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WHAT IS THE AMERICAN DREAM?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 12, 2012

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Is it still “the land of freedom and opportunity”?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

For many years, the American Dream was characterized as “the land of freedom and opportunity,” where a person could move about untethered and not be beholden to anyone, particularly the government. People were free to try their hand at anything if they were so inclined, thereby encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit. They also realized they had a say in how government was run, unlike several other countries, thereby encouraging citizenship and patriotism. The general belief was that if you worked hard, you could enjoy the fruits of your labor. I personally know this was the case with my grandfather who immigrated to America following World War I. It was his desire to have a better life and work environment than what he was leaving behind in Great Britain. To him, America was big, opportunities were plentiful, and the sky seemed the limit. After finding work in this country, he moved and settled his family, blended into the community, and never looked back. It was an arduous process to go through, but he was proud to become an American citizen, something millions of other immigrants were proud to do. They were all willing to work hard and sacrifice in order to realize the “Dream.”

I still believe this to be the American Dream but I fear it is changing. People now come to this country not necessarily for the principles it represents but more for the benefits they can receive, such as health care, education, and other perks such as food stamps and cash, thereby becoming the “land of entitlements” as opposed to opportunity. Such perks are putting a stressful burden on state governments, particularly those in the Southwest whose hospitals and schools are buckling under the strain. The general belief now seems to be that you will prosper regardless if you work or not.

Aside from illegal immigrants, a class of people has emerged in this country who have found it easier to live on government subsidies as opposed to working. So much so, it has become addictive and, consequently, apathy grows. In essence, they have become wards of the state. This has become glaringly obvious with Native Americans who are dependent on federal subsidies as coordinated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, under the U.S. Department of the Interior. Despite the millions of dollars given to them by the government, they have the lowest life expectancy and the highest poverty level, and where only one in four people have a job. All of this because they sincerely believe the government owes them something.

Helping those in need has changed from a charitable donation to what is perceived as a “right.” It is a harsh reality that as more people embrace the notion of entitlements, fewer people become available to pay for it. Keep in mind, only 51% of the populace pays income taxes today. When this percentage dips below 50%, the money will inevitably run out.

Not surprising, we now live in an era of two distinctly different interpretations of the American Dream, both of which are incompatible. Somehow, I am reminded of John Kennedy’s famous quote at his 1960 inauguration, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


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A LITTLE SILLY – Why we need a light hearted distraction now and then.


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7 Responses to “WHAT IS THE AMERICAN DREAM?”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A C.W. of Tampa, Florida wrote…

    ” …well done and well timed…”

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    An M.K. of Chicago, Illinois wrote…

    “We are in dire straights, indeed, Tim. And the lack of response to this piece pinpoints the problem; Apathy.

    Doing the right thing, though difficult, used to be an almost default response from good Americans. No longer. Some of the best people I know, personally; some of the most productive and successful, literally say that they don’t want to know anything…because it “messes” with their own “comfortable little corner” of the World. They are in for a very unpleasant surprise.”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A W.A. of the Dominican Republic wrote…

    “Great article, Tim. As a note, I dated a girl 30 years ago that lived in Montana. When visiting there, she showed me around the Indian reservation in Wolf Point Montana. Many, many very nice ranch homes in total disarray. Cadilacs (yes, plural) in the front yard that were totally beaten up and don’t run, etc. etc. She said that they get their gov. checks and immediately spend it on booze and drugs and it is gone within a few days after they receive their checks. I don’t fear for myself or wife concerning what is going on in America, but for my children (6) and grandchildren (6). I know that if Obama stays in office, American is doomed and the things you and I enjoyed while growing up will be gone forever. “The land of freedom and opportunity” will no longer exist.”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    Check out John Stossel’s report on Indian reservations –

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    I know two welfare families who are now in the third generation of sponging off the government. These people do earn money to supplement their public assistance. They have paper routes, they babysit and do other cash jobs to avoid losing their welfare benefits.

    In Michigan, a single mother who is on ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) must take classes in certain career fields as preparation to be self-supporting. One of these is CNA training. A friend of mine taught these classes and assured me that none of the women intends to work as a certified nursing assistant. They are required to show up for classes and they do, but my friend’s belief is that patients in nursing facilities would be in danger if these women were hired to care for them.

    I’m afraid the American Dream has become a nightmare.”

    Like

  6. Tim Bryce said

    An N.E. of Dunedin, Florida wrote…

    “Remaking America from the Ground Up” Has its consequences. Not good.”

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    A P.S. of Ocala, Florida wrote…

    “The Land Of Opportunity is fast becoming The Land Of Redistribution.”

    Like

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