Link This is a December 2004 article from The Economist. The main thrust is that the US is becoming more and more class stratified while Europe is becoming less so. Why do Americans continue to believe that we live in a meritocracy? The article also points out that only during the "Gilded Age" of the 1880s were there as many wealthy Senators as there are today. It's ironic in a way, the majority of low and middle income Americans who voted for bushco will actually see lower incomes for themselves and their children. While it must be admitted that there are many factors at play, his policies are only accelerating the socio/political/economic stratification of America.