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To My Fellow Citizens: Saturday, October 3d, 2015, The First Annual American Assessment Day Observance; Your Opportunity To Reclaim Our Society And Our Lives

It is my fervent hope that signficant numbers of our fellow Americans will devote this Saturday the 3d of October to the crucial task of reclaiming our society and our personal lives. The modality by which these twin objectives may be accomplished is to commence this day, subsequent to a nourishing breakfast, to gather the members of our families together to commence the process of engaging in a comprehensive evaluation of our civic culture, and in the afternoon when the luncheon repast is completed, to address the matter of the content of our personal existences.

With regard to the morning activity, the fundamental focus of our efforts should be allocated to the formulation of a response to the following interrogatory: What business enterprises that exist within our geographical orbit reflect and embody those principles of “ethical commerce”? (see the content of the entries on this blog beneath the titles Ethical Values and Exemplary Organizations).

For by either initiating financial relationships with these entities or increasing the magnitude of the purchases of products and services these companies offer, we shall be elevating the larger social welfare of our communities by virtue of those values these organizations embrace. The website that iin my view that is most valuable for this purpose in which both the concepts and structures for community based democratic models  are fully explicated, in addition to numerous examples throughout the United States of these institutions that are successful by any standard of measurement may be found on CommunityWealth.org.

The second portion of the this exercise should be allocated to providing an answer to a question that contains even greater importance; i.e. What major corporations be they public in character or private in nature are responsible for those inimical influences that both contribute to the increasing inequality in our nation, and/or are wedded to agendas of activity that in some central regard contribute to the degradation of our environment, the diminishment of the political efficacy of overwhelming numbers of those who reside in the United States, and or other dimensions of the social dysfunction and cultural afflictions that are responsible for the poverty, racial turmoil, and spectrum of related social injustices with which so many of us are contending?

These entities e.g. those who are aptly referred to as “Commercial Reprobates” are institutions with which we should immediately sever any and all interactions, and as the population of former customers enlarges and the realm of those who continue to support these companies declines, a stark and undeniable choice will be presented to the governing boards of these corporations; either reform your business practices and function in an ethical manner that presupposes various positive impacts on the citizens of the United States, or remain wedded to the current modes of operation and sink beneath the waves of insolvency.

A comprehensive compilation of those corporate entitites that are guilty of behaviors that are deleterious to our nation’s welfare and various activities which negatively impact on our capacity to regain the dominance of the majority of our citizens capabilities to determine our destiny as a society in both a political and financial regard, may be found beneath the banner of the Corporate Research Project website. An element of critical relvance that appears there is the category entitled the Corporate Rap Sheet. The numerous major companies that appear on that enumeration are guilty of a broad spectrum of actions that are both morally suspect and injurious to the public interest. It is these entitites with whom where feasible all Americans shoudl suspend and terminate all commercial transactions. As their revenues plummet and their profitability expires they will either amend their behaviors or cease to exist as a viable commercial enterprise.

Once the preceding exercise is concluded and you and your family members have reached decisions regarding the business enterprises that from this point forward you will cease patronizing, and those that you shall either inaugurate or expand your commercial transactions with, the second aspect of this communal activity should address those personal elements of your domestic circumstances, i.e. both the sources in your lives whether external to your lives or internal to the nuclear family dynamic, that significantly impact the quality and content of domestic environment in which you dwell.

Should your current career arrangements be inimical to the fabric of your collective welfare; what is the nature of those negative impacts and most importantly how might various strategies be implemented in the immediate or longer term to mitigate those influences? What perspectives and opinions do members of your household reflect with regard to aspects of their current intrafamilial dynamic with which they are unhappy or most disturbed by? What modifications might be implemented to alleviate these woes? Finally, what goals and objectives do those that compose this family unit wish to actualize, i.e. a paradigm of greater fufillment, serenity, and contentment for their lives and for the family as a whole? What actions in response to these concerns are appropriate to implement in order to create an atmosphere that can strengthen and reinvigorate your existences both individually and as a collective entity?

This day of reflection, introspection, and objective consideration of both those commercial entities which contain the potential to either continue their baleful influences on our nation or contribute to the creation of a vastly improved social reality, and those internal dynamics which can either cause great harm or substantial happiness within our personal lives, are the crucial hemispheres which deserve objective, thorough, and comprehnsive consideration, and each aspect if properly addressed and examined can produce a result that will serve as a guide to both ourselves and our nation to embrace and embark upon new and more promising habits and interinstitutional and interpersonal relationships, that will benefit all our citizens and the members of our families who engage in this critical activity on Saturday the 3d of October, i.e. the observance of the First Annual American Assessment Day

NATION TO CELEBRATE FIRST ‘AMERICAN ASSESSMENT DAY’, BY PLACING “FINANCIAL TESTICLES OF UNETHICAL COMPANIES IN A VISE”.

It may sound harsh, but the point of October’s forthcoming ‘American Assessment Day’ is simple – to support ethical business and compel major corporation to either reform or perish. It’s the brainchild of Bernard S. Gluckstern, author of ‘America’s Future: Requiem Or Renaissance? An Agenda For The Transformation Of Our Nation And Ourselves’. Could this finally be the antidote to inequality and the political impotence of so many of our citizens?

For immediate release

Washington, D.C. – On Saturday October 3d 2015, Washington’s Bernard Gluckstern is asking all citizens to observe the first annual ‘American Assessment Day’, a unique and compelling opportunity to as Gluckstern puts it – “place the financial testicles of unethical companies in a vise, and force them to reform”. The day provides a bold opportunity for Americans to assess their civic and personal lives, reclaim their power and boycott unethical public and private corporations.

“We’re a nation that has fallen into fatal apathy, and we need a day to assess the situation we’re in, boycott unethical corporations and ultimately reclaim a society that once led the world,” explains Gluckstern. “By augmenting ethical business and tightening the vise on the scrotum of those who operate without integrity, we can slowly start to affect the change we both need and deserve.”

American Assessment Day was inspired by ‘America’s Future: Requiem Or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves’, Gluckstern’s recently released manifesto for change.

Synopsis of ‘America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves’

‘America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves, Bernard Gluckstern has created that rare book that articulates both a vision and a strategic approach to its implementation. He explores the various tactics and approaches which those at the apogee of our financial pyramid deploy to ensure that we remain a society that is exhausted, apprehensive, and divided, and subjected to increasing pressures as the result of our deteriorating material circumstances. However, more importantly he provides a blueprint to restore the political efficacy of our population, by augmenting ethical business enterprises and compelling mammoth organizations to reform their negative behaviors or face extinction. These objectives can be achieved by the commitment of citizens who will no longer permit the current injustices.

“The fabric of so many families has been eroded right down to its very core,” explains Gluckstern, “Causes range from isolated at-home addictions and work-related stresses right through to the incompetence and greed of the political elites and the institutions they collude with. My plan is a sensible strategy that can finally create a just and life-affirming society once again.”

Critics agree, leaving a slew of positive reviews. Edward C. Green, PhD and Director ‘The New Paradigm Fund’ comments; “At its core this book is a humanistic appeal for sanity in a world where the playing field has grown increasingly inequitable. The premise is Great Power Heal Thyself, in other words as American citizens we have the capacity and duty to reform our own country, first of all and the “spread effects” could be enormous. The U.S. could rightfully reclaim the global respect it once had as the model of a true functioning democracy.”

Rahul Singh, CEO, of Anant Corporation adds; “Mr. Gluckstern brings to light the evidence that points to a continued deterioration of our nation’s moral fabric as a result of corporate greed and apathy towards the social well-being of  ALL our people. After all, don’t we define ourselves as “we the people.? ”He asks the reader and the nation to experience a crisis of conscience and take steps towards a more positive and fulfilling future as a society.”

Ronald Smith, a psychiatrist and former Chief Of Behavioral Medicine At Bethesda Naval Hospital asserts; “Bernard Gluckstern is a brilliant thoughtful articulate patriot and author. His ideas for a better republic are coherent, methodical, and possible. His belief in the possibility of educating the voting public is perhaps overly optimistic, but this book is a fine start.”

Hal Gill a senior executive at CEA in the nation’s capitol stated that this literary achievement contains; “Unflinchingly honest reflections on self and society are what the reader will find in this volume. Mr Gluckstern has laid out the current state of affairs and vision for the future. Agree or disagree, the public will be left richer for having had the experience of digesting the perspectives offered in America’s Future: Requiem Or Renaissance? An Agenda For the Transformation of Our Nation And Ourselves.”

‘America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves’, from RoseDog Books¸ is available now: http://amzn.to/1K9kmgC. Virtual pressroom: http://www.dorrancepressroom.com Publisher’s bookstore: http://www.rosedogbookstore.com

About the Author

Bernard Gluckstern has devoted much of his professional career to the mitigation of poverty and the empowerment of the poor in such locales as Watts (Los Angeles), Appalachia, New York City, and Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of a M.A. degree in Political Science from Brown University and a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Alfred University. In addition, Mr. Gluckstern served in the United States Marine Corps.  He resides in Washington, D.C., with his extraordinary wife, Lisa.

Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contacts: Jessica Stillwell, Promotion Manager
412-288-4543 ext. 27148
JCStillwell@dorrancepublishing.com

  A Prophetic American Voice provides a Blueprint for Citizens to              Restore Their Power and Diminish the Influence of Corporations and         Financial  Institutions and Create a Just and Life-Affirming Society

America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves, a new book by Bernard Gluckstern, has just been released by RoseDog Books.

In America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves, Bernard Gluckstern has articulated both a vision and a strategic approach to its implementation. He explores the various tactics and mechanisms which those at the summit of our financial pyramid deploy to ensure that we remain a society that is exhausted, apprehensive, and in conflict, as the result of our deteriorating financial circumstances. His antidote to these afflictions is contained in a comprehensive plan of action that rewards ethical business enterprises and compels mammoth companies to reform their negative behaviors or face extinction. These objectives can be achieved by citizens who will no longer permit the current injustices.

“At its core this book is a humanistic appeal for sanity in a world where the playing field has grown increasingly inequitable. The premise is Great Power Heal Thyself, in other words as American citizens we have the capacity to reform our country, first of all and the “spread effects” could be enormous. The U.S. could rightfully reclaim the global respect it once had as the model of a true functioning democracy.” Edward C. Green, Ph.D. Director, The New Paradigm Fund

About the Author
Bernard Gluckstern has devoted much of his professional career to the mitigation of poverty and the empowerment of the poor in such locales as Watts (Los Angeles), Appalachia, New York City, and Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of a M.A. degree in Political Science from Brown University and a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Alfred University. In addition, Mr. Gluckstern served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve during the Vietnam era. He resides in Washington, D.C., with his extraordinary wife, Lisa.

America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda for the Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves is a 152-page paperback with a retail price of $15.00. The ISBN is 978-1-4809-6377-1. It was published by RoseDog Books of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information, or to request a review copy, please go to our virtual pressroom at http://www.dorrancepressroom.com or our online bookstore at http://www.rosedogbookstore.com. For Merchandising Coordinator call 1-800-788-7654 or send email to: bookorders@rosedogbooks.com

America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance? An Agenda For The Transformation of Our Nation and Ourselves

During the month of June, 2015, my publisher Rose Dog Press shall disseminate in both a soft cover and e-book format a literary effort to which I have devoted much of 2014 and the winter and spring of this year as well, ” America’s Future: Requiem or Renaissance?” An Agenda For The Transformation Of Our Nation And Ourselves.

This effort in activist scholarship was animated by the desire to provide a comprehensive course of individual action that our citizens might undertake to be responsive to so much of our current economic, political, and social circumstances that are both enormously dysfunctional and cause moral injury and material suffering to so many among us, particularly those who reside in the dungeons of poverty as well as those whose tenuous grasp on a middle class status is becoming ever more compromised and impaired.

Though there are numerous texts which have found their way to the American public in recent years that have set forward multi-tier critiques athat are reflective of a sophisticated and trenchant analysis of our contemporary cultural afflictions and the companionate unraveling of the efficacy and the influence or so many of our populace who are not members of the miniscule class of our plutocratic elite,  few of these efforts have provided a strategic approach to the amelioration of these intensifying destructive forces that are consuming so much of our national heritage and the democratic normative predicate on which our country was constructed.

As a result, what has animated my undertaking has been two fundamental desires.   The first is the wish to present a contemporary portrait of the current horrific social reality with which so many of our fellow Americans and being overwhelmed and diminished.   The second objective is a fervent commitment to formulate and  distribute  both a vision and a strategy and the modalities and procedures for its total implementation that possess the potential to ameliorate the tragic current  political apathy, impotence, and economic inequality that in which an overwhelming number of our fellow citizens are imprisoned.

This document is a blueprint to restore the efficacy of our population by augmenting  the magnitude and success of ethical business enterprises, and compelling mammoth corporate enterprises both public companies and private financial institutions and others, to recind and reform their negative and culturally deforming behaviors or face extinction. These goals can be achieved by the commitment and exertions of our citizens who will no loonger permit the continuation of the current injustices for which these entities are responsible.

The fraudulent and brutal myth that “Educational Credentials” are the pathway to finacial stability

Recently, the newly installed CEO of Goldman Sachs recounted the struggles he confronted in acquiring an education.  Moreover, he relayed the fact that one of his teachers during his adolescence suggested to his parents that with his meager intellectual capacities he would be fortunate to obtain a position as a truck driver.

Obviously, he has demonstrated that prediction was grieviously in error given his accomplishments in the world of investment banking. He further proclaimed that the principal antidote to the rampant and escalating inequality that has characterized our nation’s contemporary economic circumstances was the acquisition of various educational credentials which would enable their recipients to consign their interminable periods of residence in the dungeons of poverty in the U.S. to a regrettable personal history and enter the ranks of the thriving and robust American middle class.

Oh that this might be the future that those who implement his recommendations would be afforded.   The realities surrounding this prediction are however,  grieviously flawed and the prospects for its attainment are statistically grim and anemic at best.

At the moment approximately 70% of our nation’s population are bereft of college degrees of all and any character and level of accomplishment. The resources required to undertake various courses of study to acquire skills within a vocational or community college setting are beyond the capability of the overwhelming majority of these high school drop-outs/graduates who receive in most instances little more the minimum wage.

Moreover, many courses of study both within the public educational arena and the not for profit, non-profit and for profit arenas at the culmination of these academic efforts lead to very few job opportunities and thus the overwhelming majority of those who have become burdened with loan obligations to pursue these credentials find themselves unemployable and substantially in debt.

Those who are enrolled in degree programs whether it be within private colleges and universities or state institutions of higher education who successfully complete the acquisition of the various undergraduate degrees they have sought to acquire, nonetheless have discovered that our nation’s current economic climate is most inhospitable, i.e. in excess of 42% of current graduates are rewarded with job offers that pay little more than the minimum wage, or are in areas of the economy in which they have no interest, and/or are internships for which no compensation is provided.

As a result many of these students return to their parents homes and embark upon years of  a schedule of loan repayments to the institution that provided the funds for their collegiate journey, delaying marriage and child rearing and experiencing a most spartan existence in which little but the bare necessities are affordable.

During the previous four decades in which the ideology of the neoconservatives has been in the ascendancy, globalization, the continuing replacement of employees by technological innovations, the dominance of the use of part-time contractors and “at will” staffing to achieve greater cost reductions in the wages provided to workers, the departure of many corporate headquarters from the U.S. to other nations as the result of mergers with foreign corporate entities which have reduced their tax obligations,

In addition, does there exist  the  unwillingness of corporate behemoths to repatriate the trillions in profits that reside outside the U.S., and the depredations that “activist investors”  have inflicted with their obsession to compel boards of public companies and their senior management to continuously strive to increase the value of the equity they possess in these public companies.

Furthermore, these groups of investors also insist on ever augmented dividend payments, and a companionable demand that the increases in profitability which technological innovations attain must be allocated to the senior executives rather than to the employees of this company, have cumulatively conspired to greatly minimize the importance, relevance, and most importantly the capability of educational attainments to afford its recipients with a meaningful and significant access to the middle class.

At the moment approximately 4 million jobs are vacant, and approximately 23 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed, so discourage that after months or years of seeking a position have in a state of discouragement and exhaustion ceased their efforts to obtain employment, and perhaps most tragically the numbers of those who fall within the category of the poor and the near-poor in our society exceeds 100 million.

What is required is a multi-tier comprehensive national program to both create those jobs necessary to rebuild our infrastructure, improve our public educational systems, and ensure that every American has access to an employment circumstance that is adequately compensated and provides for the use of their talents, training, and energies.

America’s Refounding Fathers and Mothers

As December of 2013 was drawing to a close, nineteen scholars all united by their fierce dedication to the  notion that our contemporary social and cultural circumstances were inequitable, oppressive, and in the central contravention of those principles on which this nation has been created, gathered on a frigid winter’s morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts to commence a five-year dialogue about America and its prospective future.

Continue reading America’s Refounding Fathers and Mothers

McDonald’s newest attempt to ingratiate themselves into the good graces of consumers is a total failure.

Recently, the McDonald’s corporation has taken to the airwaves to unveil their most recent efforts at rehabilitating their brand and their menu.   For a number of their customers the cost to purchase various menu items will not require our nation’s currency, but rather a phone call from the patron to their mother for the purpose of conveying their love for the person who has given them life.

Continue reading McDonald’s newest attempt to ingratiate themselves into the good graces of consumers is a total failure.

TECHNOLOGY’S ULTIMATE DESTINATION IN AN AMERICAN AND GLOBAL CONTEXT

The continuing encroachment by technology upon human exertion in this nation and throughout  other modern societies is consigning ever greater numbers of our citizens to a posture of economic irrelevance.  In the unrelenting quest to automate and mechanize virtually all manufacturing activity and thus achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency and cost reductions and from a corporate perspective most importantly an increase in productivity, as the result of unprecedented combinations of technology/employee collaboration.

The incremental profits obtained from these procedures are allocated not to those employees in these commercial enterprises who are responsible for these increased profits, but rather to the senior executives of these corporations, augmented dividends to shareholders, and to the enhanced value which the equity in these companies reflect.

Inherent in this absurdity is to attain an objective that at some golden moment in the not too distant future completely eliminates the requirement of employees participation in these manufacturing processes. For when that state of technological supremacy has been realized then will the optimization of profits be both complete and insurmountable. 

The ramifications of this “accomplishment” will be to swell the populations of the unemployed, further concentrate the accumulations of wealth and political influence among those who are presently so disproportionately the recipients of these material and governmental forms of largesse, and given the disappearance of sources of revenue by those who are terminated, shall reduce the capacity of our citizens to purchase consumer products or engage in any economic transactions other than those which literally sustain their very existences.  From these realities homelessness shall rise dramatically, crime will markedly increase, marriages will succumb to the pressures of poverty, alcohol and drug dependency will escalate, and the ferocious competition for employment in any capacity shall become ever more fervid. 

Moreover, public systems of law enforcement, education, social services, and recreation and arts and cultural programs shall all become the proportional casualties of ever reduced funding and the massive increase in those client populations which require these services to remain viable.

In the final analysis, these burgeoning forces and trends shall further exacerbate in a national context what Mayor De Blasio characterized in his successful recent bid to become the Chief Executive of our nation’s premier municipality, New York, “A tale of two countries ever more estranged and ever more unequal.”   In a country that presently reflects an unemployment rate that is in excess of 15%, where more than 50 million citizens receive food stamps to supplement their inadequate nutritional budgets, and where vast areas of both rural and urban environments lie deserted and fallow, because major corporations have relocated to domestic or overseas locales which have proffered obscenely generous tax forgiveness incentives, and other substantial financial inducements in order to attract these companies to these areas and provide the employment opportunities their manufacturing activities require.

It is as a result of this unceasing quest to take up commercial residence in those localities that embody “right to work” laws, and are thus inhospitable to union activity, and prevailing wage levels that are almost always below that which exists in other union friendly environments, and of course the lengthy periods of immunity from state taxes and other traditional costs of business which these entities absorb in more enlightened and progressive politically sovereign jurisdictions, that are cumulatively responsible for the unceasing expansion of the universe of those who are involuntarily consigned to idleness, with all that flows from that state in terms of self-loathing, retreats into alcoholic dependency to anesthetize the anguish which their economic status reflects and in the most tragic eventualities, when their suffering is insupportable will bring their lives to a close.

The sole and exclusive concern of those who control and direct the activities of these companies is the pursuit of the maximization of profit, irrespective of the implications and consequences to their employees, the environment, and the frequently traumatic repercussions and havoc to the larger communities and regions which their departure creates.

To wish to reduce the drudgery and danger of manufacturing procedures that are unhealthful or mind-numbing or produce casualties of body and spirit is a laudable and noble objective. However, the question becomes subsequent to their elimination from the workplace how does our society allocate to these individuals that which is equitable and allows then to engage in both our economy and the crucially necessary psychological engagement in labor that is indispensable to their self-worth? We may very well be entering into an era where the 40 hour work week is an antiquated concept which is no longer necessary. In order to ensure the involvement of those who are currently unengaged, a 25 hour period of involvement in the economy may be sufficient to both sustain our economic levels of productivity for most individuals. If the minimum wage were elevated to $15 per hour a family of two wage-earners could provide a middle-class existence for their children and themselves for a work week of this duration.

Moreover, there is presently an enormous and urgent need to repair and modernize our nation’s infrastructure, surely this is work that is both crucial and rewarding, and many of those who currently sit idle would be ecstatic at the prospect of being involved in these efforts from both a sense of meaningfully contributing to our country’s viability and the relatively substantial wages which those with these skills and craft aptitudes are compensated.

Finally, a 25 hour work week would allow our citizens to reduce the current levels of stress and anxiety which plague so many of us as employees, parents, siblings, friends, and other important roles we assume in the current work schedules which often extend to 50 hours or beyond. Additional “volitional” time would enable us to enrich our lives our families and our communities and most crucially would permit us in postures of exploration, contemplation, and analysis, to examine our lives and our society and formulate those models of social justice that we wish the American culture to incorporate and gravitate toward and the strategic and tactical political processes that must be created and employed to attain these substantive improvements in the quality of our individual lives as well as those of us who collectively comprise this nation.

The epic struggle in which we are engaged is in some quintessential regard the imperative requirement to reduce the political influence of these corporate behemoths and increase those burgeoning voices and efficacy of our fellow citizens and the thousands of organizations that currently exist to transform America into an ever more coherent, persuasive, and formidable, force of moral persuasion that will ultimately achieve the humanizing objectives which are possible when the juggernaut of technology is subordinated to its appropriate posture of democritization both in the United States and beyond our borders in other industrial societies.