The Collapse of the American Dream

February 16th, 2011

Since the end of World War II, we have been living in an expanding economy that showed little signs of letting up. The growth in the standard of living in the U.S has been fueled by the desire of many to attain the American dream. A dream that offers each citizen a better, richer, happier life. This dream has played itself out in new and bigger houses, faster and fancier cars and a landscape filled with shopping malls.

A few years ago this dream began to crumble as the economy slowed, housing prices tumbled and unemployment invaded all areas of the country. The winning 2008 presidential campaign was based upon hope. Hope in part that the American dream can be resurrected. The mantra once again was growth.

All the while some keen observers of the American way of life were seeing a different future. They were diligently foretelling of the economic decline long before it was fashionable. Not only did they accurately predict the downturn, they are saying this is only the beginning.

At Business Matters we are committed to offering differing and sometimes controversial points of view about change. Today, we bring you two of the most articulate writers about the decline of the middle class and the collapse of the American economy, who may be the canaries in the mine of our collective future.

This program was originally Broadcast on March 10,2010

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Joe Bageant |

Joe’s been in the Navy, an anti-war hippie in communes, a Marxist and a “half-assed Buddhist.” He’s been writing about the American counterculture and third world issues since 1971. He’s lived on an Indian reservation in Idaho as well as in small Central American towns. He is the author of the best-selling “Dear Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War” and his latest book is Rainbow Pie, A Redneck Memoir.. He writes regularly at his blog, and at the Huffington Post.

Dmitry Orlov

Emigrating from the Soviet Union at 12, Dmitry Orlov became an eye witness to the collapse of the Soviet Union. These lessons have informed his observations and writing about the collapse of the U.S economy and our preparedness to handle the fallout.

In 2005, Dmitry wrote Closing the Collapse Gap, about how Russia was much better prepared for the collapse after the fall of communism that America is after the fall of consumerism. `He has also written other articles on culture change include The New Age of Sail , The Despotism of the Image, and That Bastion of American Socialism and Thriving in an Age of Collapse

In 2008, Orlov’s book Reinventing Collapse was published. It has received numerous awards including the 2009 independentPublisher Silver Medal. Expect Reinventing Collapse 2.0 out in April of this year. His website is

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