Thursday, October 21, 2010

Something feels different this time

"Something feels different this time.": This quote from Fareed Zakaria's Time essay, "How to restore the American Dream," rings true to me. I recommend this piece for its honest and thoughtful assessment of our nation's contemporary fears and potential. A few excerpts:

What's happening today: "The middle class, many Americans have come to believe, is being hollowed out. I think they are right."

Why is the middle class getting hammered? "You can divide the American workforce in many ways, but any way you slice it, you see the same trend. People who get paid a decent wage for skilled but routine work in manufacturing or services are getting squeezed by a pincer movement of technology and globalization."

One part of the solution: Grow our economy by investment, not by goosing consumption: "The only good jobs that will stay in the U.S. are jobs related to knowledge and innovation." And, yes, changes to our tax system must be part of the plan. But the Republican mantra of "cut 'em all" suffers from near criminal cluelessness.

The time to act is now: "America needs radical change, and it has an 18th century system determined to check and balance the absolute power of a monarchy. It is designed for gridlock at a moment when quick and large-scale action is our only hope."

Read the entire article: How to Restore the American Dream

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