The United States has promoted a self-congratulating exceptionalism for decades, waving its Declaration and Constitution in the faces of other sovereign nations as if the latter had never considered such concepts.
Our capital F ‘Freedom’ sets us apart from the rest of the world, as the political rhetoric has repeated ad nauseam, no matter the freedoms enjoyed by democracies on almost every continent. And yet our basic freedom, the freedom to succeed, America’s contractual promise, has been shrinking for thirty years.
The freedom to succeed transcends economic systems, but it is most potently expressed by capitalist gains. The ability to go ‘from rags to riches’ is ingrained in this nation’s ethos and there is nothing intrinsically immoral about that goal.
However, the current state of American inequality reveals a very real and expanding gap between the rich and the poor, which betrays the foundational endowment of this Union. When the freedom to succeed is denied every citizen, their equality is equally denied.
Read the rest at New Internationalist Magazine.