AlterNet's 10 Most Popular Economic Stories of 2010

We worked hard to shed light on what's happening in the American economy this year -- here are your favorite articles of 2010.

It was a good year for corporate America, which is sitting on record profits, and for Wall Street -- the Dow hit a new high just last week! 

The "Main Street" economy, on the other hand, didn't fare so well, with a "real" unemployment rate (that includes workers who have given up or are forced to work part-time) hovering around 17 percent, a foreclosure crisis largely unabated by Washington's weak efforts to keep homeowners in their houses and one in three Amrican families living in near-poverty.

We worked hard to sort out what's been happening in the once-mighty American economy, and here are your favorite articles of the waning year.

10. Has the American Dream Become Our Nightmare?

By Mary Sykes, Psychotherapy Worker

The time is ripe for us to rethink some of our deepest beliefs about the way this country should work, and how we should live our lives.

9. Bank of America Is in Deep Trouble, and There May Be Financial Disaster on the Horizon

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet

Its stock value has dropped 40 percent since April, and the bank is mum on what losses it's hiding on its $2.3 trillion balance sheet.

8. Why Are Americans Passive as Millions Lose Their Homes, Jobs, Families and the American Dream?

By Harriet Fraad, Tikkun Magazine

Society-wide depression has struck America. Why it's happened and what we can do about it.

7. What It's Like to Work in Walmart Hell

By John Olympic, AlterNet

Thanks to recent teacher layoffs and the miserable job market, I've gone from substitute high-school teacher to Walmart associate.

6. Ayn Rand Conservatism at Work -- Firefighters Let Family's House Burn Down Because Owner Didn't Pay $75 Fee 

Joshua Holland, AlterNet

Talk of limited government is appealing until you see what it actually means in practice: a society in which it's every man for himself. 

5. Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer 

Mark Ames, AlterNet

Her works are treated as gospel by right-wing powerhouses like Alan Greenspan and Clarence Thomas, but Ayn Rand found early inspiration in 1920's murderer William Hickman.

4. America's Ten Most Corrupt Capitalists

Zach Carter, AlterNet

Wall Street's captains of industry and top policymakers in Washington are often the same people. A lot of them get rich by playing for both teams. 

3. Why Germany Has It So Good -- and Why America Is Going Down the Drain 

Terrence McNally, AlterNet

Germans have six weeks of federally mandated vacation, free university tuition, and nursing care. Why the US pales in comparison.

2. The Economic Elite Have Engineered an Extraordinary Coup, Threatening the Very Existence of the Middle Class

David DeGraw, Amped Status

The economic elite have robbed us all. The amount of suffering in the United States of America is literally a crime against humanity.

And our most popular story of 2010 ...

1. We're in a Recession Because the Rich Are Raking in an Absurd Portion of the Wealth 

Robert Reich, The Nation

Our economy can't thrive when the richest 1% get an ever larger share of the nation's income and wealth, and everyone else's share shrinks.

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