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Other countries have long emulated aspects of the American Way in designing their own development models. Having access to higher education, creating conditions that support innovation and allowing for greater upward mobility have all been deeply attractive qualities to many nations. But it is the construction of a durable U.S. middle class that has been perhaps most compelling to highly stratified societies across Latin America, Asia and Africa. Now, however, the United States is moving in the other direction, toward an unstable society divided between astronomically rich elites and everyone else. This undermines a critical component of U.S. soft power and is a model for societal engineering that few would choose to emulate.