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When questioned about the enormous income inequality in the United States, the cheerleaders of America’s unfettered markets counter that everybody has a shot at becoming rich here. The distribution of income might be skewed, but America’s economic mobility is second to none.
That image is wrong, and these days it abets far too many unfair policies, including cuts in essential programs like Head Start or Medicaid. The poor, we are told, can use their own bootstraps. President Bush got away with huge tax cuts for the rich in part because nonrich Americans, who make up most of the population, believe everybody has a chance of making it into the club. Unfortunately, the American dream is not that broadly accessible.
Recent research surveyed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a governmental think tank for the rich nations, found that mobility in the United States is lower than in other industrial countries. One study found that mobility between generations — people doing better or worse than their parents — is weaker in America than in Denmark, Austria, Norway, Finland, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Spain and France. In America, there is more than a 40 percent chance that if a father is in the bottom fifth of the earnings’ distribution, his son will end up there, too. In Denmark, the equivalent odds are under 25 percent, and they are less than 30 percent in Britain.
Unfortunately your Liberal narrow mindedness clouds your ability to see the big picture, my friend. I agree that at some time in our lineage we were all immigrants. However in today's current financial and political climate, your argument does not hold water. Government has seen fit to relax all the checks and balances with regard to immigration in this country, and now we are suffering greatly for it. When times get tough you have get back to the basics in order to restructure and realign. I see none of this being done. All I see is just more of the same bull crap regardless of party affiliation. Should we restrict immigration, so that we can get our financial and political house in order? ABSOLUTELY!
Originally posted by DancedWithWolves
Are we blaming immigrants for our economic and social distresses?
"Welcome, fellow immigrants."
Those were the words of Franklin Roosevelt at a convention of the Daughters of the American Revolution in the 1930s. They, like us, were horrified to think of themselves as immigrants. America was seeded with immigrants, legal and illegal, drawn by it's promise as The Land of Opportunity.
The "Land of Opportunity" slogan has been in play for a long, long time. The ideal has become a founding principle of our country. Now that jobs are scarce and times are hard, we hang out the no vacancy sign. Perhaps rightfully so. Perhaps not. Should we be shocked that people continue to buy into the false dream we sold around the world simply because we believe ourselves to be full and opportunities declining?
Unless we are Native Americans, we - our families - were at one time all immigrants.
It is so like our leaders to shift blame from them or even bad policies to ourselves and each other. In their mirage - it could never be the principle that was flawed - it's the new guy's fault - of course.
I don't mean to dismiss your point because this sentiment is shared by many. I caution that we mistake a no vacancy and no opportunities left perception for the root cause of our troubles. Could the cause truly be - that the opportunity which was an illusion to begin with - has played out and the monopoly game we were all unknowingly engaged in - was won by those who made up the rules? Should this civilization have had a loftier goal that was more community oriented - more sustainable?
Was it really ever the land of opportunity....or a grand experiment in economic indentured servitude population expansion with the tease of "get rich quick" and "make it in America" as the bait. Should we be surprised that our families bit on the hook and those who continue to bite...want the same things your ancestors did? It's like offering a great deal and then being mad that people still show up at the store for the item which sold out long ago. It was a promise....America could never honor and keep.
America is a nation peopled by millions who have sought to find a new life in a new country. What I'm suggesting is that false advertising led us exactly where we/they knew we would go.
Many of us with "American" names...after the endings were dropped off....now find cause to blame people with exotic names simply because they came to the party late.
Are the newbies really to blame....or have we just served our master's designs well enough with the lot of us already here? Maybe it's their coffers, not our country, that is currently full enough because every scrap on the kitchen table has been consumed.
Hook, line and sinker...your family and mine...took it all.
How long could the illusion really last? How long could a principle based on individual greed, at some level, continue to play.
I would suggest that along with the border controls we are imagining...we also imagine a society centered around a more compassionately sustainable model where trials, tribulations AND triumphs are less individually born.
America may need a little less sense of self and more selflessness in our vision.