For more than 25 years, analysts have been reporting that the American Middle Class was endangered and in decline. But it was not until this fall that anyone spelled out not only the policies that fostered that decline, but the political movement that drove those policies. Who Stole the American Dream? is an extraordinary new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Hedrick Smith, who will come to the Center for American Progress to discuss how a little-known memo by a Virginia corporate lawyer launched a movement that reshaped this nation’s economic playing field. In great detail, Smith ties the success of that movement to the decline in wages, the disappearance of traditional pension plans, and the increasingly tenuous financial condition of America’s middle class families.
He will be joined by noted economist Mark Zandi who has written extensively on the issue of income disparity and is himself the author of new book, Paying the Price: Ending the Great Recession and Beginning a New American Century. Also on the panel will be pollster and political consultant Stan Greenberg. Greenberg recently co-authored It’s the Middle Class Stupid with political commentator James Carville, and will talk about the prospect of building a broad-based effort to fight for policies to benefit the middle class.