Redefining the American dream

In: Uncategorized

6 Mar 2009

The purpose of David Kamp’s cover story on “Rethinking the American dream” in the April 2009 issue of Vanity Fair seems to be to argue that economic growth has reached its limits. He comes to the conclusion by way of the likes of John Kenneth Galbraith and Gregg Easterbrook (plus a nod to Simon Cowell):

“And what about the outmoded proposition that each successive generation in the United States must live better than the one that preceded it? While this idea is still crucial to families struggling in poverty and to immigrants who’ve arrived here in search of a better life than that they left behind, it’s no longer applicable to an American middle class that lives more comfortably than any version that came before it. (Was this not one of the cautionary messages of the most thoughtful movie of 2008, wall-e?) I’m no champion of downward mobility, but the time has come to consider the idea of simple continuity: the perpetuation of a contented, sustainable middle-class way of life, where the standard of living remains happily constant from one generation to the next (original emphasis).”

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