Stories

What we're reading: The destruction of the American Dream

An attendee holds an American flag at a United States naturalization ceremony
An attendee holds an American flag at a United States naturalization ceremony. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Two new cover stories in TIME and The Atlantic argue that the United States is increasingly becoming divided into two distinct classes: those whose days are increasingly affected by systemic issues that drive inequality — like crumbling infrastructure and subpar public education — and those at the top who can ignore it all.

Why it matters: The promises of the American Dream are out of reach for many citizens as the income threshold for true comfort has stretched higher and higher in recent decades thanks to both politics and economics, transforming — and, arguably, destroying —  the middle class that has long served as the nation's backbone.