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Whatever happened to "The Land of Opportunity"?

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posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:42 PM
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I have grown up with the idea that America is the Land of Opportunity. I've always felt that we have amazing opportunities here, and by working hard, we can realize "The American Dream."

Since reading posts here on ATS, specifically those on politics, I've had my eyes opened to the fact that many of the posters feel that the deck is somehow stacked against "the little people".

There are people who sincerely seem to think that Capitalism and the free market system are somehow evil. I'm genuinely perplexed by this. I know that in America, we don't have pure Capitalism or a completely free market system, but I still think that even with our flawed system, we have more freedom and opportunity than most of the world.

In America, we have many, many examples of people who have been able to be wildly successful through good ideas and hard work. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sam Walton...all of them have become extremely wealthy, and none of them came from elitist or wealthy families.

A little background on me and my family: From 2nd-12th grade, I lived in a mobile home in the mountains. My mother was married 4 times. We never had a nice car. But I worked hard and went to college, which I paid for with a mixture of scholarships and student loans. I married a man who was the first person in his family to ever go to college. I'm a teacher, and he is a college professor. We worked hard, and now both of us have doctoral degrees; I worked on mine while teaching full-time. We have 2 children, a mortgage, 1 paid off car, 1 car with a loan, and no credit card debt. We are solidly middle class, but I feel like we have benefitted from that American Dream...we've worked hard, and have done well. We're definitely not wealthy, but we have a comfortable life.

I don't agree with the mindset that America is no longer the Land of Opportunity. Yes, our politics seem to be dysfunctional, but we're still the Land of the Free(ish!).

So do you think my husband and I are just anomalies? I don't.

Tell me how YOU'VE realized the American Dream....or convince me that it truly IS impossible to succeed today in America.




posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:44 PM
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decades of brainwashing and indoctrinating the youth of america and all that social programming has paid off

get em while their young and you have them for life
edit on 29-7-2011 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:46 PM
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It's very possible to succeed today but alot of people simply are failures and blame the government for their problems. You take any successful person in history who was self made and put him into today's society and he would succeed here also.

It should be noted however that this is a conspiracy site and if we didn't talk about the government more than half of our threads would be gone so it's an important topic to the members here.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:47 PM
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reply to post by GeorgiaGirl
 


Corporations, military, and politics gangbanged it and left it cold and wimpering on the floor of a running shower.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by neo96
decades of brainwashing and indoctrinating the youth of america and all that social programming has paid off

get rem while their young and you have them for life
edit on 29-7-2011 by neo96 because: (no reason given)


Are you saying I'm brainwashed? Somehow my life is not really a good one? I have a family I love, I do work I enjoy, and have plenty of food and even creature comforts. We're better off than most of the world's population.

If this is being brainwashed and indoctrinated, then more people should try it.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by GeorgiaGirl

Originally posted by neo96
decades of brainwashing and indoctrinating the youth of america and all that social programming has paid off

get rem while their young and you have them for life
edit on 29-7-2011 by neo96 because: (no reason given)


Are you saying I'm brainwashed? Somehow my life is not really a good one? I have a family I love, I do work I enjoy, and have plenty of food and even creature comforts. We're better off than most of the world's population.

If this is being brainwashed and indoctrinated, then more people should try it.


You aren't brainwashed, you're just ignoring the evils that are in front of you. That's not a bad thing, per se, but when TSHTF you will regret that you fell victim to the government propaganda and will most likely not be prepared since you decided an all out collapse of society economically and politically was implausible.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by GeorgiaGirl
 


It is hard to quantify the "American Dream". For you it was moving into the middle class. What is the "American Dream" for your children. Is it continued upward social and economic movement? Whatever it is, i think it is still available on an individual level. Society-wide however, it is not possible. It used to be everyone could succeed in America and they could all do it at the same time. In today's world there simply is not enough opportunity or enough money available for a large percentage of people to feel like they succeeded. As long as money is debt, inflation is the country's only wealth builder.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by kro32
It's very possible to succeed today but alot of people simply are failures and blame the government for their problems.


I think that is true; however, it amazes me that people can't take responsibility for their own failures. I don't know how some people get the idea that the government is supposed to take care of us all.


Originally posted by kro32You take any successful person in history who was self made and put him into today's society and he would succeed here also.


I also think that is true.


Originally posted by kro32 It should be noted however that this is a conspiracy site and if we didn't talk about the government more than half of our threads would be gone so it's an important topic to the members here.


I've participated in several political threads, and have enjoyed some great debate. But I've also been SHOCKED at some of the attitudes. I'm new to ATS (this is my first thread), and so maybe I've been naively living in my optimistic world before coming here. I truly had no idea that we really are as divided as a nation. I've always thought that we were all closer in philosophy than the media made us out to be, but I'm actually finding that we are much FARTHER apart than I imagined.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:01 PM
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I agree with the OP

I think the problem with society is that a lot of people wait for "opportunity to knock"


You have to make your own opportunities - no one is EVER going to come to your door and say "Hey we been looking for you"



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:04 PM
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Well, My posts have changed a bit lately.

I just got done with a two year college program in welding technologies. I scored a decent GPA, not 4.0 but close. My instructor encouraged me to take a local union test and I scored high. I took a job at a company 62 miles from home....It is not even what I went to school for totally different trade.......

I recieve gas mile-age and a better starting wage, almost two times more than minimum wage. Yeah....I work my but off.......But end the end it will pay off, as long as I do not get layed off....but I work hard and get compliments from the others........Hard work does not go un noticed...They told a three year apprentice to take a week off and sent him back to the shop (I work in the field) since I have been there......

At 32 I waited too long to get my butt in gear.......That time has passed and now it is time to kick some butt....

It is totally not as bad as everyone here makes it seem......It depends on how you adapt to your souroundings and situations. Open new doors and make things happen.

This is what I have learned with my two years of schooling.(grammer still horrible though) A waste of time, I do not think so...Expanded my horizons a little. And I am loving it.

Life is what you make it...........



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:05 PM
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Originally posted by 9Nania

Originally posted by GeorgiaGirl

Originally posted by neo96
decades of brainwashing and indoctrinating the youth of america and all that social programming has paid off

get rem while their young and you have them for life
edit on 29-7-2011 by neo96 because: (no reason given)


Are you saying I'm brainwashed? Somehow my life is not really a good one? I have a family I love, I do work I enjoy, and have plenty of food and even creature comforts. We're better off than most of the world's population.

If this is being brainwashed and indoctrinated, then more people should try it.


You aren't brainwashed, you're just ignoring the evils that are in front of you. That's not a bad thing, per se, but when TSHTF you will regret that you fell victim to the government propaganda and will most likely not be prepared since you decided an all out collapse of society economically and politically was implausible.


Well, I'm here, aren't I? I see the evils. They brought me here. I'm still processing everything I read, and trying to figure out what's real and what's hype. Will HAARP rings form over my house and a giant tornado suck it up? Probably not. Is Elenin going to cause the world to end in September? Doubtful. Will America survive the amount of debt we are facing? I still think we're going to figure it out and make it work. That's the kind of optimism that attracted me to the Tea Party. It's the idea that it is not too late, and we CAN get the country back on the right track again.

Basically, I'm hoping TS never H's TF!



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by kro32
 


Actually I for One, do not give sole blame to the government,
but surely you agree they make it hard on everyone,, no matter your Capitalist standing, right?

Failure?

Well, let me say this,

I for One, have worked my whole life, grasped onto the American Dream,, thinking it would all work out somehow,but still like others have a mortgage.
Lost job that paid better,
now, make less than 1/2 of what I did 10 years ago.
Still kept the home. Held on to Middle Class. Couldn't pay all the bills,, Worked even More.
Never declared Bankruptcy,,
tried to get help from Everyone,,, got none.
Still paid the Mortgage,,,,

But Not Uncle Sam.

They,, want theirs so Now they are going to Padlock my American Dream and sell it off.

Just another Tax Protester they will say.
But that is not the whole story.
In good conscious I have never been able to agree that I am Owned by the Federal Government
to Slave Wage Finance Their Endless War on Terrorism.
The Madness has to end somewhere,

It has ended with Me.
I refuse to Willingly Finance any of the Madness any longer.
Come get my American Dream,,, sell it to the Highest bidder,,,,, (No offense,, but maybe Chinese, or other International Buyers,,, who knows!! ) There goes America.

Our System is Eating Us.
It feeds on our Blood, Sweat and Tears.
It has become our Frankenstein.
A Monster, that is destroying the Principles of Freedom our Country was founded On.
Our System of Government and Rule is Rotten.
Spoiled.
Gluttons.
Thieves.
Liars.
And Charlatans.

anyway...


Granted,, I Failed.

But so did the System I had to Work Within.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by GeorgiaGirl
 



I don't agree with the mindset that America is no longer the Land of Opportunity. Yes, our politics seem to be dysfunctional, but we're still the Land of the Free(ish!).



We all need to open up a big box of American freedom to show everybody who's boss.



Wait, where did they say that freedom was made...



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:07 PM
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Originally posted by Forevever
I agree with the OP

I think the problem with society is that a lot of people wait for "opportunity to knock"


You have to make your own opportunities - no one is EVER going to come to your door and say "Hey we been looking for you"


Star for you.

Exactly what I was trying to say in my post above.

Make it happen people.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:08 PM
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Yea we here in America have the oppurtuntity to live the lives we want, but at what cost to the rest of the world?

We rape third world countries for the resources so we can have cheap products to buy.

It's easy to succeed with running water, heat, AC, no bombs being constantly dropped on you by the people who have the American dream etc.

I can't accept the american dream. It should be the world dream!!!



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by GeorgiaGirl
 


no them life is and has always been what we make it and the only way people improve their own lives is by their own actions not someone else.
edit on 29-7-2011 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:12 PM
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Well, its mostly dead....
The days of children growing up wanting to be president are certainly done. That kind of stuff means you have to be born in a certain class.



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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reply to post by GeorgiaGirl
 


That's the problem, those crooks in washington don't care if the stuff hits the fan. They just want to make a buck.

This system was set up to fail...



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by GeorgiaGirl
 


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAAHHAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAA!

You really believe it ever existed? There will never be equal opportuinity, there will always be those that seek to oppress others and live for exploiting everyone else for their personal gain. It's human nature, the thing is I don't buy the BS anymore, and I can see clearly that it's been this way since the beginning of time!



posted on Jul, 29 2011 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by GeorgiaGirl
 

A big star and flag for you, GeorgiaGirl, I too wonder what has happened to my America. I have been watching the idiots on Capital Hill argue back and forth, cut this, don't cut that, table this, and so on and so on. I notice one GLARING "cut" that is not even mentioned. Can anyone guess what it is? I mean, they will cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, hell, they will cut anything save this.....War. No one mentions cutting down on the, what is it now, five shooting wars America is in right now? I can't even keep track anymore. If the government would like 3 trillion to round out the budget for next year, why not call off the wars that nobody can any longer explain? Afghan operations alone are set to run over 100 billion this year. And what about the "War on Drugs?" The recent supplying of guns to the Cartels, like they really needs our guns, sets a precedent that has been going on for some time, if America wishes to go to war, first they supply the target with adequate firepower to last awhile. Where does it end? These wars are what is killing the American Dream, not Social Security, and not Medicare. Can any one of you tell me the purpose of just one of these wars?

My mind goes back to the Iron Mountain Report. Anyone remember that? You can read the report here: www.mega.nu:8080...
I draw the reader's attention to Section Five:

SECTION 5: The Functions of War As we have indicated, the preeminence of the concept of war as the principal organizing force in most societies has been insufficiently appreciated. This is also true of its extensive effects throughout the many nonmilitary activities of society. These effects are less apparent in complex industrial societies like our own than in primitive cultures, the activities of which can be more more easily and fully comprehended. We propose in this section to examine these nonmilitary, implied, and usually invisible functions of war, to the extent they they bear on the problems of transition to peace for our society. The military, or ostensible, function of the war system requires no elaboration; it serves simply to defend or advance the "national interest" by means of organized violence. It is often necessary for a national military establishment to create a need for its unique powers - to maintain the franchise, so to speak. And a healthy military apparatus requires regular "exercise," by whatever rationale seems expedient, to prevent its atrophy. The nonmilitary functions of the war system are more basic. They exist not merely to justify themselves but to serve broader social purposes. If and when war is eliminated, the military functions it has served will end with it. But its nonmilitary functions will not. It is essential, therefore, that we understand their significance before we can reasonably expect to evaluate whatever institutions may be proposed to replace them.

Ladies and gentlemen, We the People do not have a representative government anymore. There is no one on Capital Hill that speaks for us. What used to be OUR government is not the government of the Military Industrial Banking Cartel Machine. A constant state of war means billions of real dollars in revenue for the companies in the business of war materials, and the politicians who are owned by them. Notice I said "owned." That means bought and paid for, friends, make no mistake about it. Someone made a post a few days ago about the Pentagon deploying 20,000 troops in America? I would bet the Pentagon could not field a division today. They are all off playing cops in countries that do not want them there.

A little reminder here, these minions in the Senate and Congress work for us, not the other way around. They govern us because we give them that power, and we can take way that power too. Enough is enough.



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