Barack Obama is trying to drive a wedge between the rich and the rest.

The belief in a rosy future is deep-rooted in America’s collective psyche. This pleasant characteristic explains who so many low-wage earners in the United States are against higher tax rates for the rich — those who think of becoming rich themselves don’t want to later share their hard-earned money with the government.

Barack Obama is now trying to get rid of this wishful thinking. This has grounds: On the one hand, U.S. society is in fact not as open as it still was a few decades ago — which has to do considerably with globalization. On the other hand, Obama has an election campaign to strike and must therefore demonstrate an ideologically clear edge.

If the U.S. president is successful at driving a mental wedge between the rich and the rest, he can possibly secure his reelection — but that will work only at the expense of this optimistic world view. Dreams of social advancement may often be naïve; nevertheless, it would be a pity to lose them.