Download The American Dream vs. The Gospel of Wealth: The Fight for a by Norton Garfinkle PDF

By Norton Garfinkle

Norton Garfinkle paints a disquieting photo of the USA this present day: a state more and more divided among financial winners and losers, a nation in which the middle-class American Dream turns out increasingly more elusive. contemporary executive regulations replicate a dedication to a brand new supply-side winner-take-all Gospel of Wealth. Garfinkle warns that this supply-side monetary imaginative and prescient favors the privileged few over the vast majority of americans striving to raised their monetary condition.Garfinkle employs historic perception and data-based fiscal research to illustrate compellingly the pointy departure of the supply-side Gospel of Wealth from an American excellent that dates again to Abraham Lincoln—the imaginative and prescient of the US as a society in which ordinary, hard-working contributors can get forward and accomplish a middle-class residing, and in which government performs an lively position in increasing possibilities and making sure opposed to financial exploitation. Supply-side monetary regulations elevate fiscal disparities and, Garfinkle insists, they fail on technical, real, ethical, and political grounds. He outlines a clean financial imaginative and prescient, consonant with the good American culture of making sure robust fiscal development, whereas conserving the middle-class American Dream.

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Additional resources for The American Dream vs. The Gospel of Wealth: The Fight for a Productive Middle-Class Economy (The Future of American Democracy Series)

Sample text

Even the poor expected to be wealthy some day. ”11 The fact that most Americans were neither rich nor poor—the middle-class nature of the nation—lent American society enormous stability, in Tocqueville’s view. In combination with the opportunities for social mobility, the nation’s middle-class nature was a barrier to social upheaval and revolution: “Between these two extremes of [wealth and poverty in] democratic communities stand an innumerable multitude of men almost alike, who, without being exactly either rich or poor, are possessed of sufficient property to desire the maintenance of order, yet not enough to excite envy.

Without the Constitution and the Union,” he wrote, “we could not have attained . . ” But the Constitution and the Union were not the “primary cause” of America, Lincoln believed. “There is something,” he continued, “back of these, entwining itself more closely about the human heart. ”“The prudent, penniless beginner in the world,” Lincoln wrote, “labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him.

On the other hand, they disparaged the unwashed masses of workers—the “ignorant proletariat”— who threatened domestic tranquility with growing labor agitation. 13 At one level, the mugwumps’ peculiarly reactionary response to the plight of labor was simply a failure to understand the new industrial realities. It was as though they retained in their minds the image of the independent free labor craftsmen who dominated the pre–Civil War American economy. They saw the laborer as freely negotiating the sale of his labor, as if he were an independent agent, unhampered by the hard new economic realities of a factory-based economy.

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