be President more. Before you troll me because you don't share my politics, read the book and listen to the stories of shattered lives it tells. Many of the people I grew up with in the formerly industrial Ohio River Valley are those people. It breaks my heart, but she gives me hope.

  • Lisa
    Jun 15, 2017

    After reading Elizabeth Warren's first book "A Fighting Chance", I was anxious to read her second one "This Fight is Our Fight" It didn't disappoint although some of the biographical information was also in her first book. This book was a sequel to the first bringing us up to date on all the inside machinations that have been going on to rig the American economy in favor of the 1%. It also tells us what efforts are being made to fight the Trump/Republican agenda. For anyone who wants to protect

    After reading Elizabeth Warren's first book "A Fighting Chance", I was anxious to read her second one "This Fight is Our Fight" It didn't disappoint although some of the biographical information was also in her first book. This book was a sequel to the first bringing us up to date on all the inside machinations that have been going on to rig the American economy in favor of the 1%. It also tells us what efforts are being made to fight the Trump/Republican agenda. For anyone who wants to protect the few safeguards that working and middle class people have left this book is a manifesto. It certainly inspired me to continue advocating for what's left of our frayed social safety net.

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