Sunday, April 20, 2008
Greed is good for nothing.
The 'American dream' of unashamed wealth and the opportunity for all to acquire it has reached a crisis point before: in the Depression, the oil shock, in the 'greed is good' Eighties and the madness of the dotcom bubble. But America's relationship with wealth - uncomfortable as it has sometimes been - has always been built on the same foundation. Even as charted in the salutary tales of Fitzgerald, Steinbeck or Wolfe over the decades, or in the endless fascination with Howard Hughes and the fictional Ewings of Dallas, the aspiring masses never quite lost their admiration for blatant enrichment, nor the elite their pride in it. Now, however, all that appears to be changing.