This concluding chapter gives a brief overview of the dominant contemporary American values of formal equality and free-market economics after the 1970s. It also considers the relationship between two developments: the simultaneous flowerings of egalitarianism and free-market values. Both commitments had deep roots in the American past and had long helped shape the nation's politics and culture. The shedding of formal systems of social hierarchy was a continuing process, one that did not begin in the 1970s but did accelerate dramatically during that decade. In addition, the chapter considers other areas of American public life that has changed since the 1970s.
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