Monday, July 4, 2011

Week of 07/04/2011

The American Delusion
– by David Matthews 2

The late George Carlin once said it best when it came to the “American Dream”… he said it was called that “because you have to be asleep to believe it”.

I know that there are many that bristle when they hear that kind of talk. To them, the American Dream isn’t just a goal… it’s a cult-object. It’s yet another pseudo-religious symbol for them to prop up and worship at the church of the status quo. And they don’t like hearing ANYONE speak ill of it or to say what the rest of the populace are discovering the hard way… that it’s all just a façade.

The problem is that for the longest time, we did just that. We WORSHIPED “the dream”. We propped it up on a pedestal and we sold ourselves into the belief that WE ALL could have this!

We were sold on the belief that WE ALL could have our own little Wisteria Lane… our own little suburban paradise with the white picket fence and the two-car garage, the nearby schools and churches, so we could live our own little “Desperate Housewife” existence; raising our tax deductions so they can do even better than us when they become adults.

That’s the other half of the “dream”, isn’t it? It’s not enough that WE have to do better than our parents; we also have to make sure that our tax deductions, our precious children, do even better than us.

We were sold the idea that we ALL could have this “dream”, that there would be groups that help us make this “dream” a reality. They’d work their magic and make the numbers work for us so that we too could live that “dream” that we see on TV.

And for a while, we had that. We thought we were living “the dream”.

But that “dream” isn’t there for most people anymore. It’s gone. We’ve had to wake up and discover that we never really HAD what was being promised us.

We are waking up to a reality that is dying all around us.

We have an infrastructure that is collapsing all around us. Roads and bridges need repairs, essential government services are being shut down, public schools are being told to make do with less, police and firefighters are being furloughed, and there’s nothing that can be done about any of it because the money just is not there. Legislators are either unable or stubbornly unwilling to raise the tax money needed to pay for those basic services. There are too many people that NEED help and there’s NO help to give.

It’s called entropy. Stagnation. It’s the slow and steady rot of a community.

Things are still working, but not as much as they used to. Stores are still open, but not as many as there once were. Businesses are still working, but with fewer people and less pay for more work. Prices are slowing going up, but not the money needed to pay for them. Everyone is expected to do more with less, and the longer it goes on, the more the burden on us all increases.

It’s a malicious cycle with no end in sight. The longer this goes on, the worse things will be.

And yet the ILLUSION is still going on, isn’t it? The DREAM, the FICTION, the FANTASY is still being sold to us. It’s still going… full steam ahead. That’s the “message” that we’re still getting. The increased burdens on us continue because we’re told that “the danger” is over with. We’re in a “recovery”. Corporate profits have never been better, so if Corporate America is doing so great, then the rest of us should follow suit, right?

Oh, we’ll HEAR that “the dream” is in danger, but it’s supposedly all the fault of the people in office today. It’s “in trouble” because the “wrong people” got elected. Never mind the circumstances that put them in office… no, it’s all POLITICS. Our malaise just “magically happened” because the “wrong people” got elected and it would be fixed once the “right people” get put back in power. It’s yet another LIE on top of the current LIE that we refuse to accept.

Meanwhile we are being preyed upon by groups that deem themselves to be “too big to fail”. Groups that have all the money and all the power and all the influence to get anything and everything they want. And they’re not being held to account for their actions, even WHEN they are proven to have done wrong. These are the people that could resolve our dilemma TOMORROW if they so choose; and the reason why this continually progressive ROT is going on is because these same groups CHOOSE not to do the right thing.

Let’s get brutally honest here… the “American Dream” is no longer a goal for most Americans, viable or otherwise. It’s a FANTASY.

And this wasn’t something that just “happened” in the past two or three years, either. This delusion, this fiction, this out-and-out MALICIOUS FRAUD perpetrated on us all, and the stagnation that came with this FRAUD, has been YEARS in the making. YEARS.

It started with a little white lie that says that as long as Wall Street prospers, then so too will Main Street. Don’t worry about the “little guy”; just focus on the “fat cats”. Keep Corporate America happy and they’ll take care of the rest. That was the promise. That was the deal.

Only they didn’t live up to that deal. They took their profits and sent their jobs overseas to make even more profit. They were given thousands of H1B visas so they could bring in foreign workers instead of hiring people here. Downsized, right-sized, re-sized, outsourced, re-sourced, anything to make more profit.

But we were still being told that this was okay, because as long as Corporate America is making a profit, they’ll still find a way to help out Main Street… somehow.

And then the banks came in with their snake oil offers and their too-good-to-be-true schemes. “We’ll put you in a house. We’ll help you get that new car that you want. We’ll get you that big-screen TV you’ve always wanted. We’ll help you get new furniture and help you fix up your home and make it more marketable. Don’t worry about the numbers; we’ll make it work for you. Just sign your name on the dotted line and all your dreams can come true.”

Only they didn’t come true for most of us. We got pink slips from our workplaces. We got foreclosures from the bank. We were told that we had to tap into the reserves that we were saving for our retirement.

And now, over two years later, things haven’t improved. There are plenty who still cannot find work, that have been literally FORSAKEN by the rest of the world. They’re not even being counted anymore. Their money is gone but the bills still remain. No jobs mean no way to pay the bills or pay the mortgage or to buy new homes. No jobs and no homes mean no tax revenue for governments large and small to pay for those needed services.

And this isn’t a dream. This is REALITY. There is NO FUTURE for these people to dream about. They can’t strive to live a better life if there is no place for them in the here and now, never mind have hope for their children.

Yes, there are still plenty of people that continue to believe that “the dream” still exists. They have the luxury of taking advantage of everything that this country has to offer and then some. The rest of us, though, are forced to deal with a much harsher reality. It’s a reality that says that even this country’s own citizens are no longer welcomed here, and that the only goal for us is not to prosper, but to just survive.

1 comment:

Chuck Doswell said...

Wow! Powerful stuff, D2! But it's pretty much right on the mark ... the American dream was always just a fantasy for some Americans. The only difference now is that those ranks are growing ... and a storm is brewing ...