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Alice Mitchell Rivlin

  • The 'American dream' ... means an economy in which people who work hard can get ahead and each new generation lives better than the last one. The 'American dream' also means a democratic political system in which most people feel they can affect public decisions and elect officials who will speak for them. In recent years, the dream has been fading.

  • Politicians pay more attention to interest groups than to the public interest.

  • Cynics about government find much to be cynical about.

  • If simple, painless solutions to public problems existed, they would have been found long ago.

  • The federal budget deficit is the biggest single impediment to revitalizing the American economy.

  • ... most economists, like doctors, are reluctant to make predictions, and those who make them are seldom accurate. The economy, like the human body, is a highly complex system whose workings are not thoroughly understood.

Alice Mitchell Rivlin, U.S. economist, former cabinet official

(1931)