Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Commentary: `American Dream' turning into a nightmare


What is, surely, something of a big deal is that according to Corporate Library in Washington, the chief executives of the 11 largest companies in the United States earned a combined $865 million over the past two years at the same time as their shareholders lost $640 million.


Famously, Americans believe in the "American Dream." This is that any American can start at the bottom and make it to the top.

Factually, this happens to be untrue. Americans who make it to the top tend to start well above halfway up.

Recent studies show about half of all the income disparities in one generation of Americans mirror the disparities that existed in the previous generation. In most of Europe and in Canada, the proportion is only about one-fifth.

The American Dream keeps Americans pacified. But they may soon start to wake up.

In a complete break with history, those workers who are now doing the worst — comparatively — are those in the middle, rather than those at the bottom.


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