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Illusions of Opportunity: the American Dream in Question

by Schwarz, John E.

  • ISBN: 9780393045345
  • ISBN10: 039304534X

Illusions of Opportunity: the American Dream in Question

by Schwarz, John E.

  • List Price: $23.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish date: 12/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780393045345
  • ISBN10: 039304534X
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Description: How America ended up with a deficit of sixteen million adequate jobs, hurting nearly a quarter of American families.

The "American dream" and the immigrant's vision of America as "the land of opportunity" both depend on the idea that everyone in this country who works hard can support a family and get ahead. Yet, as John Schwarz makes clear, even thirty years ago opportunity in America was drying up -- to the point that, today, nearly a quarter of American families that depend on employment to sustain themselves can't find adequate work, despite tremendous economic growth.

Illusions of Opportunity reveals how this happened -- and how the signs have been consistently misread, manipulated, or ignored by leaders across the political spectrum. Schwarz's provocative and original new research demonstrates that, rather than global competition or suffocating governmental interference, the real culprits are too many people competing for too few good jobs, high productivity outpacing low wage increases, and pay raises disproportionately benefiting the highest earners.

The belief that all citizens should be able to sustain themselves and their families and communities decently is one that Americans regardless of political affiliation still share. Schwarz shows how the loss of opportunity has led to social decay, and how -- with a better understanding of the problems we face-we might make the American dream a reality again.
-- "An important book.... We need to realize that good was done ... in order to rekindle the conviction that strong, active government can achieve a level of decency and justice that private action alone cannot". -- Bill Moyers
-- "A major contribution to the mostimportant debate taking place in America". -- Tom Edsall

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8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. New York: Norton, 1997. First edition. 237 pp,
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