Sunday, May 06, 2012

Is the American Dream Dead?

While going through Facebook contacts this afternoon one entry caught my attention over all the others.  The Federalist Papers asked, “Is the American dream alive or dead? Do you expect that your children will be better off than you are?”
It’s not an easy set of questions to answer, and it certainly deserved more than a casual, “Like” button hit; but here goes…  The first part asked, “Is the American dream alive or dead?” 
Define the American dream or we could be talking about apples and oranges; something we should be careful not to mix, causes gas.  Is the American dream home ownership, a new car in every drive way, minimum wage with 2 weeks vacation and health insurance coverage thrown in as we have been led to believe or is the American dream something else?  
No, the American dream has more to do with how we live our lives with a clear understanding of individual liberties and rights as protected by our Constitution than with the amenities of life.  At one time we lived in a small apartment and never once felt as if our American dream was linked directly to size of our dwelling.  Sure, owning a home was on our “bucket list”; but if that never happened then enjoying what we could afford didn’t diminish our accumulated success.  The opportunity to work hard, or better yet, work smarter provides and sustains my American dream; no the American dream lives and will always live as long as my heart beats within my chest.
The second part of that general question points toward the amenities of life, “Do you expect that your children will be better off than you are?”  I want my children to have as many blessings of “the good life” as are available.  Their righteous desires coupled with their willingness to earn these amenities through honest efforts along with a reasonable return for those efforts are not favorable.  Our current economic climate casts a dark cloud on such a future for them.  America’s downward spiral towards imposed socialism under totalitarian rule disregards individual efforts in favor of the collective and the stage is set for imposed austerity.
For years we have been told to limit our use of energy consumption, learn to accept less use of air conditioning in the warmer months and to put on a blanket in the colder months rather than turning the thermostat up to a comfortable temperature.  Smaller more efficient cars are being foisted on the public as a means of avoiding environmental Armageddon; supposedly we just can’t afford the luxury of gas guzzling muscle cars.  I’ll throw in those compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFEs) that are mandated to replace incandescent bulbs; it’s all part of eliminating individual choice and has little if anything to do with improving the quality of life.
If the U.N. has their way, and they have been marginally successful already, implementation of Agenda 21 will force folks to live in metropolitan areas, limit miles driven on our extensive and hard to maintain road systems and permanently alter individual freedom in favor of Sustainable Development.  Instead of leaving such decisions up to the individual based on his/her ability to pay the State will determine the size of your dwelling, where it should be located, the use of nearly every aspect of the human condition will be through permission of the collective and the needs of your community; it’s called “communitarianism” (spell check doesn’t recognize this new word in our vocabulary; either that or spell check prefers the old America and has a dream of its own).  
Dismal as it may sound, the economic future of America isn’t something to look forward to.  I hope my children are made of sturdy stock because the yoke of imposed serfdom we are placing on their backs will tax them physically and spiritually.  Debt is a terrible task master that never sleeps and that is what we have bequeathed future generations. 
I didn’t say that my children would forfeit their opportunity to experience the American dream, only the likelihood of their being able to enjoy creature comforts that are greater than I have been blessed to enjoy in the form of amenities.  Prosperity and the idea of perpetual growth does not fit with our declining Dollar and a steady attack on the free market system in favor of “Social Justice”, wealth redistribution and socialism imposed by a totalitarian government which has turned a blind eye to God given inalienable rights and our constitutional republic.  (I love an occasional run on sentence; serves my high school English teachers a just reward for their efforts to contain my exuberance)
God grant us the courage to face the realities before us with integrity and resolve that we restore this nation in favor of the Great Experiment envisioned by our Founding Fathers.  May the American dream live eternally is the desire of my heart and the prayer on my lips.  In the name of our Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.


Perri Nelson said...

The steady attack on the free market system in favor of "Social Justice", wealth redistribution and socialism isn't merely imposed by government. It's also fostered by those among us with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement, particularly the young. Spoiled rich kids have suddenly discovered that leaving the nest means having to work to pay for food, a roof over your head and the electricity and internet connection required to keep playing your video games.
It's so much easier for them to keep living in mom and dad's garage, suckling off of the teat of government, and railing about how "unfair" the system is, all while tweeting about it to the world from their iPhone and iPads.
These people don't really want socialism as much as they think they do. They just want a global reset to bring everyone down to the same level because otherwise they're afraid of competing.They don't understand that it will take away the incentive for anyone to build anything.

Perri Nelson said...

Oh, and I am in no ways implying that your children are among this crowd of whiny brats masquerading as a political movement. One of mine is, and the other has grown up to be a fine young man - at least so far.

T. F. Stern said...

Perri, Your comments are spot on; too many young people are not taught anything about a "work ethic" or the responsibilities of liberty. Learning to be self sufficient regardless of the level of reward is important.

Lou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lou said...

To Mr Stern (and to anyone else who is reading your blog):

I have also been on The Federalist Papers forum in Facebook and I've posted many comments across several different threads of discussion. I have a slightly different point of view on things.

There is this perception that "wealth distribution" is taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Not the case. There has been a redistribution of wealth going on in this country since the 1980's, but it has been taking from the middle class and sending it to the upper class. The statistics bear this out. It's the rich that are taking from the middle class.

How is this being done? By corporate influence of government policy makers. The money from lobbyists who represent wealthy and corporate interests, get politicians elected. Politicians in turn are strongly influenced to create tax law and other types of policies that favor corporations and the very few very wealthy individuals.

Another major misnomer is that government is responsible for the current financial crisis; specifically that Barney Frank and his ilk forced banks to make bad loans. Again, this is not correct. The primary reason behind the financial crisis was chicanery from unregulated Wall Street institutions. There is plenty of evidence to back up this claim, some of which I list on my own blog, the URL for which I'll put at the end of my comments.

In terms of what Mr. Stern mentioned in his comment about young people and work ethic, I think this is an inaccurate characterization because it's too general. I know plenty of young people (including my own kids - who are now young adults). They have at the very least, as much work ethic as any of us did when we were their age.

There may be a group of people who are caught up in the seemingly intractable poverty cycle of urban ghettos. But this is not a majority of that age group by any stretch, and their problems should not be associated with the general public.

The issues of urban blight and the culture of welfare is a problem - but confined to a subset of the population who fall into a relatively specific set of circumstances.

Finally, with respect to the problems of this economy, they are very complex and defy simple slogan definitions or solutions. There are a lot of people who are willing to work and did have decent paying jobs for most of their lives (depending on their age of course), but those jobs have been taken away from them for a variety of complex reasons. Now, it seems to me that conservatives are blaming these people for not finding work; suggesting that they don't want to work. That is nonsense. (There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general, it is nonsense.)

But at the same time, corporate CEO's, lobbyists, and "financial engineers" are making outrageous sums of money; much more than those types of positions paid 20 and 30 years ago. Reference my first comment about wealth re-distribution.


Right Wing Theocrat said...

It is the wish of every parent that their children have a better life than them, even if it's only a little better.

Unfortunately some of us want such a good life that we're willing to make our children pay for it. Some of us wanted to make their life too easy and now have ungrateful, whiny prats before us always demanding that everyone else pay for their life.

I know it's not all parents and people, but enough have so the next generation is going to have it tough.