Introduction: Work Hard and Play by the Rules
America is haunted by a deep and growing anxiety about the structures of its economy. This anxiety crosses all lines of ethnicity, class, religion, party, and ideology. It is not a mere selfish concern about who gets how much. It is a moral anxiety, a concern about what kind of people we are becoming. Is America still a country where it pays to “work hard and play by the rules,” in Bill Clinton’s famous phrase? Or have we become the kind of place where cheaters consistently get ahead and slackers get a free ride—where working hard and playing by the rules is for suckers?
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