The U.S. grew to be the greatest nation in history by allowing its citizens to capitalize on their own potential. A free market system provided incentives for entrepreneurs to start at the bottom and, with dedication and hard work, gain both affluence and influence. This radical departure from previous class-based cultures evened the playing field by providing equal opportunity to all.
Unfortunately, as government intervention has eroded our liberties, so too has our collective faith in the American Dream been undermined. According to a recent Bloomberg poll, just one out of every three Americans believes such success is realistically achievable.
While many choose to blame the very free market that makes success possible, the poll includes a somewhat encouraging adjunct. More respondents believe our nation would be better suited if the government stays out of the market than think we need even more bureaucratic intervention.
Of course, among the lowest earners, more than half feel that additional laws would somehow improve their lot in life.
Over the past several generations, the American Dream has been redefined by lowering the bar for everyone. Instead of encouraging meaningful education and a strong work ethic, our government literally markets welfare programs designed to confine recipients to a life of economic slavery.
Opportunity still exists in America, though, and risk-takers continue to exploit our ample resources in a quest to achieve their personal dream. Instead of being celebrated, these achievers are routinely trashed by leftists who thrive on class warfare propaganda. Political science professor Janet Gornick, for instance, wants to revert to a time in American history in which the wealthy were allowed to keep just 10 percent of the money they earned. The rest, of course, went to fund wasteful government largesse.
“You’re not going to kill the economy by increasing the tax rate on those who benefit the most from the country’s infrastructure,” she claimed. One wonders how she would explain the unparalleled economic growth that accompanied Ronald Reagan’s post-Carter tax cuts.
In fact, punishing success will only result in less aspiration toward said success. This would ultimately result in a population of takers almost entirely reliant on government handouts. Far from the American Dream, such a scenario constitutes the objective of the power-hungry political class.
–B. Christopher Agee
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