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Arianna Huffington Sees A 'Third World America'

When Arianna Huffington immigrated to the U.S. from Greece in 1980, she knew there was no place she'd rather live.

Three decades later, she says that's still true -- but that America has gone astray.

When she examines the state of the nation, the co-founder of The Huffington Post sees mounting foreclosures; high levels of debt and unemployment; crumbling infrastructure; a skewed financial system that favors the rich; a broken political system and a shrinking middle class.

In her book, Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream, Huffington argues that the secure standard of living that Americans once took for granted is under threat.

"Increasingly, staying in the middle class -- let alone aspiring to become middle class -- is becoming a game of chance," Huffington tells NPR's Jennifer Ludden. "There isn't a clear trajectory to get into the middle class and to stay there."

Individuals, and "the American can-do spirit," Huffington says, are the keys to holding elected leaders of both political parties accountable.

"When we look at how we turn things around," she says, "we need to look at ourselves."

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