Park Avenue: Power, Money & The American Dream

Perhaps I come across as a crazy partisan crank and I can’t say that isn’t deserved.  However I would also argue that it reflects a sense of awareness, decency, and pragmatism.  A strong and prosperous society thrives in economic security for all, not one which neglects the interests of its majority.  Rich and poor alike share in the advantages of social stability and economic security.  Unfortunately, however, recent decades mark an era when the best interests of this country’s future have been abandoned to misleading and dangerous rhetoric.

You don’t have to believe me.

This post is here to promote “Park Avenue:  Power, Money & the American Dream,” an excellent and well-documented Independent Lens documentary.   Links to interview transcripts and other sources are available online now.    It is currently running on PBS stations nationwide.  (I am checking to see if the full documentary will be available online later.  I presume it will be available.)

For those who might squirm at the thought of watching a program critical of wealth’s influence in politics, government, and economics, please keep in mind that America did not become a great country because it shunned wealth and capitalism.  Very much the opposite.  In fact the majority of people critical of the direction our country has taken in recent decades understand this.  It is the loss of capitalism to a sort of oligarchical influence in politics and wealth that troubles critics.

There has always been the advantage of wealth and privilege in this country.  No one questions that.  However, our nation’s greatest prosperity occurred in an era that offered more balanced opportunity and political influence.  Increasingly opportunity — real opportunity — is limited.  Wealth trickles up, political influence and power trickles up.  And this happens because the majority vote against their best interests, they for policies that serve the interests of the fortunate minority.

Democracy can still work and democracy is not inconsistent with wealth and capitalism, it is not inconsistent with opportunity.  It certainly is not inconsistent with freedom.  Vote smart!

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