The Betrayal of the American Dream

The Betrayal of the American Dream

The Betrayal of the American Dream

The Betrayal of the American Dream

Synopsis

A New York Times bestseller America's unique prosperity is based on its creation of a middle class. In the twentieth century, that middle class provided the workforce, the educated skills, and the demand that gave life to the world's greatest consumer economy. It was innovative and dynamic; it eclipsed old imperial systems and colonial archetypes. It gave rise to a dream: that if you worked hard and followed the rules you would prosper in America, and your children would enjoy a better life than yours. The American dream was the lure to gifted immigrants and the birthright opportunity for every American citizen. It is as important a part of the history of the country as the passing of the Bill of Rights, the outcome of the battle of Gettysburg, or the space program. Incredibly, however, for more than thirty years, government and big business in America have conspired to roll back the American dream. What was once accessible to a wide swath of the population is increasingly open only to aprivileged few. The story of how the American middle class has been systematically impoverished and its prospects thwarted in favor of a new ruling elite is at the heart of this extraordinarily timely and revealing book, whose devastating findings from two of the finest investigative reporters in the country will leave you astonished and angry.

Excerpt

The Betrayal of the American Dream is the story of how a small number of people in power have deliberately put in place policies that have enriched themselves while cutting the ground out from underneath America’s greatest asset—its middle class.

Their actions, going back more than three decades, have relegated untold numbers of American men and women to the economic scrap heap—to lives of reduced earnings, chronic job insecurity, and a retirement with fewer and fewer benefits. Millions have lost their jobs. Others have lost their homes. Nearly all face an uncertain future. Astonishingly, this has been carried out in what is considered the world’s greatest democracy, where the will of the people is supposed to prevail. It no longer does. America is now ruled by the few—the wealthy and the powerful who have become this country’s ruling class.

This book tells how this has happened, who engineered the policies that are crippling the middle class, what the consequences will be if we fail to reverse course, and what must be done to restore the promise of the American dream.

We have been reporting and writing about middle-class America for many years. In our 1992 book America: What Went Wrong? we told the stories of people who were victims of an . . .

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