Only 64 percent of Americans still believe in the American Dream, the lowest in two decades. In early 2009, 72 percent of Americans still believed that hard work could result in riches.
“Things have changed a lot,” Michael Herdmann, a 54-year-old retired public works employee from Fairview Park, Ohio, said in a follow-up interview. “The decks have been stacked against not only the lower class but also the lower middle class.” NYT 12-1014
So, in the last six years Americans are less inclined to believe in the American Dream. Many are more inclined to believe in the “deck being stacked” or the “system being rigged” or the unfairness of taxes, income, wealth or inequality.
Do you believe the American Dream is dead? I don’t and I suspect the millions of citizens of the world seeking to live in America don’t either.
I do believe the drop in those believing in the Dream is caused by one factor and one alone; political populist rhetoric! Largely the result of Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Robert Reich, Paul Krugman and others creating the “I’m a victim” and “average people have no chance,” the system is rigged” mentality.
We have heard nothing but negative rhetoric for six years and six years of America going from leader in the world to one of the bunch with attitudes among our leadership to match. What better way to be a loser than if you don’t have to take responsibility?
Don’t let anyone tell you that America’s best days are behind her, that the American spirit has been vanquished. We’ve seen it triumph too often in our lives to stop believing in it now.
A hundred and twenty years ago the greatest of all our Presidents delivered his second State of the Union Message in this chamber. “We cannot escape history,” Abraham Lincoln warned. “We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves.” The “trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation.” R Reagon
And by the way, the American Dream isn’t about riches, it’s about opportunity, about doing a bit better with each generation, about security, hope and freedom to follow different paths…hard work, but mostly opportunity in all its forms and that is not dead.
Categories: Observations on life