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American Economy

America is faced with the very real tension seen in the analysis by Blumberg of the struggle between the disintegrative forces of stagnation and the integrative forces of expansion in the economy, with the question being, which way will we move in the future? Americans generally agree that their past was one of growth and expansion, and indeed there is also general agreement that the people expected this to continue as their birthright. As the Japanese made inroads beginning in the 1960s and continuing to this day, to a time when they seem to be expanding much more rapidly than do we, the people have had to face a new era of uncertainty, one marked by declining incomes, a reduction in jobs as businesses downsize, and an economic climate that seems to favor foreign labor and foreign capital. What is the American response to this likely to be?

Blumberg discusses the views of the convergence theorists, views which seem to have infected the American spirit with an optimism which has not proven to be as accurate as was thought. Convergence theorists had a number of reasons for believing that the class structure in America was converging toward a level, that education was raising the lower classes to a position on a par with the upper classes, and generally to believe that the system was producing the level playing field on which everyone would be able to enjoy prosperity just as the American Dream had always predicted. However, this was not the case at all, and indeed the increase in affluence at one end was being matched by an increase in poverty at the other. The classes have been getting farther apart, not closer together, a fact apparent in any inner city region where the middle class has fled and has left behind only the very rich and the very poor. This image is more and more what all of America may become. As Blumberg (1980) writes: "We can see that convergence theorists were truly prisoners of their age. They assumed ...

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American Economy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:39, March 18, 2019, from