The American Dream is Dead?

Common Sense Conspiracy is a conspiracy site that dabbles in entertainment news and politics from time to time.  Mostly, we focus on conspiracies of all sorts, and we make an honest effort at trying to bring our loyal readers a new take on things with a premium placed on facts and things that can be corroborated instead of the wild theories with no evidence that you will find on other sites.  We also encourage discussion, are willing to take it on the chin when we get something dead wrong, and we never ever censor comments.   This article is not about conspiracies or really any of the above named things.  This is a special topic that has been bothering us here for quite  a while and we want to share the concept with you in the hopes that maybe we can inspire you to ask for more out of your life, country, and fellow Americans.

You saw the title.  Perhaps you are a regular reader here and stumbled on this article in your ordinary cyberspace travels.  Or maybe you were searching for something and this popped up and that title caught your eye.  It should.  The so-called American dream is a concept that has been around probably since the United States of America was created.  Before we can talk about the death of the American dream, first we must take a moment and think about what the American dream used to be.  Only then can we see what it has become.

Historically, the American dream was the simple idea that anyone in this great nation could accomplish success and prosperity if they had the drive and work ethic to go out and get it.  It’s not about material possessions, necessarily.  It’s not about how much money you have.  It’s about achievement, looking at life as a ladder where there is always another rung available to climb, and knowing that that rung might be hard to get to, but it’s not out of reach.  Children born in poverty could aspire to be anything they want to be and while it may be a tougher road for some, the American dream was making sure that each and every person in the United States of America has the opportunity, the chance to make their life whatever they wish.  It’s the ultimate expression of freedom and equalization.  Pursuing something that your social class might otherwise make impossible.

There are countless stories of people that were born in bad situations that became prosperous and accomplished their goals.  For every one of these, there is a myriad of those that fell short, but the American dream was not even about whether you win or lose.  It’s about how you played the game.  And about having the same equipment to play that game as everyone else.  Just four years ago, President Barack Obama became the first African American to win the presidency.  It was a watershed moment in American history and the ultimate culmination of the American dream.  An obvious physical manifestation of that dream becoming reality.  The cards were stacked against Obama, but he was able to overcome them and rise to the highest office in the land and probably the most powerful position in the world (we say probably because, after all, this is a conspiracy site, so the most “powerful” to us might mean that Obama needed to take over Bilderberg, not the United States).  It should have been a moment that rejuvenated the American dream to an all-new and unforeseen level.  And yet, here in 2012, what has the American dream become?

No longer do Americans reach for the stars; instead, we drive anchors deep in the ground to try like hell to keep what we have already.  How many of you wake up every morning and go to jobs that you hate?  But you can’t complain about it, right?  Because you will hear that phrase that is uttered so many times in our nation every day that it is like a broken record or a compact disc on repeat:  At least you have a job.  And the people that say that are right.  Absolutely right.  Americans with good stable jobs are probably not appreciative enough of the fact, and there are tons of people that would kill to be in their position.  But is it not a sobering revelation that this is what America has become?  No longer is the mantra to dream a little dream; now it’s be happy with what you’ve got.  No longer is it take pride in your accomplishments and keep fighting the big nasty real world; it’s where’s my help?  Where is my government now that I need it?  Where’s my stipends?  When we will be paid?  We fight for equilibrium…we fight just to stay the same.  Children born in poverty don’t dream of one day being president or being an astronaut.  They dream of being able to have a place to live, keep the lights on, and feed their families.  Even the dream of an enjoyable and comfortable retirement has taken its blows.  With Social Security a shadow of its former self and 401k running aground, people that have worked all their lives for the chance to enjoy their elder years in peace are now relegated to just being thankful they still have a job to go to into their seventies.  Is that the new American dream?  To at least have a stable job where you can work until you die?

President Obama knows about the American dream. But can he do anything to save it before it becomes extinct?

That’s what is so stunning about it.  President Barack Obama should have been a huge inspiration for our nation, a huge redeeming of the concept of the American dream.  And for a few days, he was.  People were proud to see what this black man had achieved in the face of so much opposition.  Four years out, and no one much says anything about that anymore.  Because while Obama achieved the American dream, he has not been able to preserve it for those that come after him.  Isn’t that his biggest responsibility of all?

America is no longer friendly to those that dream of starting their own businesses.  As corporate America expands and inches out the little guys on every street corner, more and more people choose a road of stability over a road of invention and creation.  To some, that might not be a big deal.  But how many of the things you use every day to make your life more enjoyable and convenient were the result of someone sticking their neck out and trying to make a difference?  Are we headed for an America where everything is so incorporated and run by big business that new inventions and ideas are stamped out completely?  And is this the goal?

It’s not Obama’s fault.  And if he is supplanted by Mitt Romney, it won’t mean all that much as for this particular problem.  This is an American problem.  This is something that starts with the people.  We’re not talking about a revolution; there’s no need.  It’s simply about Americans standing up and demanding that the people that control such things give us back our country, give us back our freedom, give us back our opportunity, and give us back our ability to reach for the stars without feeling like we are trying for pipe dreams.

Everyone can’t be rich.  Life doesn’t work that way.  Everyone can’t be the same either.  Trying to distribute the wealth only furthers the death of the American dream by achieving equilibrium to the point that there is no longer a reason to aspire for anything more.  But everyone, every single person, should have the right to opportunity.  Every person should have the ability to have a vision, a goal, and the means to at least take a stab at it.  And while every American should be grateful for the job that they have, that never should mean that they shouldn’t be looking skyward.  Dreaming should be encouraged, not comatized.  Exalted, not smothered.  Each station in life should be looked at as a rung on a ladder, not a roof.

The American dream isn’t dead.  It’s in remission.  Common Sense Conspiracy believes that it can be restored to its former greatness.  Do you?  Help spread the message.
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4 thoughts on “The American Dream is Dead?”

  1. First of all, kudos on the essay. Great read. Here’s my two cents on the crapo economy situation.
    1. $4 gas and diesel. Everything we eat, wear, use, and own had to ride in a truck to get to us. Logistics is a major portion of the cost of everything. Plenty of blame to go around here. Bush pissed the Arabs off. Bin Laden and Saddam forced his hand. Over regulation of the oil industry and limitations on domestic drilling by democrats. These things and more have caused oil futures speculators to run the prices up. The Obama camp wants the prices high to encourage their ideology of electric cars and such. (Can you imagine what size battery it would take to power a semi-truck load of steel?) Fuel prices effect everything from mayonaise to mattresses. Getting, and keeping, fuel back at or below $2 would solve a lot.
    2. The housing crisis. Barney Frank and the dems decided at some point that everyone should own a house. No need to qualify. Just go through Fannie or Freddie or any other number of “programs” and get you a house that you can’t afford. We over built with a vengance for a while. Then it blew up. I got laid off as a result. Now every house in the country is worth just a fraction of what it should be. This also has a dramatic effect on employment as a whole. Construction, manufacturing, etc. Do away with most of the programs and let only those qualified purchase homes and this should work itself out eventually.
    3. Sustained low interest rates. As much as I loved getting my house financed at 5%, I also watched my moms IRA become worthless. We made made a countless number of old people poor in our attempt to stimulate growth. Making it easy for people, and business, to borrow more money is not the solution. Living within ones means is. The gov’t might try this, too.
    4. Borrow and spend. Then borrow from lender #2 to pay lender #1. And again and again. 1/2 the population is guilty of this. The gov’t is setting a great example, too. A very old, very dear friend of mine says, “You can solve most of your problems with the 4 cheapest thing available: soap and water, pencil and paper. Clean up and get a job, then sit down and figure out what you’ve got coming in and what you can afford”.
    5. The inevitable baby boomer crunch. The eldest of the boomers are now needing Medicare and Social Security. This will get much worse over the next 20 years. We’ve borrowed from the Social Security money to save tree frogs and build abortion clinics until it’s now toast.
    These 5 examples only scratch the surface. I can honestly say that I’ve lived the American dream many times over. Until I’m dead or crippled I’ll always be looking for my next business venture. Each time I do gov’t red tape will make it a little harder than the last.

    1. Wow. What a great and introspective comment. We all should be so informed. We here at Common Sense Conspiracy will dig into some of those very topics for future material. As I happen to know Gus, I know you have been living the American dream and it pains me to see people like you put under the crosshairs of whatever big bad government is shooting for. I was thinking of writing an article about the crazy financing of housing vs. living within your means and why heralded GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER Bill Clinton presided over that very time when the banks were dishing out money as fast as they could. No one ever dishes any of the blame his way, and yet, it should be so. Great points and well taken, and don’t think we didn’t heed your documentary you notified us of. I have thought about publicizing it but was hoping for an authentic link to it. In any case, we will keep the matter under advisement and are grateful for all of your wonderful viewpoints.

      Bp

      May the fork be with you!

      1. I truly believe that if more people would get genuinely informed we would move in a better direction. You and I owe have our parents to thank for instilling this in us.

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