Aspen Ideas to Go
Aspen Ideas to Go
Nov 16, 2023
What Happened to the American Dream?
Play • 52 min

Most Americans today would agree that the dream of supporting a family and living a good life on one full time salary is not available to vast numbers of people. Wages have not risen at the pace of profits over the last several decades, and work with benefits is far from guaranteed for many. In his 2023 book, “Ours Was the Shining Future: The Story of the American Dream,” New York Times writer David Leonhardt explains how we got here. He points out that corporate culture moved from a communitarian mindset to an individual one, government policies deprioritized workers, and labor unions weakened, all contributing to where we are today. Businessman, economics advisor and co-founder and co-chair of The Carlyle Group investment firm, David Rubenstein, talks with Leonhardt about his book on stage at the festival. The two discuss the drivers of economic progress and consider what would bring the American Dream back.

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