The American Dream vs. The Gospel of Wealth: The Fight for a Productive Middle-Class Economy

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Yale University Press, Oct 1, 2008 - Political Science - 179 pages
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Norton Garfinkle paints a disquieting picture of America today: a nation increasingly divided between economic winners and losers, a nation in which the middle-class American Dream seems more and more elusive. Recent government policies reflect a commitment to a new supply-side winner-take-all Gospel of Wealth. Garfinkle warns that this supply-side economic vision favors the privileged few over the majority of American citizens striving to better their economic condition.

Garfinkle employs historical insight and data-based economic analysis to demonstrate compellingly the sharp departure of the supply-side Gospel of Wealth from an American ideal that dates back to Abraham Lincoln—the vision of America as a society in which ordinary, hard-working individuals can get ahead and attain a middle-class living, and in which government plays an active role in expanding opportunities and ensuring against economic exploitation. Supply-side economic policies increase economic disparities and, Garfinkle insists, they fail on technical, factual, moral, and political grounds. He outlines a fresh economic vision, consonant with the great American tradition of ensuring strong economic growth, while preserving the middle-class American Dream.

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Reality or A Dream.

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A quote from the book, pages 4-5: "One vision, based on the American Dream, supports a progressive tax structure that enables the government to implement programs to strengthen the income and economic ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Norton Garfinkle is chairman, The Future of American Democracy Foundation. He has taught economics at Amherst College and is former chairman of the George Washington University Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies. He is also co-author of "Uniting America: Restoring the Vital Center to American Democracy," published by Yale University Press.

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