Original Proposal

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Original Proposal

Post by johnkarls »

Originally proposed by johnkarls » Mon May 09, 2016 5:11 am – 127 views before being transplanted here
I propose that we read “5 Easy Theses: Commonsense Solutions to America’s Greatest Economic Challenges” (Houghton Mifflin 5/3/2016 - $17.23 hard cover + shipping or $12.99 Kindle from Amazon.com – 288 pages).

Already garnering praise in the academic world and on both side of the political aisle for its accessible and hopeful message, James M. Stone’s Five Easy Theses lays out commonsense solutions to our most pressing -- and seemingly intractable -- domestic policy problems. In straightforward style, Stone presents five vexing issues and the myths that cloud their resolution, revealing powerful, if controversial, solutions to each. With clear, forward-looking recommendations, he shows how we can

• Shore up Social Security
• Tame the federal deficit
• Rein in Wall Street
• Make health care and education more affordable and effective
• Curb inequalities of wealth and opportunity

These vitally important accomplishments are well within our reach, Stone argues, and would only require us to cast off the well-worn partisan straitjacket that has thwarted all attempts to address them in the past. A must-read for anyone—regardless of political affiliation—who cares about the future of this country, Five Easy Theses shows how America can restore the historical decency and prosperity that made it the envy of the world.


Jim M. Stone is the founder, Chairman and CEO of the Plymouth Rock group of companies which together write and manage more than $1 billion in annual auto and homeowners’ insurance premiums throughout the Northeast.

Jim began his career by teaching economics, after earning a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard. He served as Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner from 1975 to 1979 and then as Chairman and Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for four years. On his return from Washington, he founded Plymouth Rock.

He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Boston Globe, and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Global Post, a web-based international news service. Jim is a member of the Board of Directors of two non-profit organizations, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Management Sciences for Health, for which he serves as Chairman of the Board. Jim has served as an advisor to governments in three developing countries, and he has authored a book and numerous articles on insurance and finance. Jim is married, the father of two children, and lives in Boston.


“Five Easy Theses sets out key issues of public policy easy to identify in concept but long unresolved in practice. Stone proposes sensible approaches to breaking the long-standing political deadlock. The specific measures to deal with budgetary balance, income inequality, public education, healthcare, and financial reform should provide a guide for constructive debate as we choose our next president.”
—Paul A. Volcker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve (1979 to 1987) under Presidents Carter and Reagan and currently chairman of the Volcker Alliance

“This is an excellent book, authoritative, informative, very well written, and of course directed to the big issues people care about.”
—Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University, Twice Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction

“An important book for readers of any political stripe who want to get beyond the current domestic policy impasse. You may not agree with everything Stone advocates, but every argument he makes is worthy of serious attention.”
—Tom Daschle, Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader (Democrat, S. Dakota)

“Jim Stone's book shows that we can indeed solve many of the nation's seemingly intractable problems if we follow clear headed, non-partisan thinking. If you care about our future, you should read this book.”
—David T. Ellwood, Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy and Former Dean of the Harvard U’s Kennedy School of Government

“Stone has written a powerful, thought-provoking book. Whatever your political party or philosophy, you need to take all five of his theses seriously.”
—Clayton Yeutter, former Chairman, Republican National Committee, and former United States Secretary of Agriculture

“An extraordinarily impressive and important book. Stone is smart, balanced, and sensible, three traits that are in desperately short supply in our discourse about the future of the country. His analysis is penetrating, logical and powerful, without ideological spin. Every policy idea he presents follows from that logic. You don't have to agree with all of his proposals to realize his book’s value to politicians, policymakers, and citizens everywhere.”
—Norman Ornstein, author, political scientist, and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

“A pithy, well-documented distillation of pressing public policy issues including the causes of America’s annual trillion dollar overspend on healthcare—and what, in practical terms, we could do as a nation to substantially lower costs, and perhaps even improve outcomes. In vivid prose that combines convincing evidence and compelling stories, Stone persuasively argues that a universal, single-payer system should replace our highly inflationary patchwork of private insurance and government programs.”
—Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, Management Sciences for Health, Global Health Council, and Harvard Medical School

“Five Easy Theses contains cogent, insightful, well-articulated policy prescriptions for a divided nation grappling with critical economic issues. Even if you don’t agree with the policies Stone proposes, the book contains important ideas we all need to think hard about.”
—Michael S. Helfer, Former Vice Chairman, Citigroup, Inc.

“This book is eminently readable, accessible, and sensible. It should be required reading for every member of Congress. Jim Stone understands the issues, the underlying tradeoffs, and the very real choices that must be made if we as a nation are to address our greatest economic challenges.”
—Lawrence S. Bacow, President of Tufts University (2001-2011)

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