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The Vanishing American Dream: A Frank Look at the Economic Realities Facing Middle- and Lower-Income Americans

The Vanishing American Dream: A Frank Look at the Economic Realities Facing Middle- and Lower-Income Americans

by Gene Ludwig (Editor)


Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on May 12, 2020


The American Dream is perhaps our nation’s single common belief. It represents the opportunity to improve our economic standing generation upon generation, whether from poverty to comfort or beyond. From Horatio Alger to Oprah Winfrey, the Dream gives us collective hope.

The prevailing economic analysis for 2019 portrays a humming economy, one that should be able to support a path to prosperity for anyone willing to do their part. But in reality, traditional economic measures like the unemployment rate and GDP are masking a crisis for millions of lower- and middle-income families. For them, economic injustice has never been greater. They struggle to afford health care, housing, and education as they work jobs that cannot provide the chances they need to reverse this downward slide.

It’s easy enough to offer prosaic explanations for the decline of opportunity: Factories closed. Globalization pushed corporations to send the jobs overseas. Racism abounds. But for those who really want to understand what’s going on, those more answers only prompt more thoughtful questions.

To begin to answer those questions, Gene Ludwig invited some of the most sophisticated minds from across the political spectrum to gather in a closed setting at Yale Law School in the spring of 2019. They included policy makers, journalists, academics, and business leaders—without media or scripts. No matter their affiliation, the participants all agreed: What had once been the American dream has become an elusive myth. But how can the economy report positive growth while so many suffer? And how do we reverse their trajectory?

The Vanishing American Dream documents this rare, candid conversation and offers a forum on solutions to revive the Dream for all Americans.

With Contributions By: Sarah Bloom Raskin, Glenn Hubbard, Deval Patrick, Robert Shiller, Larry Summers, Luke Bronin, Daryl Byrd, Oren Cass, Jacob Hacker Heather Gerken, Susan Krause Bell, Andrea Levere, Zachary Liscow, Jonathan Macey, Daniel Markovits, Mary Miller, Michael Moskow, David Newville, Steven Pearlstein, Isabel Sawhill, Jay Shambaugh, Anika Singh Lemar, and Andrew Tisch.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633310445
Publisher: Disruption Books
Publication date: 05/12/2020
Pages: 275
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Gene Ludwig is the founder of the Promontory family of companies and Canapi LLC, the largest financial technology venture fund in the United States. He is the CEO of Promontory Financial Group, an IBM company, and chairman of Promontory MortgagePath, a technology-based, mortgage fulfillment and solutions company. He is the former vice chairman and senior control officer of Bankers Trust New York Corp, served as the United States comptroller of the currency from 1993 to 1998 under President Bill Clinton, and was a partner at Covington & Burling from 1981 to 1992.

In 2019 he founded the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity, an organization dedicated to the economic well-being of middle- and lower-income Americans.

His writing has appeared in The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, American Banker, and Time.

He holds a master’s degree from Oxford University and is a New College Oxford fellow. He holds a J.D. from Yale University, where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal and chairman of Yale Legislative Services.

Gene lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Dr. Carol Ludwig. They have three children and two dogs who run the household.