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home : opinion : letters May 2, 2016

10/8/2012 5:22:00 PM
Letter to the editor about the book The Betrayal of the American Dream"

Dear Editor:

"The Betrayal of the American Dream" is a book co-written by two respected old (meaning real) journalists-Donald Barlet and James Steele. They have won Pulitzer Prizes and other journalistic awards in their decades together as a team. Here is their introduction to this book that I got off the web: "More than three years in the research and writing, our new book is the distillation of our work chronicling the plight of the American middle class for more than three decades...Twenty years ago, we warned in America: What Went Wrong? that federal policies were dismantling the middle class. But as we describe in The Betrayal, we vastly underestimated how quickly the nation's economic elite would consolidate their power and undermine the economic lives of virtually everyone else.

"This book tells how it happened:

• How trade policies bought and paid for by major corporations have wiped out millions of good-paying jobs;

• How Congress allowed companies to kill 85,000 pension plans in the last generation;

• How the rich went from paying 51% of their income in federal taxes in the 1950s to 16% in our time.

And we tell what else is in store for most Americans if the economic elite continue to have their way."

Arlene and I watched an interview of these two on CSPAN. When they were asked why they thought this election was close, they said they were amazed that it wasn't overwhelmingly in favor of Obama Democrats. They wanted to sell their book to conservative people, too, so they were careful not to say (as I would have) that those who favor Republican politicians are ignorant of why they and the country have been in such a decline. And that they should read the book to clue themselves in to realizing they have been voting against their own self interests and the "American Dream."

Gary Wallin


Claremont Service

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