America will not recover economically, not to its potential, until the current ideology of the welfare state is eradicated. Some people see this as callous disregard for the plight of the poor and middle class, but I see it as the opposite. The almost complete failure of America's welfare state and the continuing denial of the failure have now become the major forces harming the poor and middle class. Not a glass ceiling, but a reinforced steel ceiling is built by the welfare state above the heads of the poor and middle class. Some escape, but relatively few as the State becomes more powerful.
The power elite under the guise of compassion and social justice have perpetuated the biggest economic con in history. The welfare state is an indoctrinated justification used by the State to oppose anti-statism and protect the status quo. In a free market world, the elite would become gradually isolated in their inner sanctum and rendered useless in the market of open competition, but the public has been convinced that without a government safety net, they're at the mercy of vicious market forces -- the safety net is a capturing net assuring that those below the steel ceiling stay there.
What the poor and middle class have yet to fully understand is that what the State offers is a crumb from a plate compared to what can be achieved in a free market. To transition to a free market now will be very difficult, and there would still remain for awhile a great disparity in wealth, but once education became a private matter, the market would offer ways to improve education and thereby begin the gradual process of lifting the poor out of poverty and assuring the middle class a more prosperous future.
Government doesn't change when it needs to change -- when programs fail, they often receive more funding. A free market allows failure, and with each failure the market learns -- the entire nation becomes akin to a learning organization, and fundamental problems demand fundamental solutions. It would take a couple of books to justify a free market over an interventionist welfare state, but we'll get closer if we can only shake off the indoctination that the welfare state is necessary -- it's not. There are better solutions to social problems, but we have to allow our minds to consider the possibilities and potential before anything can change.