‘Who Stole the American Dream?’

INTRODUCTION: One of my favorite radio segments is MPR News Presents (Minnesota Public Radio, noon – 1 p.m. CST). Unfortunately, most times during that time-slot, I’m out and about running errands; my attention is interrupted by any number of things (traffic and pedestrians, to name two). Thank God for modern technology! If I want to return to a discussion about a pressing national or foreign issue, I can Google for the podcast and give it my full attention … with a glass of wine or bourbon in hand! (Definitely not recommended — not to mention, illegal — when driving.)

Following is an excellent analysis of the decline of the American middle class by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author Hedrick Smith. Smith — referencing his 2012 book ‘Who Stole the American Dream?’ — traces how our country has reached the point where U.S. economic policy overwhelmingly favors the very rich and powerful and proposes how it’s not only crucial for our country’s future but also how it’s possible to regain economic balance between the classes. It’s about citizen activism and ‘stakeholder capitalism’ vs ‘shareholder capitalism.’ (Smith was a reporter and editor for ‘The New York Times,’ a producer/correspondent for the PBS show ‘Frontline.’ In 1971, as chief diplomatic correspondent for ‘The New York Times,’ Smith was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced the ‘Pentagon Papers’ series.)

One last note, tonight is the third Republican presidential debate (CNBC, 8 p.m. EST). CNBC says the focus of the debate will be economic issues, including taxes, retirement spending, and job growth. Right in line with this podcast (click on the caption to listen) …

MPR News Presents Hedrick Smith, author of “Who Stole the American Dream?”

POSTSCRIPT: For a good, current analysis of the divided Republican Party and the chances of individual candidates to be nominated before next year’s election, I recommend today’s post by ‘The Atlantic.’ Poll numbers be damned … Marco Rubio’s the man to watch.

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