Is the American Dream still an important part of the political culture in the United States?
The American Dream is absolutely still part of our political culture. In fact, it may be more a part of our political culture now that it is eluding more people than it used to. If you look at the presidential campaign that is going on right now, much of the criticism that the Republicans are aiming at President Obama is based on the idea that his policies have destroyed the American Dream. In the past decade or so, it has gotten to be harder for Americans to get ahead than it was before globalization had forced us to compete harder than we had to back in the 1950s and '60s. Because the American Dream has gotten harder to achieve, it has become more salient to our political culture. We are more afraid that we will not reach our American Dream and so we want the politicians to do more to ensure that we will actually be able to.