Most people today equate The Modern American Dream™ with the ability to receive higher education (usually by going to college) so they can get a good paying job to buy a nice big house filled with nice stuff, a fancy car, and have the ability to go on vacation once or twice a year. In other words, rising the ranks in America to achieve that “dream” ultimately equals consumerism, complete with lots and lots of debt.
For most young people who don’t have wealthy parents, what it really means is attempting to get all the scholarships you can throughout high school because otherwise you and your parents will be stuck shouldering a automatically life-killing amount of student loan debt right off the bat just to get through college. College tuition is always rising here. America’s loan debt is over 1.2 TRILLION dollars these days, and economists like to speculate all the time on whether or not this will be the next bubble to burst.
So, just to get your feet in The American Dream door today, you’ve got to pay to play.
The Game Is Rigged
Once these early 20-somethings graduate from college (again, many already drowning in debt), they get thoughtlessly tossed in a pool of applicants who are all just as qualified as they are to get the few measly good jobs that are left, considering that many of the jobs that people used to rely on in post-war America to fulfill that “dream” have been shipped off to China or Mexico or India. Our unemployment numbers are fudged because so many people who have fallen completely out of the workforce and given up looking for a job aren’t even counted. Nearly 100 million adults who can otherwise work simply aren’t in this country because they have no options. Labor force participation is at a near-40-year low. Next time you go out to eat, ask your waiter or waitress how many college degrees he or she has. Sometimes it’s two, but slinging plates was the only option available to make ends meet because that degree that costed tens of thousands to get are a dime a dozen to employers. And that’s how many young adults begin their road to The American Dream we are still told is possible for everyone to achieve these days.
Meanwhile, the wealth gap has grown so wide in this country, it’s a joke to even refer to it as a “gap” anymore. (Perhaps “wealth chasm” would be more appropriate.) And it isn’t just here. We live in a world where just 67 people have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion people in the world. It’s mind-blowing. Headlines like “Panicked Super Rich Buying Boltholes with Private Airstrips to Escape if Poor Rise Up” come out all the time. There’s something very wrong, and everyone knows it.
Here in America, a mere 10 percent of Americans own 91 percent of the nation’s stocks and mutual funds, and those people are the same ones essentially running everything. America is admittedly an oligarchy. A new study has confirmed that, “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Your opinion only matters in politics if you are in the top ten percent. Corruption is legal in America. Political influence is a commodity. The game is rigged. The rules are made up (by the elite) and the points don’t matter.