Opportunity in america essay

The role of the government has invited contentious politics in the United States as elsewhere. Rather than focusing on whether or not the government should do more, however, the debaters are more interested in undoing the existing social protections. This form of electoral politics is not surprising given the current context of bloated budget deficits and growing national debt. Yet, what is surprising is the historical success of the political right to convince the electorate that a non-interventionist, small government guarantees equality of opportunity through individual freedom. There is not so much of a political left in the United States, so to speak. But the political center-left has failed to carry forward the message of equality of opportunity along the lines of the New Deal.

In 1888, Al­ger’s fel­low Mas­sachu­setts writer Ed­ward Bel­lamy moun­ted a more ser­i­ous chal­lenge to the boot­straps ideal in his best­selling nov­el Look­ing Back­ward: 2000-1887 — a trick title, since Bel­lamy was de­scrib­ing a pos­sible fu­ture. The nov­el’s Rip Van Winkle-ish nar­rat­or is look­ing back on the 20th cen­tury from the vant­age of the year 2000, after the United States has made a peace­ful trans­ition to a cent­rally planned, so­cial­ist so­ci­ety. In­come is di­vided equally among cit­izens by means of what Bel­lamy called “cred­it cards,” each with the same value and lim­it.

Opportunity in america essay

opportunity in america essay

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