Facing Up to the American Dream
The book's careful analysis suggests that it is time to resist the material definition of progress that stands so high on the current agenda and envision alternative ways for our government to advance the "good society." Insatiable consumption and the commodification of everyday life has dominated the last half-century, and is encouraged by modern capitalism because it feeds the economy and is also used as a measure of individual success. But Gilbert argues that it is perhaps no longer the best way to stimulate the economy. Never Enough also challenges the prevailing assumptions about the decline of middle-class prosperity, opportunity and material well-being in the United States and in other post-industrial nations. In a careful reading of the evidence and a critical analysis of its implications, Gilbert demonstrates the extent to which the customary progressive claims about the severity of poverty, inequality, social mobility and the benefits of universalism not only distort the empirical reality of modern life in an era of abundance, but confounds efforts to help those most in need.
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