Debt & the American Dream
Course: WBIS 188
America is the land of opportunity—at least it used to be. But with the current state of health care, foreclosures, and unemployment, the dream of living a comfortable middle class life is no longer a reality for many. It was considered the right of the American middle class family to own a home and two cars, send the children to college, and save for retirement. Now medical bills, inflation, and adjusting mortgages are wiping out people’s savings accounts, and credit cards are used to buy necessities like food and gasoline.
By exploring America’s past and current economic state, we will discuss the causes of consumer debt, the parties responsible for encouraging the binge spending, and the fate of America’s middle class. Class readings will include Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, and Thomas H. Naylor; The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt by Teresa A. Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren, and Jay Lawrence Westbrook; plus current magazine and newspaper articles.
(please note: section topics and descriptions are subject to change)