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I think the American Dream is what's driving everyone a little crazy

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posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 12:59 PM
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People are irritated these days, at least it seems that way here in America. People are agitated, ready to boil over. Heck this last election cycle has some of us ready to fight pitched battles.

People have been like this for a couple decades now, however. This is not due to Obama or Trump. This has been building for quite some time. I remember as a kid, the grown ups were, I don't know, more relaxed. Not quite so worried. Not quite so ready to flip each other the bird in traffic.

Then I remember about when that changed. In the late 90's, my first job out of college was a "Customer Service" gig. That gave me a front row seat to how wacky people's behavior could get. Every year I swear people got more crazy and enraged. (I'm no longer in that line of work, thank goodness, and I would dissuade anyone from doing so)

So what happened? Part of it I think is that it is getting more and more and more difficult to hang on to a typical middle class life. It's getting more stressful to keep up with the bills and the mortgage. I think this crazy amount of stress everyone is under is a substantial part of "what's wrong" in our society right now. Sure, politically we are very divided. There is still a lot of social injustice. Drugs. Bad tv. But there have always been social issues to contend with. Now, there's also this artificial hyper inflation of stress and anxiety that is slow-cooking everybody's brains.




posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 01:11 PM
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Back in the seventies, the American dream here for us teenagers was to buy an old house for a few grand, live in it as you fixed it up, worked at a place that had vacations, insurance, and benefits, got deer hunting off every year, and went on your own and made it easily on what you made from almost any full time job. The American dream did not include college debt, antidepressant drugs from doctors, healthcare premiums paid personally, deductibles on your medical coverage, or impending bankruptcy from credit card debt or doctor bills.

Those were the days when most people knew how to make change for a dollar.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 01:14 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
Back in the seventies, the American dream here for us teenagers was to buy an old house for a few grand, live in it as you fixed it up, worked at a place that had vacations, insurance, and benefits, got deer hunting off every year, and went on your own and made it easily on what you made from almost any full time job. The American dream did not include college debt, antidepressant drugs from doctors, healthcare premiums paid personally, deductibles on your medical coverage, or impending bankruptcy from credit card debt or doctor bills.

Those were the days when most people knew how to make change for a dollar.



Couldn't have said it any better IMO



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 01:18 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

This Tyler Dudren speech from Fight Club sums up the situation perfectly.



I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy $h!t we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very p!$$ed off.


I am Jacks sobering realization.


edit on 25-4-2017 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 01:30 PM
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originally posted by: slapjacks

originally posted by: rickymouse
Back in the seventies, the American dream here for us teenagers was to buy an old house for a few grand, live in it as you fixed it up, worked at a place that had vacations, insurance, and benefits, got deer hunting off every year, and went on your own and made it easily on what you made from almost any full time job. The American dream did not include college debt, antidepressant drugs from doctors, healthcare premiums paid personally, deductibles on your medical coverage, or impending bankruptcy from credit card debt or doctor bills.

Those were the days when most people knew how to make change for a dollar.



I forgot the best part, going to the Bar with a band, an outdoor party, or the Frisbee turnament to try to find a girl. Heck, you did not need to buy a good house, your parents would leave you their house when they died, now they die penniless in a nursing home and sell the house or take out a reverse mortgage to pay their medical bills and for medicines.


edit on 25-4-2017 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 01:32 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

The narrative may go back even a bit further...

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, is a novel by Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. His nemesis was Nixon. The book is a satirical send up of "finding the American Dream" in some niche sport (in this case a desert car race) only to find a façade of the Dream. In the end, it is a twisted tale of the death of the American Dream.

In the climax, a rueful Dr. Gonzo writes, "Looking West, with the right kind of eyes, you can see where the high water mark hit, the wave crested, and broke back down." That was the death of 60's idealism (peace, love, happiness) running smack into Republican old school 1970s Nixon. They almost succeeded but failed. That was the death of a generation's early dreams which later became the nightmare of yuppies and self-serving money grabbers.

Each generation faces this predicament. While nobody was paying attention, there has been a squeeze on the middle class. The children of 1990s find it difficult "to be better off their parents" which has been the narrative of each generation since World War II. More adult children live with their parents until their 30s. Some move back in. The dream narrative of "house, two kids, a car, white picket fence" is as quaint as a Norman Rockwell painting.

There is a missing narrative for this generation. All the old ones do not apply.

TheGuardian.com - 'The US? We're in bad shape': squeezed middle class tell tales of struggle.

 


a reply to: Thecakeisalie

I am Jack's Broken Heart...


edit on 25-4-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: grammar nazi

edit on 25-4-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: is Fight Club the missing narrative?



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 01:38 PM
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The "American Dream" is not dead, You just now have to travel to either South or Central America to achieve it...


"They" changed the 'Rule Book' along w/the rules. The only thing that has grown is 'Their' greed.

It used to be 'go to College, get a good job and get married' Now the College graduate gets to live in their folks' basements whilst their folks put off retirement to pay off the College Loan debt. When the Parent(s) die, then the State takes a large chunk for "death fees".. Too bad We weren't the "Banksters, Automakers" because then We could get a 'Bail Out" and spread some of that bailout in Bonuses and salary raises..

e.g. "Affordable Healthcare" = "Existence Tax"

Stay Hydrated... (but non tap water because "They" put Fluoride into the water supply to keep You "asleep"..)



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 01:38 PM
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It's not the American dream that's driving everyone crazy... it's the critters destroying the American dream and making the American dream impossible to achieve via crony capitalism and regulatory capture and corporate welfare and other interference in the free market (and our lives) that's driving everyone crazy.

And rightfully so.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 02:01 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

The internet happened. Consumerism being shoved down our throats 24/7 happened. Social media taking "keeping up with the Jones'" to an entirely unachievable level happened. "Reality" television happened. Disciplining your kids even verbally became "abuse". Commercials and doctors convincing us that we all are mentally ill and need to be on prescription drugs happened. Our perception of what is necessary happened. Political correctness happened. Our children being raised by strangers and television happened.

I think life was simpler in the 70s and 80s because we relied more on our own common sense than on the opinions of those on television and the internet. The same problems existed- unemployment, racism, drug abuse, etc. We just didn't think it necessitated buying our elementary aged children the latest smartphone and putting them on psychoactive drugs to handle them, and we didn't have to do it with eyebrows that were "on fleek". JMHO.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

If we are honest with ourselves, what is the American dream?

Is it the house 1,300 square feet then 3,000 now?

Or is it the one car station wagon or now 2 new 2017 lexas all wheel drive super crossovers?

Is it a 2 year degree or certifications, or is a phd and still no job?

The only thing the American dream means now is profits for companies that long ago moved jobs out of the communities they sell those foreign products in.
But the system is now breaking down, and it will have to crash to be corrected. Everything is pegged at 7,000 RPM and the string pullers want more. The engine will blow and we will have to rebuild-a for real depression may solve this (but would lead to another profitable business war), but more than likely it will take a revolution.
edit on 25-4-2017 by seasonal because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 02:33 PM
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posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:06 PM
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originally posted by: Black_Fox





Whenever I hear the phrase The American dream I think of the quote from George Carlin as well

"Because the owners of this country know the truth — it’s called the American Dream … ‘cuz you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin



I also think of the line from the Watchmen Comic when the Comedian talks about the American Dream





posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:13 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Funny that you mention "make change for a dollar". I was at the grocery store and the young lady at the register did not know how to read change. She said your change is "one, six, five, three" instead of sixteen dollars and fifty three cents. I wasn't shocked because i've seen things like this before, but it is just so sad. I think you also hit another nail on the head. The disappearance of small houses. There was a time when small (around 900 sq ft or so) houses were so common. Young people would build them from scratch or buy them cheaply and then upgrade, and then the baby boomers would downsize into them. It was a perfect affordable fit. In our town it isn't even legal to build something under 1300 sq ft. Everything is either huge, or rentals. The pendulum has swung so far which is why a lot of people are into that tiny house movement. If things keep up I'm afraid we'll all be living in a tiny box soon.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:33 PM
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a reply to: olddognewtricks

Hey, olddognewtricks! Great thread, great replies so far. So many things have contributed to this mess we're in now.

I'm in Canada, an hour from the border and basically it was a North American Dream. The sad truth is that it was once obtainable...easily.
- you didn't need to graduate high school to get a job (& apprenticeships in the trades were encouraged)
- you could quit a job at lunchtime and have another one by supper
- a student could work a few hours after school and buy their own clothes, cigarettes, bus passes, room & board to parents, etc. etc. while only earning minimum student wage

- apartments were affordable and saving a down payment for a house was do-able
- starter homes were affordable and mortgage rates weren't bad
- young married people didn't expect to start out in an "executive home" and we had lower and more realistic standards (no internet/facebook/reality tv influencing everything)

- families weren't sending every single member to live alone and fend for themselves...but those who did leave were able to live without government assistance
- everyone wasn't getting cancer or dying in their 50's and were still actively babysitting grandchildren or working
- entertainment was for weekends, not the driving force in every individual's life like now

As someone who has actually watched the decline in everything that spelled "HOPE" for people I think it's really important that it's talked about. A decent lifestyle was easily attainable and I personally have slid from comfortable to going hungry, losing everything, couch surfing, etc. etc. because the safety net that we thought would save us, didn't exist anymore.
S&F
jacy



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:41 PM
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originally posted by: JAGStorm
a reply to: rickymouse

Funny that you mention "make change for a dollar". I was at the grocery store and the young lady at the register did not know how to read change. She said your change is "one, six, five, three" instead of sixteen dollars and fifty three cents. I wasn't shocked because i've seen things like this before, but it is just so sad. I think you also hit another nail on the head. The disappearance of small houses. There was a time when small (around 900 sq ft or so) houses were so common. Young people would build them from scratch or buy them cheaply and then upgrade, and then the baby boomers would downsize into them. It was a perfect affordable fit. In our town it isn't even legal to build something under 1300 sq ft. Everything is either huge, or rentals. The pendulum has swung so far which is why a lot of people are into that tiny house movement. If things keep up I'm afraid we'll all be living in a tiny box soon.


900 square feet = 90 square meters = 2 x 10 x 5 meters = 4 rooms 5x5 meters
(kitchen, living room, bedroom + bathroom + staircase)

In the UK, homes that size are stacked side by side to form terraced streets of two up/two downs. The problem is then that there isn't enough space for car parking. Everyone wants to trade up to a bigger property so they can have more parking space for more cars (1 space for each adult, and a few more for guests and visitors. Each car has a length 5 meters + 1 meter gap). Otherwise everyone ends up parking on the sidewalk.

Health and safety laws require a bathroom on each floor. In the 1980's, people would make do by converting their bedroom bay window windowsill into a sink unit. It was strange shaving and getting washed in the morning while looking out over your neighbors gardens. But it saved having to go all the way downstairs to a freezing cold outhouse bathroom.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 03:50 PM
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Even though I was born in the 90s I agree.

Around 12 was when my parents attitude about our financial stability as a family really changed,even though they both had the same amazing jobs they have today, and it was obvious, and honestly, upsetting and I developed some anxiety from that. Never really stopped either.Dad was easy going for a long time before all that, and after he had a heart attack in his mid 40s. It got better recently, but I suspect only because 3/4 of us live on our own now.

The thing that stresses me out most in life, and I never thought it would, is whether or not my salary is enough. Whether or not my credit will ever go up so I can get a home loan and my new family can have a place that is ours and not an old house rented from my parents. Whether or not I should ruin my already ruined credit and go back to college, or if a degree in anything im skilled in will even make me enough to consider it worth while. It's def. hard to hear about and see on tv the "American Dream" When it feels like a pipe dream to me.

To your point about customer service. I'll never take a customer facing job again as long as I live if I can help it. I was treated so poorly by so many elderly wealthy and young wealthy people at a bank I worked at that I promised myself I would never do it again. Some 90 year old woman caused a scene, called me retarded, and accused the bank of hiring "#ing morons" Because my boss told me I was not even allowed to calculate a question she had about interest on a loan, that she had to sit with a personal banker... She didn't want to, and then said all those things to me because she said i was just incapable of doing so and then all the nasty words came out of her dusty mouth. Not one person in the bank, my coworkers or anyone in the bank said anything. Nothing. I'm not that kind of person, I wouldn't ever say such foul things to someone just because their policies prevented me from getting my lazy entitled way. That particular incident was the last straw for me and I moved on and up from that nonsense.

With that being said, I try to see each day as a new opportunity to accomplish something new, big or small. No point in giving up because I know that will get me nothing. I want something, I don't want nothing. I used to be angry all the time. Sometimes I still get angry, but I do my best to keep it together because life is too short to be arguing with everyone and looking for a fight on every corner. Wish people could learn to let petty # go and keep on rollin'



-Alee
edit on 4/25/2017 by NerdGoddess because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 04:24 PM
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people are too materialistic they want it all,they have champagne taste on a beer budget. they want all the newest gizmos and gadgets,the newest cars,their dreams are full of material things.

The American dream doesn`t have to be about material things but people think that it is.
People think that they can buy happiness so they work themselves to death trying to make more money to buy more things.
you`re not what you own and he who dies with the most toys doesn`t win anything.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 06:24 PM
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originally posted by: olddognewtricks
I think the American Dream is what's driving everyone a little crazy

The vain and selfish greedy amassing of material wealth at the expense of the rest of humanity, and the environment, is a symptom of our insanity.
'Belief' is insanity!
Everyone has been a LOT crazy for the last 135,000 years!
Schizo-sapiens...



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 06:46 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

I think you succinctly summed it up. We have households, and have had for about 20+ years, where both parents are working to achieve their goal of a $275,000 home, two suburbans in the yard, and a sixty foot pool in the backyard.

Meanwhile, the children come home, essentially raise themselves, because there certainly isn't anyone at home to guide them, and then people scratch their head wondering what happened. Gee, I wonder.



posted on Apr, 25 2017 @ 07:55 PM
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a reply to: NerdGoddess

Thank you for responding. Great post.

Actually, there have been a lot of really great posts so far.

I think a correction is coming. No I don't believe it will come in a form of an economy that magically quadruples itself. And I pray it does not come in the form of another war. Best case scenario the correction comes in the form of an economic collapse.

While such a collapse would certainly be difficult to deal with at first, I think the system has to collapse before it can correct itself. It boggles my mind that a collapse has not happened yet!

Stock up.



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