U.S. Social Contract Isn’t The Deal It Used to Be

Americans have, over their history, enjoyed free or reduced price land, by simply claiming land in the vast wilderness or through the Homestead Act (1862). Land and housing was plentiful and cheap through the 1960s. My parents bought their home outright for a few thousand dollars (no mortgage). As recently as the 1980s, health care premiums for most Americans amounted to pocket change. The price of a college education at a good public university was a few hundred dollars a semester, an elderly person could easily live on social security in retirement or received a generous pension from their long-term employer.

I am currently looking at paying $25,000 a year, or $100,000 for four years, for my son to receive the same public university education I received for less than $4000 for four years.

No wonder Americans are angry, with a sense that the American Dream is dying and their social contract has changed, without their permission or acquiescence. So of course they are wondering who to blame.

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