Monday, June 13, 2011

Reinventions: Bolder Approaches to the Big Issues


Bolder approaches to job creation, health care, education, religion, our election system, our economic system, psychotherapy, the gender wars, climate change, the gene pool, the meaning of life, and 30 other pillars of society.

a book proposal

by Marty Nemko

Many Americans believe the U.S. is in permanent decline. A just-released New York Times/CBS News poll finds that 39 percent of respondents believe “the current economic downturn is part of a long-term permanent decline.” That on the top of a June, 2011 CNN poll that found that 48 percent of Americans believe another Great Depression is very or somewhat likely.

And Americans aren't confident that the proposed solutions will help much. A just-released Time poll finds that 62 percent of Americans think the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction. Perhaps that's not surprising in light of the failure of the most recent round of remedies: Despite massive corporate bailouts, government stimulus spending, and two rounds of quantitative easing (QE1 and QE2) the un- and underemployment rate is higher than before. And education, the supposed magic pill, has turned out to be less than magical. For decades now, the U.S. has ranked #1 or 2 in per-capita education spending yet continues to lag in the most recent international comparison, tied for 23rd with Poland, while Shanghai, China, which entered the comparisons this year for the first time and spends far less than the U.S. per capita on education, ranked #1.

Such solutions are inadequate in part, ironically, because of our democratic process. Policies are adopted only after a diverse array of experts, the public, legislators, and political leaders have all embraced it. While that ensures broad buy-in, it tends to create tepid recommendations--that on which nearly everyone can agree, often a lowest common denominator.

There is need for bolder solutions. Unfettered by having to obtain consensus, in the proposed Work, I propose a bolder solution for each of 40 keys to the thriving society. Perhaps like many authors, my goal is no less than to trigger a national conversation that examines--forgive the cliche--out-of-the-box approaches to stemming what appears to be America's permanent decline, especially versus China and India.

I envision a slim volume: Each of the 40 reinventions will be presented in just enough detail to explain the concept, its benefits, and to counter likely objections.


These blog posts provide a sense of my writing style and the content I'll present in the book:

A Blueprint for Permanently Creating U.S. Jobs:

Elections Reinvented:

The College Report Card:

Religion Reinvented:

Do What You Love and Starve?

Education Reinvented:

Higher Education Reinvented:

Simplism: A new alternative to capitalism and socialism:

Are We So Sure Democracy is the Best Policy?

Health care:

New Israel: A solution to the Palestinian-Israeli problem:

The Un-MBA:

Family is Overrated:

Taxation Reinvented:

My Plan for Closing the Achievement Gap:

The One-Week Job Search:

A Better Way to Gain Willpower:

General Education Reinvented:

Career Counseling Reinvented:

Climate Change:

In Defense of Men:

The Meaning of Life Reinvented:

My Top Ten Ways to Improve the World:

Other Reinventions to be included in the book:



A proposal for safer, less expensive nuclear energy.

The case for and plan for transforming our product-based to a service-based economy.

A better alternative to mass transit: the shared-ownership auto-piloted hydrogen/solar-powered sky car.

Next-generation desalinization as the solution to our water problems.

Social networking reinvented--toward building real connection.

Genetically enhancing human potential...ethically.

Ending the gender wars both sexes' advantage

Psychotherapy reinvented

5 to 10 more, to be determined.

Author credentials

Marty Nemko holds a Ph.D. specializing in the evaluation of innovative programs from the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently taught in Berkeley's graduate school. He has been a consultant to Consumer Reports, 15 college presidents, and dozens of top for- and nonprofit executives. His previous five books have sold 250,000 copies.

Author platform

He's in his 24th year as host of a weekly hour-long show on KALW-FM (NPR-San Francisco.) He has been a repeat guest on such major shows as Talk of the Nation and The Today Show. He's written for and been quoted in publications ranging from Time to the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times. His blog and site attract a half million visitors a year. Toastmasters International names one non-member its Northern California Speaker of the Year. Marty Nemko was a recent winner.

Marketing plan

With Nemko's ability as a speaker (see above) a media tour and live speaking tour, for example, on college campuses would seem to be cost-effective. The tour might be made additionally effective by the discussions of the Reinventions be debates with local public intellectuals, for example, the president of the colleges at which I'd be speaking.

Nemko will make a YouTube video of each Reinvention, and roll them out (in video and text versions) one per week on appropriate places on the Internet, noting that it is an excerpt from the book, Reinventions. For example, the proposal for reinventing undergraduate education will be posted as a letter to the editor on leading websites for higher educators and for students. Of course, each Reinvention video and its transcript will be submitted to major media outlets: with particular follow-up with producers of shows on which Nemko has previously appeared: Talk of the Nation, The Today Show, 20-20, CNN, etc. Each video will also be sent to major print, TV, and online outlets. Plus, each Reinvention will be posted on Nemko's Facebook, Twitter, Quora, blog, and website, which attracts a half million visitors a year, as well presented one per week on his National Public Radio-San Francisco show.

Timed to occur during the weeks preceding the 2012 presidential election, Nemko will disseminate as above, a special video; My Nine Worries and Their Solutions: The Stump Speech I'd Give if I Were Running for President:

He will conduct press conferences on a few of the most newsworthy reinventions:

A bolder plan to create jobs

A bolder plan for reinventing health care

A bolder plan for reinventing education.

A series of contests would be held in which the public is challenged to come up with a better reinvention of, for example, education. Prizes could simply be books from the publisher's catalog. Worst case, the contests would be publicized only on Nemko's radio show, blog, etc, but an attempt would be made to get a major media outlet (e.g.,,, where Nemko is Contributing Editor, etc, to co-sponsor the contests and host them on their site.

1 comment:

jcj said...

I don't know if the traditional publishers would embrace the wisdom your write. Self-publishing would be the route to go with this book. Keep up the good work.