Sep 18, 2011
When I was a young man (40 years ago) my version of the so called “Great American Dream” was pretty simple. My dad had said to stay in school and graduate with a college degree, which I did by getting a dual degree in Computer Science and Economics. I was not drafted into the Viet Nam War, deciding instead to serve my country and humanity in the Peace Corp. I came back to the United States and got my first job working as a computer programmer in government. I was taught to have a credit card for convenience and pay it off monthly, start saving immediately and continuously for retirement, avoid buying on credit except for a house and car, and pay cash for everything else. I was taught that, if I did all of these things, then I would be financially well off in retirement. That was the 1972. I did those things for decades. By 2011 my dream for a worry free retirement has been spoiled by a bunch of greedy wall street bankers who speculated the stock market into a nose dive and then turned around and stole billions of dollars from the housing market. In essence, Wall Street banker’s and lawyer’s greed stole the retirement of my generation of Americans.
In 2011 we now have an American Dream destroying Congress led by a radical right wing agenda designed to dismantle government. I have the feeling that “We the People” who are human are being eaten alive by the “We the People” who are not human–so called “people” like corporations, for example.
So where the heck are “We the People” who are human these days? We are busy voting into office wackos who chant pathological mantras. Phrases like “no new taxes” seem to have taken hold and operate independent of mathematics, common sense, and anything resembling reason. What’s up with that bit of political pathology?
Wall Street backed corporations are now busy foreclosing on millions of homes. “We the People” who are human are getting daily tossed us out of our homes. Once the corporations’ work is done, what little will remain of the American Dream?
Why are the right leaning corporate sponsored talking heads in Congress muttering pathological mantras like “no new taxes”? It is because these messages and actions have been bought and paid for by corporate contributions. Corporations know very well that their profits will be taxed to pay back the deficit caused by their tax cuts during the Bush Years (which created the deficit in the first place) and that it will be tax increases on the corporations that will pay off their national debt. They understand very well the principle that it is vastly cheaper to buy a few politicians a public office in Congress than to pay the taxes that will result when sanity is restored.
Common wisdom says the United States and many other nations now have an unsustainable national debt. Common wisdom among even our polarized political parties is that jobs are the key. Only the sad truth is that there seemingly aren’t new jobs to be had unless governments create them. Wacko notions persist that government regulation is to blame and that if regulations are removed we will the people will be somehow better off — what an absurdity.
Foreclosures in the owner occupied housing market, among my generation are commonplace — there goes one cornerstone of the American Dream. Unemployment for people my age is increasing and prospects for being rehired grow dim. There goes another cornerstone. Social Security supplemental income was supposed to be there for my generation and probably will be though heaven help future generations.
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream defines:
The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes a promise of the possibility of prosperity and success. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Health care fits in under the “Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” category of inalienable rights. Health care costs are rising and are unaffordable without insurance. Fortunately for “We the People” health care reform was enacted by the Congress and signed into law by President Obama — at least one cornerstone of the American Dream will live for as long as there is a Democrat in the White House.
Now here’s the dirty truth. Many wealthy “We the People” in the form of corporations don’t want to provide health care for “We the People” who are humans. These corporations are buying the political votes necessary to dismantle worker health care program. This massive corporate led deconstruction of the progress made towards the American Dream has been happening for years. It plays out now in the polarized political arena of the United States government. “We the People” who are corporations don’t vote. Instead, the corporations buy the political campaigns of those politicians who will run their agenda.