2 Investing in Our Future

Nathaniel Loewentheil and Vera Eidelman

AMERICANS have always expected life to be better for the next generation. But now, according to recent polls, they no longer do. Imagine: for the majority of Americans, the past is brighter than the future. The American dream is becoming an American memory.

This pessimism reflects an alarming trend: as a country, we have stopped investing our resources in a shared future. In previous eras, a vision of a shared future united the country around great national initiatives. In the mid-1800s, federal legislation spurred the railroad boom, opening the country to a growing population. In the 1930s, the Tennessee Valley Authority permanently transformed an entire region, creating ...

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