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Welcome to Tom's Tomes!

I’m proud to be a published author and I’ve always been a big reader. I hope folks enjoy my thoughts on recent books I’ve read and how they would shape and inform my agenda in the U.S. Senate. Check out my Medium reviews:

Book Review By Tom Nelson— Break ’Em Up (Zephyr Teachout)

Break ’Em Up by Zephyr Teachout

September 21, 2021

“Big Tech, Big Ag and Big Business are not a natural evolution of a free market. It is a deliberate consequence of our choice not to keep corporate America in check and allow them to consolidate market share at an unprecedented level. By not tending the shop, we have allowed corporations to raise prices, conduct mass layoffs, depress wages and bust-up unions.”

Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power by David Dayen

Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power by David Dayen

November 4, 2021

“Corporate consolidation receives scant attention in today’s political discourse. It is refreshing to see a prominent, well-respected progressive writer speaking truth to power. Dayen has opened my eyes to the pervasive sickness of monopolies that infect the Wisconsin landscape from the countryside (corporate farms) to the main streets (big banks) to our industrial parks (pulp and paper, automotive).”

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

December 28, 2021

The readers’ blood comes to a roiling boil as Mayer tosses around statistics such as the first year after the Great Recession — around the time of Citizens United — the top 1 percent of earners in America hauled home 93 percent of the income gains. A similar statistic would permeate the COVID ‘recovery’ a decade later.”

The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Small-Town America by Robert Wuthnow

The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Small-Town America by Robert Wuthnow

January 20, 2022

“Wuthnow observes (he conducted hundreds of interviews over a decade) that the biggest problem is the lack of jobs, but more specifically, quality jobs or career advancement. More than a few families push their children to the big city where there is plenty of opportunity.

Needless to say, these families are not happy. Why did their government allow this to happen in the first place? The government that pushed through bad trade deals is the same entity that does nothing about slow internet, crumbling town roads or chronically low milk prices; that has allowed corporations to crush local grocers and put the main street hardware store out of business.”

The Jungle Grows Back by Robert Kagan

The Jungle Grows Back by Robert Kagan

February 16, 2022

“The system is broken. And the system is broken because both Democratic and Republican administrations embraced a neo-liberalism domestic policy and a neo-conservative foreign policy. Instead of developing a national industrial strategy that builds an economy from the perspective of the American worker, we focused on supply-side economics, tax cuts, free trade deals and building up other countries in our image. Every other developed country has an overarching national policy that strengthens industry, keeps a check on foreign imported goods, makes the rich pay their fair share and invests billions into basic science research. But not us.”

A picture of the cover of Proxmire (Bulldog of the Senate) by Johnathan Kasparek

Proxmire: Bulldog of the Senate (Jonathan Kasparek)

March 15, 2022

Growing up I didn’t want to be a Green Bay Packer or a Milwaukee Brewer; I wanted to be a Bill Proxmire. Proxmire was the hardest working U.S. Senator in history. I’d happily make the argument, but Jonathan Kasparek did it for me in his recent book, Proxmire: Bulldog of the Senate.

Here are some op-eds I’ve written on areas important to me:

Tom Nelson: As it did with McCarthy, Wisconsin could again make history

June 24, 2019

“Foreign competition ran roughshod over domestic producers. Cheap imports, a war on labor and the Reagan tax cuts made matters worse. The gilded mantra, ‘greed is good,’ spilled into popular culture as Wall Street paved over Main Street, financializing every economic sector. Short-term profits, shareholder dividends and market share would be our lodestar — not strong industry, rising productivity and good jobs.

A clear national industry policy that made manufacturing and good jobs a priority could have stopped the carnage.”

Thomas Nelson: It's time for the U.S. to adopt a national industrial strategy

December 4, 2020

“Like McCarthy, Johnson exploits the Senate committee process by conducting witch hunts based on solicited ‘whistleblower’ emails in his customer suggestion inbox. He also adheres to conspiracy theories, be them accusations of election fraud or subversive activities by the nation’s county and municipal clerks.”

Tom Nelson: Quit rewarding greedy corporations with tax breaks

August 7, 2021

“Money that should be kept in Wisconsin communities is being sent out of the state and even out of the country. Whatever their excuse, their motive is the same: greed.”

Corporate Greed Must Be Addressed

September 9, 2021

“I have learned a lot on my 72-county listening session tour, but one theme dominates them all: Corporate greed is rampant everywhere, ruining our cities and our countryside in equal measure.”

Opinion | Time to ban insider trading in Congress

February 6, 2022

“Unlike some of our current sitting senators, I’m not running for the U.S. Senate because I want to play Gordon Gekko, especially when the job is to serve the public interest. Ideally, sitting congressional members shouldn’t be worried about the bottom lines of their stock portfolio. They should put their holdings into mutual funds and CDs like the rest of us, instead of enriching themselves through positions of power.”