Photo by Brian Auer
I been thinking a lot about the idea of the “american dream”. According to Wikipedia and it’s editors, “the American Dream is the freedom that allows all citizens and most residents of the United States to pursue their goals in life through hard work and free choice.” But that’s a very simple definition. If it was just a matter of freedom to choose goals, then everyone will be living it and there wouldn’t be nothing “dreamy” about that. No, the “american dream” is something that implies ridiculous success that can only happen in the US of A.
Basically there have been two “american dreams”. The first one is the “work hard, show up, save money, and retire happily”. The second one is “have an idea, start a business of it”. The first one lost it’s appeal because most manufacturing jobs and “work hard” jobs have been outsourced to developing countries. So the new dream is starting a business. Everyone is starting a startup. It’s gotten to a point that not wanting to be an entrepreneur is kind of frowned upon. Everyone has bought the idea that being “independently wealthy” will make you free and happier because you don’t work to make someone else rich. Happy employees? Don’t make me giggle.
But the dream, the two dreams, have turned into a puff of smoke. And it’s not that I believe that capitalism is going to collapse, that’s to big a subject for my tiny brain to grasp, but the American Dream is just another part of the “boom and bust” economy. The dreams seem possible in a boom, but very far away in a bust.
So how will the new “american dream” look like? I have absolutely now idea. My dream, or my utopia, is a world that rewards you based on your efforts. Intellectual or physical efforts. No more shortcuts and schemes. No more inflated money industries like real estate, major league sports, or million dollar actor salaries. People that sweat for money would get paid more. People that risk their lives like policemen would get paid more. No more giant divide between the rich and the poor. No more bullshit.