‘Saving Main Street America’ | PostIndependent.com

‘Saving Main Street America’

Jessica Cabe
jcabe@postindependent.com
New Castle resident Randy Fricke published his first book, "If I Were President: Saving Main Street America," about a year ago. Now, it's getting some national attention.
Courtesy photo |

On the Radio

Listen to Randy Fricke talk about his book, “If I Were President: Saving Main Street America,” at 6:30 p.m. on June 23 at coffeepartyusa.com.

Randy Fricke, a New Castle resident who has lived in the valley for 21 years, was working in the car business when the Great Recession hit in 2008.

“We watched our business go downhill rapidly,” he said. “It actually started in early 2007, 2008. It was starting to bottom out in 2009. So I was affected by that, as well as seeing other people affected by it here in the valley and the rest of the country.”

Fricke, who has an academic and professional background in political science, business and economics, retired in 2009 and knew he had to do something to understand and fix the problems facing the middle class, or “Main Street Americans.” After all, nobody else seemed to be tackling that task — at least, not anyone with the power to enact changes.

So he started gathering information for a book, “If I Were President: Saving Main Street America,” which was published last summer. Now, a year later, the book is getting national attention and gaining momentum. It is the June book club pick for The Coffee Party USA, a national, non-partisan group that “aims to restore the principles and spirit of representative democracy in America,” according to its website. Fricke will appear on the Coffee Party Blogtalkradio program at 6:30 p.m. on June 23 to discuss the book.

“It’s a slow process,” Fricke said of waiting for his book to pick up speed. “I thought, ‘Oh man, this is not going anywhere.’ But if you’re not rich and famous, and you don’t get the big publishing name behind you, you have to earn it. You get your name out there, you get the book out there. I approached [The Coffee Party USA] and said, ‘Would you be interested in looking at my book? It sounds like something your organization can get behind.’ And next week I go on national radio with them. Hopefully that’s going to be a takeoff to get the book more exposure.”

Fricke studied political science in college and got his start in politics in his 20s. He grew up on a farm in Lincoln, Nebraska, and in the 1970s he led the biofuel movement in Nebraska and the Midwest.

“I got a real early education in American politics there,” he said with a laugh. “In the ‘70s, the oil embargo had a big impact on our country. So Nebraska and a few other Midwestern states came up with the idea of making fuel out of crops, and we could blend that with the current fuel supply. Not only did I have to sell that to the state of Nebraska, but I had to sell the concept to the whole Midwest. Obviously, being in the farming Midwest, they thought it was a great concept. Then, I had to sell it to Washington. I had to go to Washington, and I had to write the legislation myself.”

Fricke also ran for Congress from Colorado’s third district as a Democrat. At the time, he was one of the only Green Party candidates.

“Running for office at that level was another education,” he said. “I got to see the inner workings of the parties and all the politics that are going on behind the scenes. All my experiences like that went into this book. All of it built up over time.”

In “If I Were President,” Fricke lays out the political and economic problems that led to the Great Recession — problems that have not been solved since. He proposes multiple fixes, some of which he said people would likely call “radical,” including a brand new, separate banking system for the middle class.

“I make that division between the wealthy 1 percent and the 99 percent,” he said. “I make it obvious from the very beginning that they’ve got their economy, and it’s working for them, but their economy’s not working for us. How do we fix it for us? Then I create a new banking system that’s for us, that’s for Main Street Americans. There’s a local banking expert. I kind of ran this idea by him, and he said, ‘Yeah, it will work, but getting the politicians to make it work is a little different story.’ But technically speaking, creating a banking level where they would have their own system for us to borrow money, build a home, go to college, that would work.”

Fricke is currently working on a follow-up to “If I Were President,” a book that will delve into more detail and focus on domestic issues. For more information and to purchase “If I Were President,” visit the book’s Facebook page at on.fb.me/1J4ScWt.


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