According to the USA Today, the American Dream has a price tag of $130,000 for a family of four. If you are not living in a $275,000 home, spending $13,000 a year on food, driving a four-wheel-drive SUV, and spending $9,000 a year on vacations, cable television, clothes, Internet, and a cell phone — you’ve failed.
According to the paper, 7 out of 8 Americans have failed.
This is exactly the kind of thinking we have come to expect from our cyborg mainstream media: shallow, yuppified, consumer-driven, money-hungry equations used as hard measurements to judge the promise of America.
The reason for this — other than the media itself being shallow, yuppified, and money-hungry — is that it allows for the USA Today to write about how America has failed and how we’re all getting screwed and CAN WE EMPOWER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SPREAD THE WEALTH ALREADY!
I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I wasn’t living the American Dream. Even when I was 19 and living on my own making only $150 a week. Times were tight (rent alone was $225 a month), the neighborhood dangerous, and a city bus my only mode of transportation.
Life was good. No, it was great. The job broke my back but I was on my own. I was free — free to lock my apartment door and lose myself in books all weekend; free to try and better my situation, which I eventually did.
Happiest, most contented guy I’ve ever known probably made less than $20,000 a year. He was paying a mortgage on one of those pre-fab, three bedroom houses that cost about $35,000. It sat on a couple of acres covered in trees and off a dirt road. My pal adored his wife, his two kids, his dog, cleanliness and his Bible. His pick-up truck was rusty, but it worked and if it didn’t he could fix it himself.
He worked on and off moving other people’s trailers. The money was enough to cover his nut, feed his kids, and enjoy a kind of freedom that those of us in the rat race for $130,000 a year will never know.
When I knew him I was slowly dying in a high pressure job as a corporate bill collector that paid ridiculously well.
Which one of us was living the American dream?
I understand that in order to get Inequality Grifters like Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren elected the USA Today has to tell 85% of Americans that their country is shafting them. But I also understand that the American Dream has nothing to do with the media’s partisan, bubbled, manufactured lies.
The American Dream is about living in a country where you can pursue your own definition of the American Dream freely and openly, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the freedoms of others.
Almost all my adult life I wanted to make a living as a writer. It didn’t happen until I was past 40. But all those years in-between I was still living the American Dream, and many of those years were financially lean and filled with failure. All that mattered, though, is that I was free to pursue my goal.
My buddy probably still lives in that trailer. His kids, who learned from their parents not to be shallow, yuppified, consumer-driven, money-hungry USA Today types, probably worked their way through college or settled down into a life of contentment that escapes even the wealthiest among us…
Being happy and satisfied with what you have.
It’s not about STUFF, it’s about happiness.
If I’m not bothering you, leave me alone to live the life I want.
That’s the American Dream.
And that’s exactly what Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and the USA Today want to take away from us.