The original settlers saw the American dream as an opportunity to live and worship as they pleased, without an oppressive government violating their freedoms and limiting their liberties. As our country grew and prospered, the American dream became about opportunity and the ability to make a good living, own a home, and raise a family in accordance with one’s beliefs, all the while looking to provide a better nation for future generations.
But, what is the American dream in the world we live in today?
Consider that as soon as a person reaches the age of 18, they are encouraged to take out a student loan. They spend 2 to 7 years attending college (indoctrination camp) and if all goes well, they graduate with a massive debt hanging over their heads. Not only their own personal debt, but also the massive national debt incurred by our government, which has been out of control for several decades.
If a graduate is lucky enough to find a job these days, they begin their entry level position with a huge portion of their salary going to pay interest on their debt, and another huge portion of their salary going to pay interest on the government’s debt. God forbid they used one of the “ever so easy to get” credit cards while they were a student. If they happened to go down that path, they might be paying 30% interest on credit cards, on top of all the interest they are already paying.
We need to realize that very little of this money is actually going to pay back the principal on borrowed funds. The majority of the money is going to pay interest charges on the debt, which is simply a transfer of money directly to bottom line of the banks who originally lent the funds. I would suggest that the banks are not at fault. It’s foolish borrowers who are to blame.
For most of us, home ownership is also part of the American dream. Following that dream, a person takes out a 30 year mortgage on a home. During the first 15 years of the loan, most of the payment is going to payback front loaded interest on the debt. There’s a good chance the home owner will move on to occupy another home, well before paying off any significant portion of the principle. In the past, the price of a home would tend to rise over time, so that the home owner recouped some of the money they have paid out as interest. Unfortunately, that might no longer the case.
At every step along the path to the American dream, most of the money one earns actually goes directly to the banks, or into the coffers of government. In the end, many individuals have very little to show for their lifetime of hard work, except surviving on the measly scraps our kind government has so graciously decided to give back, with funds from the insolvent Ponzi scheme we call Social Security. Sadly, this is the new consumer driven, debt based economy we find ourselves in today.
When an individual goes into debt, it’s their own personal decision. However, they need to be aware of the consequences of that debt. When the government goes into debt, the citizens have little or no say in the matter. Due to the reckless spending of our political class, average citizens are destined to become enslaved. Future generations will be working for foreign countries and international banks, against their will, in order to pay for the sins of their fathers.
Government debt is not a new phenomena, and neither is the interest on the debt. Since 1988, the U.S. government has paid out trillions in interest payments alone, trillions that could have been spent on infrastructure, social programs or simply given back to the American people in the form of lower taxes.
A National Review Online article from 2010 outlined the point of no return.
The publicly held debt as a share of GDP will exceed 60 percent this year. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), debt will reach 90 percent of GDP by 2020. The interest on this debt alone will be $916 billion annually, meaning that one in five tax dollars will be dedicated to making interest payments.
If we don’t change our mindset regarding debt, the future is certain. Trillions more in tax payer dollars will go directly to foreign countries like China, in interest payments alone. Clearly, this is unsustainable.
It’s now time to get our fiscal house in order. No longer are we going to be able to live and spend beyond our means, either as individual households, or collectively as a people. The manufacturing base in America has been devastated, due to the outsourcing of our manufacturing to cheap foreign labor markets. With manufacturing gone and with service/tech industries being increasingly in-sourced, we are left with an unsustainable consumer driven, debt based economy. The wealth is slowly being sucked out of our country, both through the purchase of cheap foreign goods/services and because of the rigged “bubble” based economic system that is in place now. We lost trillions when the Internet bubble popped in the 90s, then trillions more after the recent housing bubble burst.
For most Americans, their wealth is contained in their 401k’s and in the value of their homes, both of which were seriously degraded and/or wiped out during the financial crisis. With our economy and stock markets on shaky ground, where does that leave us now? Doesn’t it leave us broke, with no real plans to dig our way out? That is certainly the way it appears.
The “Green Jobs” mantra is a red herring. When it comes to manufacturing solar panels and wind turbines, we can’t compete with cheap labor markets. Those technologies aren’t the solution to our energy needs anyway. Private sector investments in nuclear technology and leveraging our own natural resources are options we should be seriously pursuing. We will need to abandon the hysteria created by environmental alarmists, who are pushing the fallacy that humans are somehow responsible for climate change. Real science has shown that climate has always changed, will continue to change and that human contribution is negligible in these natural processes.
Unleashed, the U.S. can maintain its position as the greatest economic force in the world today. America has always had a proclivity for innovation and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. However, a large progressive government stifles both. Entrenched establishment politicians, who have brought us to the brink, must be removed from office. At the same time, we the people must be willing to change our ways as well. We must curtail our spending, pay down our debt and not look to government to solve all of our problems. It is now time to take responsibility for ourselves.
The American dream hasn’t changed much over the last 200+ years, but if we don’t make the right choices in our own lives, and in the politicians we elect to represent our interests, the opportunity to fulfill the American dream will soon slip away, never to return.