Throughout history America has often been referred to as the Land of Opportunity. For years, immigrants have flocked to America from all over the world for economic and social mobility. They have come with the aspiration of living the American dream. It is a dream that anyone who works hard, no matter how destitute upon arrival, can ascend in wealth and status, and perhaps to grand levels. The American dream may be the biggest catalyst of American prosperity and position.
To chase the American dream is a risk, but it is tempered by incentive. When actualized it is something that is earned, and it is mostly all yours, as it ought to be. It sounds good does it not? Probably because we are lured by greed and hoard, or because we value reward and responsibility, or both in an internal human battle. But, no matter the motivation and stewardship it is indeed the American dream. If we were honest with ourselves, I’m confident we would all agree that this is the essence of the American dream. Think about if it were you who achieved the American dream. Really think.
What is happening to the incentive to achieve the American dream? What is happening to earn your keep, keep your earn, and do with it what you find fit? Just last night during the joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama announced his tax plan, which really boiled down to the redistribution of wealth. Yes, as I don’t make $250K+, I will likely benefit from his tax plan at no cost of my own. But, that doesn’t make it ok with me. It actually makes me feel a little bit less of an adult, a little bit less of a man, a little bit less of an American. Why? I simply don’t feel entitled, nor do I want to benefit from the redistribution of wealth. I think we all would agree with this sentiment if we really subscribed to the American dream. Perhaps the diluting of the American dream is the very problem with America. Did I just hear Lady Liberty proclaim to the world “Land of Entitlement” rather than “Land of Opportunity?”
*Origin of Discursion: President Barack Obama calling the multi-multi billion dollar American Recovery & Reinvestment Act “the essential work of keeping the American dream alive in our time.”