Who stole the American dream?

 As a historian with a graduate degree, I carefully review historical writing.  It has absolutely amazed me that few books have been written about how we have lost the American dream.  The stability of the American job left us decades ago, and yet all we hear, at best, are little speech items about it.  Our kids and grandkids may be heading for a life that is far less comfortable than the one we carved for ourselves in the U.S.  Where are the books?  Why no written alarm?  Do we just accept this and march like lemmings over the cliff?

Finally a book has been written about what caused this step backwards:

THE BETRAYAL OF THE AMERICAN DREAM by Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele.

Some excerpts from this important book, summaries and/or quotes...

The actual beginning of the fall of the American dream began in 1979.  At that time, more people were employed at U.S. factory jobs than before or since that time.  That is when the fast drop took place in the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans, and it has continued to drop.  Greed took hold of the wealthy.  Profits were not enough, they had to be immense profits.  And politicians were bought to make sure that this tax break continued.

Jobs began to move to Mexico first, and then to China, and then other nations that provided slave labor for the growing greed of American industry.

Since that time, decades of laissez-faire business plans and sweetheart government policies have eroded what was a successful and generally happy American middle class.  A "ruling class" began to evolve.  And the "rulers" took over Washington and every state political-business climate.

In reviewing the book in the Los Angeles Times, Hector Tobar summarized the book's thesis this way:

"Since the 1980s, a host of politicos, Republican and Democrat, have sold their business-friendly reforms to the American people in the name of economic efficiency.  Corporate America saves, and we all save!  But the real winner, Barlett and Steele say, is the American 'ruling class.'  The plutocrats win just about every political fight we read about in [this book].  Among other things, the economic elite has quietly, methodically and ruthlessly restructured the tax code on behalf of the wealthiest Americans..."

The authors themselves write: "America's founders, who were very well aware of how the aristocracy rigged the system to guarantee its own perpetuation, up to and including the king, would shutter."

The reviewer, Tobar, commenting on the book writes: "With the American middle class under assault, we are a country increasingly divided between rich and poor.  In 'Betrayal of the American Dream,' the U.S. ruling class is eating the American middle class for lunch and giving the leftovers to the impoverished, incipient middle class of China and India."

"For Bartlett and Steele, the American worker is a largely passive figure, manipulated by lobbyists and right-wing think tanks."

It is time, I think, for the American people to rise up and throw off the devious manipulation that has been taking place.  Not only your American dream is at stake, but the very democracy of the United States.  Your children and grandchildren are being sacrificed at the alter of greed, and the "ruling class" doesn't give a damn about it.  It is all about them and their wealth, their comfort, their accumulated materials, and their horrible greed.

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