Has America lost its way since Tocqueville’s observations?

SignpostIn this piece for the Project Syndicate, Berkeley economics professor J. Bradford DeLong compares today’s America to France in the early 19th century. According to DeLong America’s current willingness to tolerate increasing wealth and power concentration in the hands of the few signals a shift in our national culture. DeLong poignantly writes “To the “sick” France of 1835, Tocqueville counterposed healthy America, where attachment to the idea that people should pursue their self-interest was no less strong, but was different. The difference, he thought, was that Americans understood that they could not flourish unless their neighbors prospered as well. Thus, Americans pursued their self-interest, but in a way that was “rightly understood.”

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