A Sullivan reader
The recession isn't over; it's killing us. What's worse is that it appears to me that the American Dream isn't just, as punk rocker Ben Weasel put it, "an ugly fucking lie." The American Dream is nonexistent. When I see those who contribute nothing to society getting further and further ahead while my parents, whom I have seen work their asses off my whole life, drift further and further behind, I find that belief in the American Dream is like a belief in Santa Claus – a story told to kids to keep them in line.
But as Margaret says at the end of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
, we can make that lie come true. Indeed, one could define progressivism as a political effort to reduce the bullshit to truth ratio of the American Dream. I would say the story of America is the story of a nation struggling to live up to its own noble rhetoric. Right now, I'd say our political class is failing us in trying to make this vision of broad and increasing prosperity real. Unemployment is very high, and I do not see Congress, the Federal Reserve, or anyone in the private sector responding adequately to the size and scope of the problem.