“How can the United States legitimately claim the right to promote democracy and human rights at the same time that, at home, it is becoming somewhat less democratic, and a great deal less just?” asks Rieff. “Whether it is an income gap between the top 1 percent of the U.S. population that controls one-third of the country’s wealth and the 50 percent of it that owns 2.5 percent of that wealth…ours is a country that, in terms of its material realities, is less just than it has been for almost a century. Adjusted for inflation, real average earnings have not increased in 50 years either…and American social mobility—in our national mythology, supposedly the country’s strong suit—is lower than the Canadian, French, or German averages.”
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