Yes, unless you were born with means or have made enough to last several lifetimes, this GOP is stealing the American Dream out from under your nose.
Immigrants that hoped for a better life in America, along with other minorities find themselves in a country that is unsafe and bitterly disappointing. For the rest of the striving masses, things are no better. The demise of programs to provide medical care to children, family members, your spouse and yourself have already been negotiated among thieves, the savings will be divvied up and delivered to rich scoundrels around the country while you lose your health and ultimately perish.
For young people hoping to go to college, a high school diploma may be all they can manage as the cost of education & books continue to skyrocket, student loan payments & loan interest continue to rise, tax deductibility for interest is taken away. In making education so costly, our current “government” is enslaving the very people most likely to contribute to society & making sure they will never make quite enough money to break out of the cycle of poverty.
People constantly in financial survival mode cannot thrive in the long run. Thirty years without wage growth so rich people can get richer has turned striving for the American Dream a nightmare, primarily due to GOP’s corporatist policies & frankly, cruel policies.
I have my own American Dream, but it’s beginning to look like more of a long-shot than ever. Years of financial upheaval have taken a toll. When the tax law passed the other day, I was sick. I had a bothered mind. Bothered about the future of a promise I made to myself at eight years old. My grandparents on my mother’s side were All-American. Except that they were children of German immigrants. Looked up salt of the earth, and there they are.
My Grandfathers father worked on the railroad. My grandmother eventually succumbed to my grandfather’s pestering and married the boxcar-hopping Ortheal Leon Meyer. “Lee” decided to get a job with a military contractor, and eventually worked for General Dynamics / Convair in San Diego after training in the Midwest. Grandma told me stories about the room they stayed in when he was in school. It was infested with bedbugs and Grams never forgot it. I had nothing but respect for my Grandparents, but I never wanted to become an industrial slave like my grandparents did. They led an honorable life, and I guess the sacrifices they made were worth it for them. But I wanted to make my own way.
They worked hard. Always. There was nothing left after work and that went on until they both were about to retire. They never would have been able to make it these days. It makes me sad to see what giving their lives up like they did would have left them if they were born at a different time. The point is, I saw what it took out of them. They always colored in the lines, did the right things. But they might even be homeless today if they were born 50 years later.
At least when they came up, you could get a job and work for a company your entire life and retire with a pension. Pshht. That hasn’t been true for a long time. After they retired, they got to go on a couple of vacations. It wasn’t long, however, before health issues stole back the freedom gained by retirement. My grandfather was needed a quintuple bypass surgery, then after many years he had a stroke, which is what ended him. My grandmother had a quadruple bypass. Medical bills would have decimated them if it weren’t for the fact that they both worked union jobs all their lives and had retirement income and medical coverage for life.
I remember deciding that I would be my own boss. That I wouldn’t burn my life force up in the furnace of industry unless I was calling the shots. That turned out to be a fateful decision. Now I see that much of my life has been lived unconsciously trying to fulfill that decision, but because of economic realities, I’ve fallen into a black hole. I haven’t had the opportunity to build a retirement income. The wage stagnation for Americans over the last thirty years via poor economic policies and short-term thinking among craven politicians has really made “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” much more difficult. The boots are worn out and the leather is brittle. I have the ideas, the drive, the desire, the plans, and yet, without seed money I’m forced to work for what are essentially slave wages that NEVER cover all my expenses, and I fall deeper into oblivion.
Ah well, we all have our problems. It won’t stop me from working towards my dreams, but it would help if we had more compassionate and creative public servants in office.