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Who’s “Dismantling” the American Dream?

PHOTO: PBS “Frontline” correspondent Hedrick Smith, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Soviet Union, has turned his attention to America and what’s ailing it. Courtesy Hedrick Smith Productions.
PHOTO: PBS “Frontline” correspondent Hedrick Smith, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Soviet Union, has turned his attention to America and what’s ailing it. Courtesy Hedrick Smith Productions.
October 28, 2013

BOSTON - Hedrick Smith won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Soviet Union and wrote a best-seller called "The Russians." Now it's America that's under the magnifier wielded by Smith, a former New York Times editor and a correspondent on the PBS show "Frontline."

According to Smith, the 22 million Americans who are still out of work, and the nation's dysfunctional political system, are contributing to the "dismantling" of the American Dream.

"I think there is a great frustration at the moment with the functioning of the political system, with campaigns that are dominated by money, with an economy that's increasingly unequal."

Smith's book, "Who Stole the American Dream?", has just been released in paperback. In it he cites, among other things, a transfer of $6 trillion in middle-class wealth from home-owners to banks and says a U.S. policy tilt favoring the rich is stunting the country's economic growth.

Smith said a lot could be accomplished by closing tax loopholes.

"We can do tax reform in corporate taxes and do what a lot of people want to do, lower the rates but stop the giveaways to the big corporations and the banks that are already making enormous profits," he declared.

Smith argues that major policy changes that began in the 1970s led to a "New Economy" that has disrupted America's "engine of shared prosperity."

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - MA