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Restoring the American Dream
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America is the wealthiest country in the world, yet American workers are experiencing a generation-long stagnation of wages and living standards. Thomas Kochan has produced a timely and important book assessing the economic challenges facing American workers, charting a forward-looking agenda for our country and challenging business, labor, and government to work together to reclaim the American dream. His arguments and proposals deserve the careful attention of anyone concerned with the living standards of the American people and the future of our country. -- John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO Business has discovered that economic results and employees commitment can be improved by including employess in the bain trust that identifies problems and finds new, workable solutions. Kochan brilliantly uses this processs to tackle some of the most fundamental societal and economic problems we face in shifting from an industrial to a knowledge economy. His many suggestions for improving jobs and benefits, building knowledge-based organizations, and integrating work and family life will be essential if we are to truly restore the belief in and reality of the American dream. -- Ellen Galinsky, President, Families and Work Institute, and author of Ask the Children In this eye-opening work, Thomas A. Kochan sounds a clarion call for greater investment in human capital. His vision of the new American dream gives special adn long-overdue emphasis to a fairer work-family balance in this rapidly changing world. It's a valuable guide to a better and brighter future, as we struggle to adapt to a knowledge-based economy and achieve genuine economic security for all our people. -- Edward M. Kennedy Thomas A. Kochan's vast experience, thoughtfulness andintelligence are on full display in this important book that reminds us how much voices of America's working families are needed today in shaping the debate about our economy. Through insightful examples, he gives us a roadmap to begin to restore the American Dream. -- Beth Shulman, author of The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans The biggest story of the new millennium isn't the Internet or the iPod. It's the disappearance of good jobs. This book confronts that harsh reality but also shows that there's no need to sit and watch as the American Dream disappears. Kochan offers real, practical soultions for helping ensure that the 21st-century economy rewards and values the work of everyone, not just CEOs. -- Andrew L. Stern, President, Service Employees International Union Restoring the American Dream lays out the facts facing workers and their families and then provides a set of actionable recommendations that can positively affect American society. Letting no one off the hook, this is a book that could only have been written by someone like Tom Kochan, with his thirty-plus years of scholarly research, ongoing consulting and policy advising, and most of all, his humanity and compassion. It is this remarkable combination of science, wisdom and compassion that makes Restoring the American Dream such a powerful and compelling read. -- Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Stanford Business School, and author, The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First

About the Author

Thomas A. Kochan is George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT. He is Codirector of both the Institute for Work and Employment Research at the Sloan School and the MIT Workplace Center. He is coauthor (with Paul Osterman, Richard M. Locke, and Michael J. Piore) of Working in America: A Blueprint for the New Labor Market (MIT Press, 2002).

Reviews

In this earnest, meticulous volume, MIT management professor Kochan argues that Americans need to view work and family as "tightly coupled issues" so that the former can be managed to complement the latter. A good start, he says, would be paid family leave for all workers, not just white-collar professionals; beyond that, he even suggests new laws that give corporate employees "the same rights to information and voice in [corporate] government" that investors already have. His other ideas are hardly objectionable, at least to blue-staters: fund basic public education, especially science; increase the minimum wage; invest in R&D to develop new jobs; revamp labor laws ("a national disgrace") to protect workers' right to unionize; and repeal "some or all of the tax cuts that have gone to the most wealthy Americans in recent years" in order to reduce the federal deficit. Kochan mostly ignores the current political scene and sidesteps cost figures, but suggests that a variety of networks and coalitions, including religious and identity groups, might help effect changeAas they have already in some local cases. This wonkish book awaits a candidate and movement ready to translate Kochan's "vision for the longer term" into a workable plan. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"America is the wealthiest country in the world, yet American workers are experiencing a generation-long stagnation of wages and living standards. Thomas Kochan has produced a timely and important book assessing the economic challenges facing American workers, charting a forward-looking agenda for our country and challenging business, labor, and government to work together to reclaim the American dream. His arguments and proposals deserve the careful attention of anyone concerned with the living standards of the American people and the future of our country."--John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO "Brian Obach has given us a well written, insightful, and balanced examination of the complex relationship between the labor andenvironmental movements in the United States. It should be required reading for all those who believe that forging a bridge between these two groups would create a potent force for progressive social and political change."--John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO "*Restoring the American Dream* lays out the facts facing workers and their families and then provides a set of actionable recommendations that can positively affect American society. Letting no one off the hook, this is a book that could only have been written by someone like Tom Kochan, with his thirty-plus years of scholarly research, ongoing consulting and policy advising, and most of all, his humanity and compassion. It is this remarkable combination of science, wisdom and compassion that makes *Restoring the American Dream* such a powerful and compelling read."--Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Stanford Business School, and author, *The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First*

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