19 December 2012

Hedrick Smith: Who Stole the American Dream?

"Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith’s new book is an eye-opening account of how, over the past four decades, the American Dream has been dismantled and we became two Americas.

This is a book full of surprises and revelations—the accidental beginnings of the 401(k) plan, with disastrous economic consequences for many; the major policy changes that began under Jimmy Carter; how the New Economy disrupted America’s engine of shared prosperity, the “virtuous circle” of growth, and how America lost the title of “Land of Opportunity.”

Smith documents the transfer of $6 trillion in middle-class wealth from homeowners to banks even before the housing boom went bust, and how the U.S. policy tilt favoring the rich is stunting America’s economic growth.

This book is essential reading for all of us who want to understand America today, or why average Americans are struggling to keep afloat.

Smith reveals how pivotal laws and policies were altered while the public wasn’t looking, how Congress often ignores public opinion, why moderate politicians got shoved to the sidelines, and how Wall Street often wins politically by hiring over 1,400 former government officials as lobbyists."

Are people really waking up to what is going on? I don't think they are, except perhaps here and there. And that is to be expected. People go mad in crowds, but come back to their senses one at a time.

If anything contrary to prevailing opinion is revealed, most people run away rom it as quickly as possible, and bury their noses in some reality show, or a safely doctrinaire 'news channel' that comforts them, even if what it says is widely divergent from what is really happening.

It is no wonder reformers and progressives can become discouraged.