Wednesday, April 18, 2007

US: The World's Dream Factory

We hear a lot about the "disappearance of the middle class," and general economic "gloom and doom," even though the jobless rate is at a 6-year low of 4.4%? But we don't always hear so much about the incredible economic opportunities that exist today, and the many amazing stories of successful entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Like ex-con and former prison cook Jeff Henderson (pictured above), who has a new book out about his rise from convicted LA cocaine dealer to executive chef of the Bellagio Café in Las Vegas, titled "Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras;" it's now a NY Times bestseller.

For several excerpts from the book, see the Freakonomics blog, "How the Crack Dealer Became a Chef."

NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman refers to the U.S. as the "world's dream factory" in "The World is Flat," because of the U.S. economy's openness and dynamism, which nutures entrepreneurs more successfully than any place else on the planet (Exhibit A: Jeff Henderson). In how many other countries could a convicted crack dealer become a successful chef with a best-selling book?

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