"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Oct 12, 2007

The American Dream/Myth

Americans Don't Believe in the
American Dream

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted October 12, 2007.


More and more working Americans are realizing that the game is rigged against them

The American Dream is Dead, gone along with the era of good union jobs, comprehensive employer benefits and real upward mobility, and most working people are fully aware of the fact.

That's the takeaway from the latest installment of the American Dream Survey, a study of working Americans' views of the political-economy released in late September.

It paints a picture of an increasingly frustrated working majority who are having a harder time raising their families than the generation before them did, and who believe that things will be even worse for their kids. They have reason to believe it -- a 30-year assault on organized labor, neglected minimum wage increases, fewer educational opportunities and the constant tide of pro-business propaganda being pumped out by right-wing think tanks and business roundtables that enforces the idea that working people are faceless "inputs" -- costs that need to be controlled -- have left Americans with far less social mobility than they had a generation ago. Contrary to common belief, Americans have less opportunity to move up the economic ladder than Canadians and Western Europeans (except for those in the UK).

To some extent the Dream was always a myth, especially for people of color, but in a very real sense we've reached a point in which we're looking at a break in America's implied social contract -- we were supposed to trade security, in the form of the kind of robust safety nets that they have in social democracies, for "dynamism," for supposedly unlimited opportunity. But the fact is that working people are walking a tightrope with little in the way of safety net, and they have less chances of making it big than their counterparts in other advanced economies.

Conservatism killed the American Dream, and most working people understand that on some level. But while they blame the same elite corporatists as progressives have pointed to as the culprits for years, they are also deeply uncomfortable with the idea of class and, after 15 years of Democratic Party "triangulation," aren't sure which political party is responsible for casting them adrift, rudderless, on the currents of the global economy.

read the rest>>

2 Comments:

At 7:10 AM , Blogger Jersey Cynic said...

'They call it the American Dream because you gotta be asleep to believe it.'

~George Carlin

Hi Indi - hope all is well.

 
At 12:07 PM , Anonymous Ind... said...

Likewise, JC, and thanks.

I was just thinking about you.

 

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