You want to know what the American Dream is?
That's it. There is nothing more to it.
[The American Dream is] that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.
James Truslow Adams
From “Epic of America” -1931
Nowhere does Mister Adams say the American Dream is to lay around swilling beer like some incapable lout bitching about someone not handing you a job on a silver platter. We're all out of silver platters largely because the price of metals have gone through the steel corrugated roof.
You notice Adams says “for everyone”? Did you see that? Everyone. Not for a select few but for every person residing in America. It seems Americans (and many others around the world who claim the same ideals) have lost touch with this simple sentiment.
I find it interesting that some Americans (not all inclusive, obviously), have done such a stellar job exporting those ideals (and Walmart and McHappy Meals and iPhones and the Almighty Buck) to the world and then lay around bitching while slouched on the sofa, during another rerun of the Price is Right, that the world has taken their dream of a forty year job at some mundane-jobbed smoke farting factory. The world has done no such thing. You gave it away by demanding more and more while other country's citizens claimed they could do it for less.
You priced yourself out of your own market.
That's point A. Point B is this...
Some Canadians and some Europeans and some Asians and... and... and... aren't any different in their lousing. Everywhere on the planet there are people who want more opportunity. It's not as if Americans are the only ones grousing about loss of jobs and high living expenses. You ain't that special.
So... America... you have accomplished your mission. Bitching and complaining because someone else won't keep you in beer and Cheetos has gone international. The American Dream hasn't stayed confined within the thin red borders of the good ol' U.S. of A. It's dribbled into Mexico and Canada and European countries and African countries and Middle East countries and South American countries and Asia, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
And yet, each of those countries and America all blame the other for doing what they, themselves, are doing.
The dream of opportunity and recognition is not an American dream. It's a global dream. A human dream. Get over it.
Point C is this...
“According to ability and achievement”
If all you're achieving is moving from your sofa to a lawn chair to the bathroom to the lawn chair all while emptying another case of Bud Light, then you'll be treated like a lazy, drunken slob. Because, Sunshine, that's all you've achieved.
Somehow the American Dream has been twisted over the past 5 decades or so to mean, “You owe me a job and an easy peasy life because I'm American.”
There are people out there with real issues who struggle daily to make ends meet doing whatever they can to survive and keep their family going. People with two or three part time jobs. Single moms and dads mopping floors. Unemployed people washing the windows of cars at stop lights. Other people in beat up old cars and trucks who are cutting lawns or painting decks or shovelling driveways or doing odd jobs. There are young folks in their twenties and thirties willing to take any job just to secure their own independence... despite a college or university education. There are people from foreign countries filling niches most home grown people scoff at as beneath them. These people are trying.
These people still believe in the dream.
The American Dream has never been about a government “bringing jobs back to America”. In actual fact, the American Dream has never been exclusively American. The American Dream has always been about the individual having the opportunity to try to do something on their own. Somehow, since Adams coined the phrase in 1931, we have bastardized the term to mean someone else is going to give us the opportunity.
The jobs didn't go away. The Dream... the term... became global.
It's not about bringing jobs back to America. It's about being innovative in your own life. That's the opportunity!
The opportunity has always been there. Whether you choose to take it or not is your choice. It's not the problem of big business or governments. Big business's job is to make money and they don't care where the jobs are. The government's job is to provide an atmosphere where opportunity exists.
It's your job to create your life the way you want it.