Across the Great Divide: The Wealth Gap Challenges American Ideals

Across the Great Divide:The Wealth Gap
Challenges American Ideals

As the largest economic boom in U.S. history comes to a close,
the divide between rich and poor in this country is wider than
ever, and keeps getting bigger. Why then, when the wealthiest one
percent of Americans own more than the bottom 95 percent, is there
not a massive public outcry.

The answer lies in our outdated self-image as the land of equal
opportunity and the ‘level playing field,’ writes Molly Lanzarotta
in the Orlando, Florida-based political zine IMPACT
Press.
Our deeply-ingrained desire to believe in the
American Dream, she argues, feeds our denial about the growing
economic divide.

Lanzarotta, a staffer at the activist group United for a Fair
Economy, paints a rather grim picture of the direction America is
headed. But she is careful to note that all hope is not lost. ‘Four
in ten people interviewed for a June 2001 Pew Research Center poll
believe that we are a have/have not society, compared to just 26
percent who felt that way in 1988 when the previous decade’s boom
was coming to a close. The poll also indicated that women and
minorities are leading a trend of rising dissatisfaction with the
country’s direction.’
–Leif
Utne
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