Notice how that title is not a question, it’s a statement. I do not believe the American Dream is dead, but if we don’t start making better decisions, then yes, it will die.
But first, what is the American Dream? It’s being able to better yourself in your life. What does that mean? If you’re born poor you are able to work hard and rise above that poverty and gain prosperity. That’s it, pure and simple. It’s you being able to fulfill the dreams you have in your heart. It is not selfishness, because I believe when you get to achieve what’s in your heart, you will then be helping others. If your dream is to find a cure for cancer, isn’t that helping others?
If you have not been involved in politics, or hate politics, I urge you to start getting involved, because whether the American Dream is alive or not depends on politics. Politics can really be crap. For sure. But, that doesn’t mean you should shy away from it, does it? Brushing your teeth every day is crap. I’d rather not do it. I’d rather just get up, eat something, and head out the door. But, if I want a nice smile, I have to brush my teeth. If you want a country where you have something like the American Dream, you have to make an effort to preserve the environment that gives us the American Dream.
What is the environment? Easy answer: small government.
Do we have small government today? You’re either a full-blown communist or are completely nuts if you say yes. Just the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) forces you to buy health insurance if you don’t have it, and this forcing is done through the IRS. What! How can they do that? Simple, we haven’t stopped Washington. I believe we still can, but time is running out.
I don’t want to just sell books. I care more about the content of the books I write, because I believe in what I write. You should get a copy of my new Get Motivated for Liberty! nonfiction title. The eBook version is free on Amazon through 9/11, but then will only be $2.99. In it I write about having a hot sexy body, and how getting that body and the forces that try to prevent you from getting it are just like how government works. That hot sexy body is like the American Dream, it’s something better, an ideal. If you can understand that eating a bunch of junk food will gunk up your system and make it a lot harder to achieve having that hot sexy body, then you can understand that government works the same way: regulation, out of control spending, high taxes, all gunk up a country’s insides, and prevent it from being lean and mean. Please read my book to find out more.
We cannot let the American Dream die. If it dies, we have no one to blame but ourselves, not Obama, not Congress, not the media, us. We still have power over Washington, and our state governments, we just need to exert that power. Get involved. I just wrote a post on how to get involved. Read it, and do what I’ve suggested if you’re not already. You can. You should if you still want the opportunity to achieve what’s in your heart.
And what can you achieve?
Take me. I wasn’t born in poverty but we didn’t have a lot. I could have simply followed the crowd and gone through a regular four-year degree program and gotten a no-frills job at some corporation. And then I’d be a number, not a person. This was not my dream. Since I think big, my dreams have been to write stories, books, music, theater stuff, you name it, and to be rich and famous. Yes, that sounds cliched, “rich and famous,” but why not aim for something high? At this point I’m not at the place where I want to be, but I’m heading there, quickly.
Here’s the point though, right now nothing is stopping me. Even now we can still work hard and fulfill the dreams in our hearts. Other people in other countries can’t do this. In most countries, if you’re born poor, you stay poor, because if you try to rise up above your poverty, you are then a threat to the people ruling your country.
This is why I’m such an advocate of small business, and entrepreneurship. Hate big corporations? Start a small business and compete with them? But, here’s the problem. The more regulation Washington throws at us, the harder it is to make it on your own. The corporations can absorb the regulation and taxes, but usually small business can’t, they’ll go bust.
We’re not better people than anyone in the world. American exceptionalism means that we’ve had a smaller, less controlling government than other countries, which is the exception the rule, because most people live under government oppression. American exceptionalism is the American Dream.
I’ll tell you a story. I know I guy in India who loves bikes. In India motorcycles are called bikes. And in India most people can’t afford cars, so bikes are a very big deal. Also in India (don’t worry, you have to understand a few things about Indian culture first) doing what your family wants you to do is still very important. People here do what they want, so if you want to be a cook, you just go and follow that. But in India if a relative or parent wants you to be something, you are obliged to do what they want. So my friend did what his uncle wanted, which was to become a chartered accountant, which is the equivalent of a CPA. He hated it. It wasn’t really him. But he got through all the schooling and tests and got his certification. He then entered the offshore workforce and again was very, very unhappy. He wasn’t following his heart. I kept telling him that since he loved bikes so much, he should find a way to have a bike business, and then with his knowledge of accounting, he could really make it succeed. So at one point it followed my advice, he bought two bikes.
Well, India is far, far, far more corrupt than here. We should be grateful we don’t live in a place like India, and should do all we can not to go in that direction. You have to do quite a bit of bribing and favors for people in power to get anywhere. We still don’t have that here. But he kept on, and long story short, he has sixty bikes today, and is close to being able to run his business exclusively. Right now he supplements it with some teaching. He’s told me all the stories about what he has had to do to get to the point of sixty bikes. My reaction is always saying something like, “Wow, we really don’t know how good we have it here.” Because the government there makes people jump through far more hoops to get anywhere.
Having this bike business was my friend’s dream, and government was more his enemy than anything else. Look at the Affordable Care Act again. That legislation that was passed a very sleazy way forces you to buy health insurance. And the enforcer is the IRS. Will this help or hurt the American Dream?
What about the Dodd-Frank banking legislation? The banks just passed on all those fees to us, the people, and as a result no more free checking. See? Little by little it’s harder to do what you need to do to fulfill your dreams. Even if you do pursue traditional college, it’s harder to find a job these days. And people are keeping the crappy jobs they have because they’re too scared of leaving them.
All of this was caused by government. Well, it was caused by certain people who like the power of government, and then all of us not standing up to them and voting them out and buying the lies they’ve told us. I realize this is also an education issue, because if you don’t know better, you’ll fall for the lies for sure.
I can see why people don’t want to care, and just keep their heads buried in the sand. Yes, politics can be icky, really icky, but we are still in a strong place in this country. The problem is, that’s changing fast. Other countries see it, like this article from a Canadian writer about how Washington has handled Syria. He sees it, but do we?
We cannot let the American Dream die. I will not let it and nor should you. It’s so easy to get involved and be informed today. Why not start now? If enough people don’t do something to preserve what we have, then that’s it, the opportunities that are left will slowly dwindle to nothing. Then what?
Really, then what?