This book was written in 1993 by Edward Luttwak and refers to many statistics from the 1980s and early 1990s. The Endangered American Dream outlines why the author believes America is in danger of becoming a third-world country from around 2020 onwards and what can be done to remedy this situation.
The book is written in a penetrating style and the opinions are certainly well backed with examples of what Mr Luttwak is referring to. The author’s main criticisms of America at the time the book was written are that the public school system wasn’t educating people, that the gap between the super-rich and the rich, and between the rich and the rest of America was widening, that people weren’t saving enough money and so weren’t able to invest in the country’s future, and that there were too many lawyers resulting in large amounts of litigation that companies had to set aside money for, so they could defend themselves in court, when this money could be better spent investing in modern equipment and plant.
The author is not a fan of free trade or free marketeers and believes that globalisation should be controlled otherwise the vast majority of American workers will be driven closer to the poverty line, increasing the likelihood of third-world levels of poor people. He advocates adding a sales tax to curb consumer spending, so encouraging people to save their hard-earned salaries.
It would be interesting to read a sequel to this book, written in 2022 in which Mr Luttwak would decide whether America had succeeded in not becoming a third-world country by following his suggestions.