The so-called American Dream has been slowly and steadily diminishing in the hearts, minds and lives of all Americans over the last century, and this tragic situation has very little to do with money.
News media reports of two studies released this month, however, ostensibly “point to a troubling demographic shift that puts the American Dream out of reach for an increasing number of U.S. citizens, especially children.”
The Southern Education Foundation found that, for the first time in 40 years, the majority of public school students in 13 southern and four western states are living at poverty levels. "We've had very slow economic growth, and particularly falling real wages for workers with less experience and less education for more than 30 years. So, this is a long trend in the making," explains Russell Sage Foundation president Sheldon Danziger.
Another study by the group Opportunity Nation found that one in seven young adults between the ages of 16-24 is "disconnected" -- meaning neither in school, nor working. "We have too many kids who graduate from high school who are not well-educated, they're not good in reading, they're not good in their numbers and they're not prepared to learn a lot more that a company would want them to learn in order for them to work for that company," says Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution.
They point to a 1965 report by then-Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan which referenced a demographic trend of single parent families as the primary cause. Now about 70 percent of black and 50 percent of Hispanic children are born to single mothers while the single parenthood rate among white families is rising faster than for the other two groups.
"The kids in single-parent families are around five times as likely to be poor as in a married couple family,” says Haskins. "The key thing about the Moynihan report that doesn't get discussed a lot, is the way he said to stop it is to make sure people have jobs. And there's pretty good evidence that in areas where there are more jobs, there are more married couples," says Danziger.
"High-income families have much greater parental inputs, they're better fed, they're better housed, better clothed, they have extracurricular activities, their parents provide them with iPads and educational activities that low income families can't afford," Danziger adds.
"As long as that's the case," Haskins opines, "it's going to be very difficult for any government program to have a substantial reduction in poverty, unless we just give them money, which American voters don't like, and I don't think will happen."
What’s wrong with this picture?
Both of these firmly entrenched government statists are convinced that the American Dream involves money. If only the government would provide more jobs or, failing that, more money to poor people, they reckon, those people would realize the American Dream. They actually think that the American Dream can be furnished through government programs and handouts.
But the American Dream is not about money.
The American Dream is what the American colonists were fighting for during the Revolutionary War. It is what every immigrant has been seeking since that war was won as the reason for coming to America.
The colonists weren’t fighting to force the British government to give them more money. They weren’t fighting to force the king to furnish them with more jobs.
The waves of new immigrants who turned the United States of America from a backwater nation into a powerhouse of innovation and wealth did not come to these shores with their hands out begging for government provided jobs and financial assistance.
The American dream is about liberty.
The American dream is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
That liberty is gone.
There is only one way to restore the American Dream to all Americans:
The American people must rise up in unison and demand restoration of their liberty!