Economists have begun using the term “winner-take-all economics” to describe the fact that the salaries of investment bankers, software designers, and basketball players continue to rise while the wages of photocopy attendants and paramedics stagnate or fall toward the official poverty level. The phrase suggests that in the present economy millions of people are bound to “lose,” and evokes the image of a society badly divided between the successful and the luckless, whose fates have little or nothing to do with one another.
A good place to gauge this state of affairs is Foxwoods, the turquoise and purple casino palace that rises like Oz from a small patch of Indian land in the prosaic hills of southeastern Connecticut. The world’s largest, Foxwoods is the great casino of the American middle class. It has none of Vegas’s slick glamour or high-rolling dangers; it isn’t bleak and malodorous like Atlantic City; it lacks the vacationland l...
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