Announcing an Innovative, Comprehensive Social Advancement Agenda that Can End Our Dark Times

Los Angeles police ignore tent residents “stopped” for months under the “NO STOPPING ANY TIME” signs because the homeless shelters and jails are full.

The threats are real. If current trends continue, our nation will descend into a dystopia or disintegrate.

My books provide urgently needed detailed agendas to reverse our social decline trends and radically improve most people’s lives.

However, for major social advancements to occur collective wisdom must come into play.  Contact me with your feedback and improvement suggestions on my proposed agendas. I look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue to optimize them for a New Enlightenment Era. 

These Are Dark Times.
Now, a Path to the Light is Clear.

What Are People Saying About The New Enlightenment?

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ROBERT POLLIN, Ph.D., Economist, One of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers.”  Read more.

JAMES B. STEWART, Ph.D., Economist, National Economic Association Former President.  Read more.

More comments on The New Enlightenment on “Endorsements” page.

 I hope my books attract you to be part of a mass movement in the direction they define. In all cases when a nonviolent 3.5% of a country’s population actively demanded major social change they succeeded.

Signs of Dark Times

Many Polls Show a Widespread Desire for Fundamental Social Advancements

43% of men under the age of 50 express “Total approval for participating in a political revolution even if it is violent.”(Source)
Voters rate political corruption as America's biggest crisis. 87% say it is widespread in the federal government.(Source)
79% believe reducing economic inequality should be at least a high public policy priority; 42% percent think it should be a top policy priority.(Source)
70% “would be excited to vote for a 2020 presidential candidate who promises to reform the economic system.” (Source)
66% believe major structural changes are needed to our system of government.(Source)
70% say U.S. economic system unfairly favors the powerful.(Source)
Seven in ten Americans say the country is in crisis and is at risk of failing. (Source)

More Signs on Dark Times Page

The above polls’ majorities would be significantly larger if we had well-functioning mass media and educational institutions.

 And their desire for major social advancement would be much more urgent.

“The ruling class has the schools and press under its thumb. This enables it to sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.” (source)
                             Albert Einstein

The mass media does not report adequately on economic and political inequalities, their consequences, fundamental causes, and robust solutions. Read more.

Also biased in ways that benefit elites at the expense of the rest of us are our educational institutions. Read more.

Available 2024

Read the Introduction

The Ways to Prosperity for All and a Genuine Democracy

If you believe that our economic and political systems require fundamental advancements, you will find this website and my books interesting, and I hope much more—inspiring and useful. If you would be satisfied with minor economic and political system reforms, you will not be interested in my work.

If instituted, the political system advancements I detail will create a better-functioning democracy than has ever existed in a large society. A well-functioning democracy will enable us to institute the economic system advancements I detail that will eliminate poverty, create a large dominant middle class, and bring democracy into the workplace.

Our nation’s birth was an integral part of the Age of Enlightenment when aristocratic societies were made more egalitarian and democratic. A New Enlightenment era must now begin, this time to radically advance the conditions of all races and genders. Read more.

In 2023: America’s top 0.1% had over $20 trillion. The top 1% had $44.4 trillion. 600,000 Americans were homeless. 25 million were behind on their rent or mortgage payments, 7.5 million feared imminent eviction or foreclosure. 42.5 million were food insecure. Policymakers serve economic elites and ignore the average American’s public policy preferences.

Property monopolized or in the possession of a few is a curse to mankind. We should preserve not an absolute equality—this is unnecessary, but preserve all from extreme poverty and all others from extravagant riches.” John Adams
“The great object should be to combat…evil: 1. By establishing a political equality among all…” James Madison

Thomas Paine’s 1776 pamphlet “Common Sense” was crucial in motivating the American Revolutionary War. This excerpt would apply now if “economic elites” replaces “king”: “…this continent can make no laws but what the king gives leave to [permits]; and … suits his purpose…”

Each generation is … independent. It has then… a right to choose for itself the form of government it believes most promotive of its own happiness; consequently, to accommodate to the circumstances in which it finds itself.” Thomas Jefferson
Read more and see comparisons between conditions described in the Declaration of Independence that motivated the Revolutionary War and ours.

Our Descent Into Darkness Can End

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Extreme and Growing Economic and Political Inequalities Threaten Our Nation’s Survival

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Compared to our plutocrat’s wealth, the famously extravagant wealth of the “roaring twenties” plutocrats was little.

Click here to see the size and significance of the vastly larger wealth of modern-day plutocrats.

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Compared to our plutocrat’s income, the famously extravagant income of the “roaring twenties” plutocrats was little.

Click here to see the size and significance of the vastly larger income of modern-day plutocrats.

Our Paths into Darkness ↓

Technological Advancements Enabled Historically High Productivity

A well-functioning democracy would have ensured that our unprecedented productive capacity enabled everyone to meet their material needs easily. Instead, in the wealthiest nation in history, the U. S., 64% could not meet their basic needs if they miss one paycheck, and 38 million live in poverty.

Why every American needs to understand this graph’s significance. Read more

The graph’s “Productivity” line is a measure of the value an average worker produces per hour and “Hourly compensation” is for the typical nonsupervisory worker.

Productivity and Pay, 1948-2018

(Hover over line to get data point values) Data: Economic Policy Institute

As our political system's functioning declined, a small elite’s share of national income boomed

Upper corporate managers benefited massively from the profit boom created by the growing value generated by their employees. About 2/3 of our top 0.1% in income are top corporate managers.

Managers of large corporations are empowered to create extraordinary degrees of social harm. Reasons exist to be concerned about top managers’ power and character. Read more.

Average Income Ratio: Top 0.1%/Bottom 90% & Confidence in Congress

When stock prices rise, owners of stocks benefit.

Who owns stocks?

The public indeed owns public companies, but the top 1% own more than the rest of us combined and 16 times the amount 80% of Americans own.

73% of workers prefer to work for an employee-owned company rather than one owned by external shareholders. If most businesses were worker-owned and controlled, the wealth and income inequality reduction and other social benefits would be immense. See how we can accomplish this.

(I did not include a bar representing the .003% portion of public company value owned by the bottom 50% because you would not be able to see it.)

Percent Owned of “Public” Company Stock Market

A Small Elite Has Captured Massive Wealth Generated by Our Society

This graph displays U.S. wealth inequality. It’s extreme primarily because corporate ownership grotesquely favors a small elite. The 13,000 households in the top .01% have an average wealth of $608 million.

So you can see the $79,200 average wealth of households in the bottom 50%, I multiplied it by 500.

As a result of four centuries of systemic racism, Black families’ median wealth is about one-tenth that of white families. No progress has been made in reducing wealth inequalities between black and white households over the past 70 years. Read more.

Average Household Wealth by Wealth Percentile Groups, $Millions

The 2019 data graphed is from a Federal Reserve wealth survey. The vast inequality shown continued to boom. Based on Forbes data, U.S. billionaire wealth increased by $1.6 trillion, or 55%, from 3/18/20 to 7/9/21.

Click here for more graphs on the results of economic system dysfunction

Now Is The Time for a New Enlightenment

Extreme Inequalities Are Tearing
Our Social Fabric and
Harming Our Health

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One Way the Wealthy Captured Our Political System: Campaign Contributions

Democracies make real the preferences of the majority on social issues. Among the most significant of them is how the society’s systems divide what the society produces among its members both through tax and public expenditure systems and the fundamental character of economic systems. The extreme and growing inequality within nations worldwide indicates a widespread failure and continuing decline of democratic functioning—but in the developed world, the problem is particularly severe in the U.S.

Top 0.01%’s Share of All Campaign Spending with Their Share of All Income, 1980-2016

Democracy Lost

In the largest study of its kind, Princeton University researchers analyzed 2000 public policy outcomes over three decades.  From their report:

“… the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact on public policy…Policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans.”

The Capitol Building

Where We Have a Corporate Elite

Twisting Public Policy to the Right

After elections end, policymakers’ offices are overrun by high-paid lobbyists providing information and advocacy to serve corporate managers and major owners’ interests.

The pharmaceutical industry spent $4.7 billion on lobbying between 1998 and June 2021, more than any other industry.  As a result, tens of millions of adults cannot pay for needed drugs due to high drug prices that have contributed to the death of millions.   

Drugs are cheap to manufacture, and R & D costs far from account for the difference in average manufacturing and retail costs. Without patent’s promise of monopoly pricing power to incentivize drug R&D, my publicly funded system will accelerate the development of effective and safe medicines. The system has no net cost for the government due to a large decrease in Medicare and Medicaid drug expenditures, and it makes prescribed medicines available to patients at no cost. Read more. 

Money Spent on Lobbyists, $Billions

More Graphs on the Results of Political System Dysfunction

The Wealth of Nations

The Wealth of Nations, the title of the famous book authored by the “father of modern economics,” Adam Smith, the 18th-century Enlightenment philosopher, could be the title of the biography of some Americans. On February 11, 2022, Jeff Bezos had wealth greater than the nations Iceland, Iraq, Ukraine, Ecuador, Lithuania, Costa Rica, and Cyprus combined. Elon Musk had the combined wealth of the same nations plus that of Luxembourg.

No functioning democracy would allow systems to exist where a few individuals could take such a grotesque proportion of the wealth generated by collective action and social resources.

See Prosperity, Justice, and Inequality for the economic and moral justifications for a far more equitable distribution of income and wealth.

Economic and political inequality has grown independent of which party controls the congress or the presidency.

We need a new political party but not nearly as much as a new political system.

The New Enlightenment details the fundamental political system advancements we need.

Building Blocks at the Foundation of a Prosperous and Far More Just and Democratic Society:

Worker-owned and controlled businesses perform most economic activity.
Read more.
Election system eliminates private money’s influence, ensures outcome integrity, empowers non-major party candidates. Read more.

Average citizens in deliberative groups involving 0.1% of the citizenry develop some public policies. Read more.

A media system dominated by worker-owned and controlled media  enterprises with public support. Read more.

Lobbying system puts all citizens and corporations on a level, transparent playing field. Read more.

Public Sector enhancements for housing, college tuition, Social Security, public defense, broadband, misc. other. Read more.

New public institutions disperse benefits of internet commerce, support pharma R&D, resulting in free prescription drugs. Read more.

Widespread understanding of the moral and economic justifications for less inequality. Read more.

A much more progressive tax system, including a wealth tax. Read more.

Manuals for a Movement

Far more than offering details and new perspectives on our social ills, The New Enlightenment and Amazon as Metaphor are manuals for a movement to a fundamentally superior society. 

Free Review Books

Progressive political organizations or activists planning to form one, consider my public policy proposals for your advocacy. I will send you the books for no charge.

Only Systemic Advancements Can Solve Our Social Problems

If a detailed agenda for creating a fundamentally more just and better-functioning society is what you desire, you will find my books useful and inspiring.


Noam Chomsky is considered the founder of modern linguistics. Before his position at the University of Arizona as Laureate Professor of Linguistics in 2017, he taught linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 50 years. Chomsky’s work has influenced the fields of cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, computer science, mathematics, childhood education, and anthropology. Chomsky is the eighth most frequently cited scholar in history. He has also been one of the world’s most influential political commentators and activists for decades.

Professor Chomsky has received numerous awards related to his contributions to many fields, including the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences, the Helmholtz Medal, the Ben Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association, and the Dorothy Eldridge Peacemaker Award.

In addition, Professor Chomsky has received honorary degrees from 24 universities, many among the most prestigious worldwide. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science.

Dr. Chomsky has written more than 100 books, his most recent include Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power and Chomsky for Activists.

In his groundbreaking book on the media, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Professor Chomsky (with co-author Edward S. Herman, Ph.D.) shows that contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice, they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order.

Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray, Ph.D. has a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics and Ph.D. in Rural Sociology. He also holds a master’s degree in Social Work and has completed psychoanalytic training at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Washington DC.

Dr. Gray’s research has focused on the study of different types of cooperative structures for mid-size farm survival. More than 80% of agricultural land in the US is managed by farmers whose operations fall between small-scale farms with direct access to local markets, and larger industrialized farms. These farmers in the ‘middle’ increasingly struggle to find a place within the food production system.

For his lifetime contributions to the generation, dissemination and applications of knowledge to agricultural cooperatives across the United States at the university and community levels, Dr. Gray received the 2004 Rural Sociology Society award for excellence in public service. The Rural Sociology Society stated that Dr. Gray is the person most responsible for keeping an interest in co-ops alive among the nation’s rural sociologists.

Dr. Gray is a ‘Cooperative Scholar’ with the Canadian Centre for the Study of Cooperatives. His research focuses on cooperatives on three levels of analyses: micro – member participation studies or on what “individuals” think, believe, feel, do as related to their participation in cooperatives, meso – organizational analyses of governance construction of membership structure, and macro – contextual issues such as changes in the structure of agriculture. In 2019, he received a travel grant to study governance in Japanese agricultural cooperatives. 


“I am very impressed by your project. People who are looking to hear about serious alternatives to the ongoing neoliberal hegemony in U.S. policymaking circles will find your book very useful and even inspiring… a valuable resource for people seeking out a coherent vision of how we get from here to there in the struggle for a more just society…The book is also well organized and well written. Congratulations on the enormous work effort as well as the final product.”


“It’s a well thought-out proposal, and if it could get off the ground, it could be significant.”

James Haslam

James Haslam is the Executive Director of Rights & Democracy, which he co-founded after serving as the Executive Director at the Vermont Workers’ Center for over 15 years. He has extensive experience in labor and community organizing, and running grassroots legislative advocacy campaigns.

Rights & Democracy is a political advocacy group mainly focused on establishing universal, publicly and equitably financed health care in Vermont and across the country, raising the minimum wage, establishing paid family and medical leave insurance, and strengthening existing law to prevent employers from denying their workers protections and benefits by misclassifying them as “independent contractors.”

Mr. Haslam is one of the most influential and dedicated political activists in the New England region and the nation. He led many demonstrations of activists to the Vermont House of Representatives to advocate for the above and other policies to advance social justice.

James Haslam’s dedication to serving his vision that “Vermonters will have to lead the way by establishing healthcare not as a market commodity but as a basic human right” was instrumental in getting a 2012 law passed in Vermont establishing a framework for universal single-payer “Medicare for All” health coverage in the state. As part of his work on advocacy for the health coverage law, he organized a rally at the Vermont Statehouse of over twelve hundred Vermonters, the largest weekday rally in modern Vermont history. The law advancing universal health care coverage was an historic achievement, eventually destroyed by the same powerful interests that block the institution of universal health care coverage nationally. 

Bill Barry

Bill Barry was the Director of Labor Studies for the Community College of Baltimore County from 1997-2012. The program offers an Associate Degree in Labor Studies, emphasizing all of the basic union training courses. It is one of the very few college programs in the United States that has not either become a research facility or part of an “industrial relations” program with little practical union organizing training. Bill Barry also helped to establish a series of Continuing Education workshops offered by the program, including Public Speaking for Union Leaders, Workers Compensation, Great Officers Training, and New Technology for Union Officers.

Mr. Barry was a field organizer or administrative officer of several major unions. He is the author of three books, I Just Got Elected—Now What? A New Union Officer’s Handbook, Union Strategies for Hard Times: Helping Your Members, Building Your Union in the Great Recession, and his newest book is From First Contact to First Contract: A Union Organizer’s Handbook. Barry is developing a history of the steelworkers at Sparrows Point, and information on the project is available at

He has written for labor magazines and The Baltimore Sun on labor issues, and his Labor Day editorial runs annually on WYPR-FM.

In 2003, 2007 and 2011, Mr. Barry was a City Council candidate in the 3rd District of Baltimore City for the Green Party, taking 27% of the vote in 2007, the highest vote a non-Democratic gained since 1939. He is a member of Healthcare Now of Maryland, which supports a single-payer health insurance policy.

Carmine Gorga

Carmine Gorga earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Naples, Italy in 1959 and earned a diploma in International Relations, Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins University in 1961. Gorga also earned an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., 1962.[7] He is a Council of Europe scholar and Fulbright scholar.

Carmine Gorga is president of The Somist Institute and has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals and five books. During 50 years of research and publication, 27 of them in collaboration with Franco Modigliani, a Nobel Laureate in economics, Dr. Gorga has developed Concordian economics.

Dr. Gorga is an authority on hoarding and its negative impacts. During his over 35 years of experience as an economic researcher, he has proposed fundamental changes to the Federal Reserve System. Dr. Gorga is also the creator of a master plan for Provincetown, MA, 1968.

Dr. Gorga was an economist for A.C. Nielsen in Milan, Italy. He later did academic research at Brandeis University. He was City Planner for Community Planning Services in Boston, Massachusetts and Director of Planning and Economic Development for Action Inc. in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Gorga also worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce Gloucester Laboratory of the National Marine Fisheries Service and was the executive director of Gloucester Community Development Corporation. 

Stephen Bezruchka

Stephen Bezruchka, M.D., has researched, lectured, and written extensively about population health in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to medicine, Dr. Bezruchka has university degrees in international health, mathematics, and physics.

Dr. Bezruchka is one of the world’s most knowledgeable people on the socioeconomic determinants of health. His work emphasizes that even though health in the United States is declining despite having been one of the healthiest nations 70 years ago, no attention is being paid to consider the primary causes, which are mostly economic and political. Those most important are related to inequality and supporting early life. Social spending matters more than medical care in producing health.

His activist efforts include co-chairing the Economic Inequality Health Task Force of the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, where he is also a member of the board of directors.

Dr. Bezruchka has worked as an emergency physician in the U.S. for three decades and spent ten years in Nepal, where he set up a remote district hospital as a teaching hospital for Nepali doctors whose training he supervised. 

Sarah Hernandez

Sarah Hernandez, Ph.D is a Professor of Sociology at New College of Florida. Her research is primarily on efforts to overcome social inequality. She teaches courses on the sociology of development; work organization and alternative business and economic models; social movements; classical and Latin American social theory; globalization, social justice and human rights; as well as general sociology and sociological research methods.

She was awarded a 2008-09 Fulbright Fellowship. Through the researcher/lecturer grant, Hernandez taught a course in the areas of work organization, social movements or labor studies at the Universidad de Guadalajara in Mexico. She also conducted research exploring the changing relationship between Mexican and American labor unions, identifying the factors that facilitate and prevent their collaboration.

Dr. Hernandez has done research on cooperativism and transnational labor collaboration in Mexico. Her local research (Sarasota, FL) has included needs assessment for the Latino population and data gathering for Habitat for Humanity. Dr. Hernandez mentors low-income, first-generation Latino students, helps address the needs of homeless people, supports environmental causes and movements to raise the minimum wage in her community.

In 2020, Sarasota Magazine asked readers to nominate people for Unity Awards to honor community members who help to bring the community together across “racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, socioeconomic and physical and mental ability groups.” The magazine’s editors and external judges selected Professor Hernandez from among them as one of two winners. 


“Bob Bivona offers sensible tax proposals with innovative aspects. If instituted they would greatly increase revenues for important public needs, including substantially improving the economic well-being of the middle class and the poor. Convincing evidence is also offered that the proposed tax and expenditure program will substantially increase GDP, while creating a federal fiscal surplus.”

Janelle Orsi

Janelle Orsi is a lawyer, activist, and writer whose work has focused on cooperatives, the sharing economy, land trusts, shared housing, local currencies, and rebuilding the commons. She is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), which facilitates the growth of more sustainable and localized economies through education, research, and advocacy. Ms. Orsi is a Senior Fellow at Vermont Law School’s New Economy Law Center.

Ms. Orsi is the author of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy: Helping People Build Cooperatives, Social Enterprise, and Local Sustainable Economies (ABA Books 2012), and co-author of The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community (Nolo Press 2009), a practical and legal guide to cooperating and sharing resources of all kinds.

Much of Ms. Orsi’s work is focused on advancing permanent community stewardship of land and channeling investments (especially retirement savings) away from Wall Street and into our local communities.

In 2014, Ms. Orsi was selected to be an Ashoka Fellow, joining other social entrepreneurs recognized to have innovative solutions to social problems with the potential to advance society fundamentally. In 2010, Ms. Orsi was profiled by the American Bar Association as a Legal Rebel, an attorney who is “remaking the legal profession through the power of innovation.” In 2012, she was one of 100 people listed on The (En)Rich List, which names individuals “whose contributions enrich paths to sustainable futures.”