Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The American Dream as it stands

Watch this video.
Ok. Now you know. And if you suspected you are working harder for less you are right. The thesis of Rocket Man and every novel dealing with the American Dream is that it is really a phantom. Take Gatsby. Jay Gatsby had rightly figured out that the American Dream was ultimately to be wealthy. Fabulously wealthy. And he attained it but then he was literally crushed by the forces that be. The Tom Buchannans. The one percent of his time.

Gatsby had tried to crash the gates and had been found wanting. He really didn't understand the forces against him as we know now. Income inequality. Even if you are doing fine you still have to be staggered that one percent of the population owns forty percent of the wealth. Or twenty percent at the top owns eighty nine percent of the wealth while the bottom eighty percent  (us) have 11 percent of the wealth! That is what we divide up. Think about how about the fact that one percent owns fifty percent of the stocks while the middle class own less than five percent. Think about that. These numbers are staggering.

Look around. People are working longer and harder for less. They literally look unwell. People have aged dramatically in the last ten years. Their clothes are older. Their cars are older. These all point to the shrinking pie. What is it...four hundred families own more wealth than one hundred and fifty million Americans! Clearly the American Dream has become one of unloading before the next catastrophe.

I would say the new American Dream is one of downsizing now. Not getting something bigger, but something smaller. It is something unheard of in the march of our country. It was always forward. Now it is one of trying to jettison property before someone loses their job. The American Dream is now simply one of finding something we lost along the way.

Rocket Man...the American Dream upside down


Books by William Hazelgrove