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What Happened To The American Dream

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posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 02:53 PM
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American comedian George Carlin joked that "it's called the American Dream 'cause you have to be asleep to believe it."

Is this true? Is this as good as it gets, as close as we will ever get to The American Dream?

To me, it sounds more like a nightmare……

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States of America in which democratic ideals are perceived as a promise of prosperity for its people. In the American Dream, first expressed by James Truslow Adams in 1931, citizens of every rank feel that they can achieve a "better, richer, and happier life." The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence which states that "all men are created equal" and that they have "certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The "American Dream" has been credited with helping to build a cohesive American experience but has also been blamed for over inflated expectations. The presence of the American Dream has not historically helped the majority of minority race and lower class American citizens to gain a greater degree of social equality and influence. Instead, the American wealth structure has often been observed to sustain class differences in which well-positioned groups continue to be advantaged.
en.wikipedia.org...


“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."
- Historian and writer James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book Epic of America

Mr. Adams penned these words in the midst of the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in our history. It is timely to reflect on these words, as it appears that the American Dream is slipping further out of reach for most Americans. If the dream of a better life for our future generations is lost, it will truly mark a turning point for our great Republic. The reason the American Dream is slipping away is due to the actions of politicians running our government and bureaucrats running the Federal Reserve. Those with ability who have earned a better life through their hard work, intelligence and integrity should be attaining a higher position in the social order. Instead, our government is rewarding those Americans who have taken unwarranted risks, made brainless decisions, and willingly chose the course of excessive debt to climb the social ladder.

As the politicians scurry to “save” capitalism through the use of communist measures, more Americans are becoming disheartened. The definition of communism according to Webster’s is:

A system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed.

George Bush, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke have decided to seize money from the vast majority of Americans who lived within their means, utilized debt sparingly, and worked hard to get ahead, and give it to the most appalling failures in our society. They have shovelled billions to banks that operated their businesses like gambling parlours. They have shovelled hundreds of millions to people who bought houses with no money down, interest only mortgages and fraudulent loan applications. They are now rewarding automakers who made the wrong vehicles, pay 30,000 workers per year to not work, and have only been able to “sell” cars by giving them away with 0% financing to any schmuck who could sign on the dotted line. These acts fit the definition of communism. We are now more communist than China.

The American Dream was not founded upon wealth and materialism. It revolves around achieving a better life based on the merits of your intelligence, hard work and contribution to the community of all Americans. There is a moral aspect to the American Dream that has been lost over time. James Truslow Adams addressed it in an essay he wrote in 1929:

"There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live. Surely these should never be confused in the mind of any man who has the slightest inkling of what culture is. For most of us it is essential that we should make a living...In the complications of modern life and with our increased accumulation of knowledge, it doubtless helps greatly to compress some years of experience into far fewer years by studying for a particular trace or profession in an institution; but that fact should not blind us to another—namely, that in so doing we are learning a trade or a profession, but are not getting a liberal education as human beings."

Our current system of incentives is inconsistent with the equal rights of others. I was taught the difference between right and wrong by my parents. The pursuit of happiness by Americans is where the American Dream has gone off the track. The pursuit of excessive wealth, power, influence, luxury automobiles, McMansions, and electronic devices has substituted for happiness in the world we live in today. Whatever means necessary to achieve this bastardized American Dream (Nightmare?) has been the mantra of the “Me Generation”. Every disgraced CEO of the last year was part of the Baby Boom generation. Parents, schools, corporations, media and government have taught Americans how to make a living, but have done a horrific job in teaching Americans how to live. The government and Federal Reserve have encouraged the warped American Dream through the use of insane tax, fiscal, and interest rate policies.

Continued...




posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 02:54 PM
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Poet and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen captures the current mood of the country in his song Everybody Knows. The financial and political game is rigged against the good guys. The poor will stay poor and the rich will get richer. The captain is your political leaders, fat cat CEOs, and investment professionals. The American ship of state is leaking.

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died


The evil perpetrated by Bernie Madoff and his kind on Wall Street have disillusioned the American public and have driven another stake into the heart of the American Dream. The greed, false promises and fraudulent schemes by investment professionals and bank CEOs has shattered the dreams of millions. The immoral vision of immense wages, tremendous power, and elite social status has driven many to cheat the innocent.

The last 25 years of materialistic psychosis was a temporary deviation on the road towards the American Dream. If the authorities would let capitalism run its course and allow the painful deleveraging that is needed, we could get back on course. If it takes a depression to accomplish this required deleveraging, so be it. We’ve survived depressions before. It is time to resist the Federal Reserve criminality and government abuse of power. Ron Paul’s call for new patriots must be our rallying cry to reclaim the American Dream:

"The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George. I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power. The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility and out of self-interest for himself, his family, and the future of his country to resist government abuse of power. He rejects the notion that patriotism means obedience to the state."

Many people are looking for an easy answer to the tyranny that is being imposed upon us by the oligopoly of government, corporations, and media. There is no easy answer. The original patriots struggled for 14 years to free themselves from British tyranny. Failure meant the hangman’s noose. Our politicians, corporate CEOs, and media pundits will provide comforting “solutions” that have been crafted by PR maggots. Their crafted talking points are lies. They have no idea what they are doing. The only question is whether rational change will come when the existing system collapses under the weight of its lies, or we take back the country through grassroots efforts and spreading the truth through the internet.
www.financialsense.com...


In recent years, the concept of the American Dream as a national ideal has been studied by various organizations. The conclusions of these studies indicate that during the 1990s to the 2000s, a period of remarkable wealth for the U.S., an increasing number of people confess to having lost faith in the American Dream. The "Great Recession" of 2008-09 particularly dampened national attitudes, with its many home foreclosures, decline in consumption, job layoffs, and high energy costs as symptomatic of an "end of an era" of individual prosperity. The increasing use of technology for an information-based economy contributed to downsizing and job barriers. A surge of legal barriers continues to limit personal freedom during this time.
en.wikipedia.org...


In the book Watchmen, the American Dream is referenced to when the Comedian and Nite Owl are clearing the streets of protestors against the Cold War. After the chaos and an argument with the Comedian, a somewhat depressed Nite Owl asks, "But this country's disintregrating. What happened to America? What happened to the American dream?" The Comedian, standing among the ruins of the riots while brandishing his shotgun, says, "It came true. You're looking at it."

So how would you define The American Dream?

If this is what constitutes ‘the American dream’, somebody please wake me up.

Related news:

Is the American Dream Dead?
abcnews.go.com...

Change to Win: Mobilizing for A New American Dream
www.reuters.com...

YouTube – What Happened to the American Dream?



posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 03:07 PM
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What happened to the American Dream?

Simple

It got hijacked by greedy corporations who have somehow brainwashed many citizens into being greedy themselves.

Until corporations are reined in and denied the right to legally steal from it's customers, who then fight for corporations to have the right to legally steal from them (for example, health insurance), the "American dream" will stay just that. A dream.

We've forgotten what it is to be a society instead of enemies, and as long as we stay in that brainwashed mindset, we will continue to stay stuck and not evolve into what we could actually be.

Harm None
Peace



posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 03:26 PM
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It was polluted by the government by freely allowing any and all third world country's people to come here and lower are living standards while subsisting on government handouts.

It began in earnest during the Vietnam war exodus in 1975 and then when the Cubans opened their prisons in 1980. All the refugees from every Central American Banana Republic and Africa.

Anywhere the U.S. government stuck it's nose in we ended up taking in their political refugee's.

They got preferential treatment in jobs and housing and loans.

American dream is not native born citizens dream it is all those who came here thinking the streets are paved in gold and the government hands out money.

The biggest problem is they don't want to assimilate in to our society therefor never becoming "Americans".

That is without a hypen and other nationality/race in front.

Never heard the term "this or that"-American in the 60's.Everyone was American. Asians were,Negro's too and Caucasian and Latino also.



posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 03:37 PM
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What happened is, it doesn't work.


"all men are created equal" and that they have "certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Everybody is equal. Respect everybody, and be respected by everybody. Live comfortably. Live free. Live happy.

That, right there, is how the American Dream should have been defined. But instead...


It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages

...would appear to be how most actually see it.


but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

That sounds a bit contrary to "Every man is equal". The desire to be "recognized by others" is always going to lead to one-upmanship. At that point everything breaks down.

You deserve extra bonus points for quoting Leonard Cohen.



posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by Clickfoot

"all men are created equal" and that they have "certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Everybody is equal. Respect everybody, and be respected by everybody. Live comfortably. Live free. Live happy.


THAT is what happened to the American Dream. Founding Fathers got it right. Everyone's been wrongly interpreting it since.

We are all CREATED equal.

We do not remain that way.

Trying to force equality AFTER creation is an insane idea. I know there are men and women out there BETTER than I am. And I am better than some. I had a not-so-easy life. I chose to give my children better than that. I live a good life with love in my family, biggo hugs every single day. As opposed another person who had a similar life and chose to steal from the pockets of hardworking men and women, or one who turned to drugs as an escape or easier path, who turned to violence to get what he wanted instead of working for it.

No, we are created equal, but we spend our entire lives bettering ourselves. Life is about choices, and those choices make us lesser or better than others. We have the same inalienable rights... but ... they are endowed to us by our Creator which many people have chosen to believe does not exist. If there is no Creator or supreme being, then an Atheist can't possibly beleive that this paragraph applies to him/her. And as such, it's only a matter of time before our constitution is declared... unconstitutional. Ah, the duality of Man. Misinterpreting everything since day 1 to suit his own purposes.

The American Dream is alive and well in those of us who still have faith in it.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by calcoastseeker
 





It was polluted by the government by freely allowing any and all third world country's people to come here and lower are living standards while subsisting on government handouts.
It began in earnest during the Vietnam war exodus in 1975 and then when the Cubans opened their prisons in 1980. All the refugees from every Central American Banana Republic and Africa.
Anywhere the U.S. government stuck it's nose in we ended up taking in their political refugee's.


But wasn't that part of the American Dream? America championing itself as the land of opportunity. Welcoming people from all cultures and backgrounds with the promise of their piece of the 'dream.'



posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by calcoastseeker
It was polluted by the government by freely allowing any and all third world country's people to come here and lower are living standards while subsisting on government handouts.

It began in earnest during the Vietnam war exodus in 1975 and then when the Cubans opened their prisons in 1980. All the refugees from every Central American Banana Republic and Africa.

Anywhere the U.S. government stuck it's nose in we ended up taking in their political refugee's.

They got preferential treatment in jobs and housing and loans.

American dream is not native born citizens dream it is all those who came here thinking the streets are paved in gold and the government hands out money.

The biggest problem is they don't want to assimilate in to our society therefor never becoming "Americans".

That is without a hypen and other nationality/race in front.

Never heard the term "this or that"-American in the 60's.Everyone was American. Asians were,Negro's too and Caucasian and Latino also.



I'm among those Cuban Refugees. My family and I never received any preferential treatment, we've had to claw our way from nothing, no one ever handed us anything. I have a brother serving in the Army and I intend on taking my oath soon too. But we're the problem.

Way to go on such a generalized and ignorant rant.



posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 07:30 PM
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The lack of getting an okay paying job.



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