Yep, that's the way political legitimacy is built in the USA - everyone gets something from the system.
Andy: That's the way political legitimacy is built in EVERY system; it's patronage, and has been since the first neaderthal figured out he'd get to be chief if he controlled who got the best parts of the mammoth...The difference here is that for some reason we're fixated on the idea that this is dirty and bad. So we try and pretend it doesn't happen, hide from it, and, like these people deny even to ourselves that we do it. And therefore it's hard to address the issues involved. I think that's what has helped us towards the dysfunctional polity we've become...What drives me so effing nuts isn't that we have these massive fiscal giveaway programs - we're a rich country and can afford it - but that we keep trying to pretend we don't, and instead insist on seeing our government and economy as some sort of fictional individualist frontier where hard work and entrepreneurial effort = prosperity, instead of having a hell of a lot to do with fortunate birth, social settings, coincidence, and (not insignificantly) help from government.
entrepreneurial effort = prosperity, instead of having a hell of a lot to do with fortunate birth, social settings, coincidence, and (not insignificantly) help from government. IMO those aren't mutually exclusive.
I recall reading a while ago that Americans strongly believe that their country encourages social mobility.The article went on to say that, in practice, the USA has less upwards mobility than almost all of its peers.
Ael,I will to have look at the research again, but I think that immigrants to have greater upward mobility in the US than pretty much anywhere else and that is largely due to automatic citizenship at birth.
I agree; they're not. But the "story" we've adopted is that they are, that all you need is a terrific work ethic and native savvy and you're the success on "The Apprentice". We don't like to be reminded of the massive degree that chance, birth, governmental sanction/approval, and community play in our successes or failures...