The subject I always write about was first described in a Gallup poll I commissioned a generation ago. The question asked was the following:
"As a new way to live in America it has been proposed that we build our factories in rural areas, outside the cities, and run them on part-time jobs. Under this arrangement the man and the woman would each work three days a week and six hours a day. There would be enough spare time to have a garden, to build a house, and for hobbies and other outside activities. How interested would you be in living this way?"
The results were surprising. Forty percent of those interviewed said they would either "definitely" or "probably" like to live this way, with another twenty-five percent leaving the door open to the possibility. It was these findings that first started me thinking seriously about the idea, while Trump's promise to bring factory jobs back to the United States is what prompted me to get all my thoughts down on paper, which I have done in these Notes Towards a New Way of Life in America.
As for my qualifications to write a book on this topic, in addition to originating the idea I have years of research and reflection to draw upon, which I relate with a certain amount of biographical detail. During this time I’ve written for Lewis Lapham at Harper's, for Irving Howe at Dissent, as well as for Judaism, Challenge, and most recently New Geography. In the course of my research I've conducted interviews and corresponded with a number of well-known economists, including Paul Krugman and, most notably, Milton Friedman, with whom I exchanged a number of letters (long ones, which I still have) and who once described me as "an excellent amateur economist." I attended Reed College (where I majored in mathematics and humanities) and was nominated for a Marshall Scholarship upon graduation.