Fred Reed highlights an interesting point:
What the hell is the American Dream, I wondered? Seven credit cards maxed-out, living paycheck to paycheck, upside down on the mortgage in a boring house you don't really like, a job you hate but the retirement plan gotcha, your little boy buzzing on force-fed Ritalin, wife and daughter gobbling Prozac and everyone wondering, “Is this all there is?”
Actually, yes. Well, maybe a week at Disneyland with that stupid mouse.
The American Dream. There is only one apparently. It involves a spouse, a son, a daughter, a house with a white picket fence, and a big screen television. Oh, and don’t forget about the barbeque in the backyard, the American flag hung just above the flag of your alma mater. And let’s not forget the dog.
If you deviate from the Dream, then you are a freak, an aberration. You are to be shunned at your church, at your job, and in your neighborhood. This is because you didn’t take on the debt required to meet the material demands of the Dream.
You are allowed to have different opinions, but only those of which are allowed. For example, you have to be either for the Democrat or the Republican. Those are the options of the Dream and you are not allowed to deviate. Also, if you do not vote or vote for someone else, you still have to listen to the Republican or Democrat asshole who gets elected. That is because in a democracy, 51% = 100%. So choose your middle manager with that in mind.
If you are fat then you have to take medication to fix that. Well, it won’t fix the fact that you are fat, just the problems associated with (if they are problems) but will also cause other side-effects which will require more medication. Don’t worry about that, though, because it will stimulate the economy. Later on, you will have to spend other people’s money in order to cover these medications which are part of the Dream. All of this is done to keep the GDP high so those goddamn Chinese don’t make us look like fools.
The Dream involves your children going to government skools and absorbing as much useless knowledge as they can while attempting to reenact their favorite teen pop drama on the Disney channel. When they graduate, they will go to an overpriced, mediocre college, which will operate as an expensive young adult daycare, then move back in with you because they have no applicable skills and the retail job they now have doesn’t pay them enough to move out. Or the housing market is still in a bubble which keeps rent high. Either way, your brats will still be living with you and doing next to nothing with themselves when they aren’t working.
On top of that, you will be downsized to make way for younger workers whose parents deviated from the Dream. This is because you are approaching age 65 and the Dream requires you to retire, regardless of whether or not you can and want to work. However, since you are not quite 65 yet, they want to get rid of you before you start to do less and less work. They’ll see it as a cost-saving measure.
The Church you attend will hire a young pastor who knows less about life than you do, but you go along with it because he has credentials. He will advocate deviations from what was written in the Bible (Love Thy Neighbor) in order to coordinate with the Dream. The Dream requires that we spread it to others, even if they do not want it. There will be a Dream-related flag added to the Church and placed on next to the cross to remind us of our second religion and that the Holy Trinity is God the Father, God the Son, and the Dream.
In any event, as the good book says, everything is vanity, a chasing after the wind.
I need drink. Mr. Reed, won’t you join me?