John Hope Bryant, successful self-made businessman and founder of the nonprofit Operation HOPE, says business and political leaders are ignoring the one force that could truly re-energize the stalled American economy: the poor. If we give poor communities the right tools, policies, and inspiration, he argues, they will be able to lift themselves up into the middle class and become a new generation of customers and entrepreneurs.Read more...
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John Hope Bryant, successful self-made businessman and founder of the nonprofit Operation HOPE, says business and political leaders are ignoring the one force that could truly re-energize the stalled American economy: the poor. If we give poor communities the right tools, policies, and inspiration, he argues, they will be able to lift themselves up into the middle class and become a new generation of customers and entrepreneurs.
Raised in poverty-stricken, gang-infested South Central Los Angeles, Bryant saw firsthand how our institutions have abandoned the poor. He details how business loans, home loans, and financial investments have vanished from their communities. After decades of deprivation, the poor lack bank accounts, decent credit scores, and any real firsthand experience of how a healthy free enterprise system functions.
Bryant radically redefines the meaning of poverty and wealth. (It s not just a question of finances; it s values too.) He exposes why attempts to aid the poor so far have fallen short and offers a way forward: the HOPE Plan, a series of straightforward, actionable steps to build financial literacy and expand opportunity so that the poor can join the middle class.
Fully 70 percent of the American economy is driven by consumer spending, but more and more people have too much month at the end of their money. John Hope Bryant aspires to expand the philosophy of free enterprise to include all of God s children and create a thriving economy that works not just for the 1 percent or even the 99 percent but for the 100 percent. This is a free enterprise approach to solving the problem of poverty and raising up a new America."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-05-12
- Reviewer: Staff
In his encouraging book, Operation HOPE founder and businessman Bryant argues that the mechanisms that enable upward mobility are simple and straightforward: education and guidance in personal finance, banking, and credit score management. With these tools, Bryant believes that the poor and working class can make great entrepreneurs, not in spite of their struggles, but because of them. “Youth from low-wealth communities,” he writes, “are forced to have much stronger coping skills, to deal with difficult people and difficult situations.... Just as loss creates leaders, so too does this sort of sustained adversity management create and cultivate a personality that better manages less-than-perfect circumstances.” Having grown up “in a diverse neighborhood of striving and struggling families,” Bryant writes from a place of authority. However, his ideas about improving financial literacy and expanding opportunity are actionable rather than groundbreaking; the book serves as an effective package for his programmatic plans and a manifesto for his organization. With luck, it will provide the needed instruction to boost working-class communities. (June)