Summary Of Who Stole The American Dream By Hedrick Smith

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In the book Who Stole the American Dream?, author Hedrick Smith explores how the United States has become a nation of vast economic inequality. Smith outlines the extent of wealth inequality and the associated harms, gives a historical account of how this came to be, and offers suggestions for policy changes and action. In this paper, I will summarize and critique Smith's key points, and discuss Social Work's professional and ethical obligations regarding economic inequality.
Problem, Harms, and Suggested Policy Changes as Outlined by Smith
Wealth Inequality Hedrick Smith begins his book by positing that “the gravest challenge and most corrosive fault line in our society is the gross inequality of income and wealth in America”. He refers to …show more content…

Some examples include; the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and many others. Although Nixon was conservative, higher regulation of business in many areas came from popular demand and the work of activists like Ralph Nader. Nixon may not have liked to “stifle” the market, but public demand and approval was still seen as necessary and could influence what happened in Washington. New regulations were seen by conservative Lewis Powell (who went on to become a Supreme Court Justice) as detrimental to the interests of business and representative of a societal trend toward socialism/communism. Powell, in 1971, released what is now called the “Powell Memorandum”, a document which had a profound impact on the course of politics and economics in the United States. Powell urged business to become actively and aggressively involved in politics, to produce a political environment that was favorable to laissez-faire economics. Powell's memo inspired business people to organize and mobilize to impact politics. Business did just that, they organized in federations and councils, hired huge amounts of lobbyists, and began to exert political influence through fighting for policies that supported the free market. Over the past four decades, the influence of business on the political system as snowballed, and changed the face of America. Through coordinated efforts of big business, taxation of business and the very wealthy has been slashed, unions have been undermined and weakened, banks and finance have been largely deregulated, pensions are nearly extinct, many public services have been privatized, and many jobs have been outsourced. Although the majority of citizens do not support many of the changed

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