Saturday, November 3, 2012

What is YOUR American Dream?

On break at work last week, the TV was on the History Channel.  I saw a few minutes of ‘The Men Who Built America’ and I began to think…'What is the American Dream?'

Let’s define it.  I’d like the liberals who are progressives (Obama and his administration... unions... etc) to define it.  But PROGRESSIVES won’t, because they know the progressive dream isn’t the AMERICAN dream.  But some liberals  might.  They might still have real dreams.  They should at least think about it.  What is or was your dream?

My dream was never to be mediocre.  My dream was never to be ‘in the middle class’.  It was never to ‘aspire’ to be in the middle class.  I didn’t spend 5 years in college with a goal of having an average 1600 square foot house, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a job that would allow me to ‘get by’.  My entrepreneur professor in college was proud to state that he had 5 jobs.  Does anyone see something wrong with that?

What was My dream? I recently found a book of house floor plans that I had purchased while I was in college.  I looked at the modifications to a 6500 square foot house that I had penciled in, expanding it to add a home theater and an underground lab for inventing.  I had blown up a picture of a yacht and had it hanging on my bedroom wall.  Lady Kathryne.  No, not the ‘Lady Kathryne V' yacht that is everywhere on the net.  This was the 80’s.  A much smaller and cheaper early generation.  Something else I found recently was a poster of a gold Ferrari Testarossa that hung on my wall.

A part of my dream also consisted of helping others.  Many great foundations exist that were started by people who originally wanted personal wealth. The giving came later.  I studied their history.  I believed that as I developed the ability to attain the ‘stuff’ on my list, resources to aid other people would have also developed. How much could I help with a ‘middle class’ income?  How much could be given with a huge fortune?  How much could Bill Gates give if he hadn’t started Microsoft?  Onto that you could also add 'how much would he give if he hadn’t married Melinda', which I believe was the true beginning of his philanthropy.

That was my dream in my late teens.  Eventually the yacht (130’) became a houseboat (a big houseboat though…called ‘Never Say Never Again’ 100’ and one of the first multi-level houseboats), then a Tracker House Boat (a pontoon boat…about 24’…I don’t think they make them anymore), then gone. The Ferrari became an Infiniti, then a Ford Taurus SHO, then a Focus or entry Hyandai.  The house? I don’t even think about it anymore.

Did I make it?  No.  But do I ‘blame’ the government?  NO.  I can look back and say I decided to go to college.  A mistake?  Maybe.  I decided to change my major from I.T. to finance.  A mistake?  Probably.  I was programming at age 12 in a town where most people hadn’t even seen a computer.  Most of my ‘dream’ began by planning to build computer systems.  Oh.  And with the I.T. degree I was going to double major, with the second major in Political Science.  I loved politics even back then.  I decided to live beyond my means and get into debt instead of putting my money into stocks and investments to build up a fund to start a business.  I didn't take the chance of presenting one of my ideas to a bank or finding some investors (maybe one of those evil venture capital firms) to help with funding.

That’s one of the differences between people who live mediocre and people who actually achieve a REAL dream.  Not an Obama progressive dream of mediocrity.  They take a chance doing things that others won’t.  They put in long hours, that others won’t.  And I don't mean long hours with two full time jobs, as I did for many years.  I mean long hours where your own money and efforts are at daily risk.  They work with that risk knowing they can fail.  They do fail, but they do it again and again until they succeed.

People from all over the world want to come to America.  Do you think the people who want to come here from other countries dream ‘to be in the middle class’, or do they look at the wealthy Americans and say “I want to be like them”?  Did they watch a rerun of ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ and say “That can happen in America.  I want to go for that!”  People don’t struggle to get here from other countries so they can live in ‘the middle class’, even if the middle class would be considered rich where they came from.  That’s why so many of the small businesses here have been created by people from other countries.  They have taken the first step in the game of chance.  Just to get here in the first place.   They are risk takers at the core.

What is Obama beating people over the head with that they should dream about, while at the same time making people HATE and forget about a REAL dream?  I tried to find HIS definition of ‘The American Dream’.  I found a couple:

'…if you work hard you can support a family.  If you get sick there will be health care that you can afford.  That you can retire with the dignity and security and  respect that you’ve earned.  That your children can get a good education and young people can go to college even if they don’t come from a wealthy family.  That’s our common hope across this country.  That’s the essence of the American dream.'

---Presidential Candidate Obama - 2008

'…the folks I meet when I travel across the country, they aren’t asking for much.  They are just looking for a job that covers their bills.  They are looking  for a little financial security.  They want to know that if they work hard and live within their means everything  will be all right.  That they’ll be able to get ahead and give their kids a better life.  That’s the dream each of us has for ourselves. And our families.'

---Obama - 2010

Are those real 'dreams'?  It might be the basics that we need, but is it a DREAM?  Obama shrank the dream and  froze it in ‘the middle class’.  He never talks about real wild achievement.  A REAL ‘dream’.  Obama foments HATE of the rich, and wants people to even hate the idea (Dream) of BEING rich.

So what is YOUR dream? Progressives.  Where is the cap on the dream?  How much should you aspire to gain, and at what point is it enough?  At what point should you be TOLD by the government that ‘you have enough…be satisfied’?  Remember, if you become 'rich' then you are evil.  You seem to want the government to act as the ‘Dream Police’ and limit peoples dreams.  What do you want to put in place?  ‘Dream Panels’ to stop people from desiring more?  Just using Ford as an example, can people want more than a Ford Focus?  Will the government say ‘yes…but don’t desire anything more than a Taurus…anything else is excessive’?

I haven't been able to find it again, but a couple of years ago I stumbled upon an ‘Anarchists Lending Library’.  The books it contained were downloadable, and most of them were progressive books.  I read a few.  Progressives actually believe that they can alter human nature to the point that people will stop wanting to gain anything beyond what they need just to survive.  That is their goal.  And dumbing down the definition of  ‘The American Dream’ is their first step.  The book wasn't by Cass Sunstein, but they describe the same method of 'nudging' that he uses .  They aren't in a hurry.  They know what they want to do will take decades.  But they have already been working on it for decades.

It took money, risk, capitalism, the desire for more money, then risking it again to build America.  The progressives will say 'workers and unions are solely responsible for building America'.  But what would the workers have been doing if the rich hadn’t financed the ideas that created the jobs in the first place?  We would still be riding horses, and the 12 mile quick trip to the grocery store would be thought of as insane.  And it would be impossible.

Note:  I THINK I found the yacht.  It has been renamed ‘Sea Ghost’.  Around 1990 I think it was going for 8-12 million.