Arianna Huffington Says Federal Government Has Failed the American Middle Class

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"This is not just good for them, it's good for the entire neighborhood," she said, noting the negative effects of foreclosure on neighborhood property values.

Huffington does not expect politicians in Washington to make her suggestions happen. Rather, she hopes that her book and accompanying website, will inspire people to take action for themselves, sharing their own stories and ideas.

"When people take action, it's the greatest antidote to despair," Huffington said.

Americans Come Forward with Ideas to Help the Middle Class

One such idea came from Gene Epstein, a self-made millionaire from Pennsylvania. He is now on a mission to get every small business to hire one employee for six months.

"I can almost guarantee you that within six months, we will be into the incredible upturn of economic prosperity," Epstein said. "Only 10 percent [of small businesses taking action] will change the entire wheels of what we have in motion by having a half million people removed from unemployment compensation and turned into being productive."

Another idea came from Seth Reams, an unemployed man from Portland, Oregon. Reams created an organization called We've Got Time to Help that allows the unemployed to volunteer, doing everything from mowing lawns to moving furniture.

Urging Americans to Take Action

Huffington's campaign earlier this year, urging Americans to "Move Your Money," spurred millions to withdraw funds from big banks and deposit them in community institutions, she said.

"We probably estimated about nine percent of Americans moved their money," Huffington said, adding that some state pension funds have also jumped on the trend.

Now, Huffington calls it her vision of "Hope 2.0" for America, with a politically active and engaged middle class bringing their needs to the forefront, instead of waiting for a politician to address the problems.

"The truth is that democracy is not a spectator sport," Huffington said. "It's always been about people in their own communities taking matters into their own hands. And both changing things and demanding change from our elected leaders."

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