11 January 2012, 18:32

Betraying the American dream

Betraying the American dream
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Boris Kagarlitsky, Director of the Insitute for Globalization and Social Movements: Historically United States has always been seen as a country of opportunity, and of course American way of life was not just about prosperity and consumption, but it was also about effort mobility.

Boris Kagarlitsky, Director of the Insitute for Globalization and Social Movements:

Historically United States has always been seen as a country of opportunity, and of course American way of life was not just about prosperity and consumption, but it was also about effort mobility.

However the United States is not doing so well in the last 20-30 years, and it is partly because America is lagging behind Europe and behind Canada in many ways when it comes to the development of a welfare state.

The United States has never had a systematic attempt to create welfare state institutions which work in a complex way.

Of course there are quite a lot of welfare programs here, and there which help specific social groups and specific target groups, but this is not a very effective way to help the poor, because it is not really getting them out of poverty, it’s rather helping them stay in poverty.

And that makes a tremendous difference compared, say, to Canada. For example if you look at their health care system or even at the station housing. And in that sense of course United States is becoming a country which is somehow betraying the American dream which is harder and harder to achieve.

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