At one time the American Dream offered hope and opportunity to millions of people. Today, for many young people who are saddled with debt and are un- or underemployed, elderly people whose nest eggs have been shattered by the Great Recession, and many in-between who are uneasy about their future, the American Dream is badly tarnished; in some cases its dead. What happened? And what can we expect in the future? This eclectic, readable, often amusing analysis of those questions explores the American Dream and the New Normal by examining capitalist democracy through history, science, economics, education, health issues, philosophy... and organic gardening and sugar "subsidies," among other topics. Capitalism creates and fulfills wants and desires far in excess of actual needs because it depends on constant and infinite growth. But infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet Something has to give. The cozy relationship between capitalism and democracy - both of which are located on a sliding scale - makes this even more complex, and interesting. With this book JD Belanger, long typecast as a writer on homesteading and organic gardening, breaks out of that mold to let loose a barrage of ideas and observations built up during more than 50 years of writing and editing. From the history of plastic shopping bags to the future of global warming, from the shortcomings of conventional agricultural accounting to the industrialization of food, this book entertains and informs while arguing the case for living happily and productively with just "enough."