Monday, March 22, 2010

RIP, American Dream

It was nice knowing you. I had 27 good years with you, when I believed that I could achieve anything I wanted, as long as I worked hard enough to get there. I could make choices about my education, my health care, and my money. I got an education. I got a job. I got married. I bought two cars and a house. I put away money for a rainy day. And I felt good about my country and the freedoms I enjoy here that allowed me to do all of those things.

But now you're gone. Now, more than ever, we will subsidize failure and punish success. Now, we will cut down excellence in order to guarantee mediocrity for all. Now, we will move out of the shining city on a hill and back in with the huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, and the wretched refuse of the teeming shores from whence we came. So, forget about that hard work stuff. Forget about your dreams of making it. Forget about being successful. Forget about working hard for what you want. It isn't right for you to dream, or succeed, or want. Just sit back and take what Uncle Sam gives you. He'll make sure it's fair. Sit back in your doubly mortgaged house that the bank can no longer foreclose on you. (What, you were making your payments? Silly you! Go spend that on brand new hybrid or some solar panels, instead!) Enjoy the furniture you bought with the credit card you defaulted on. Pour yourself a beverage you purchased with the food stamps or unemployment checks you've been getting for the last two years. And don't worry about going to the doctor about that chest pain you've been having - he doesn't have an opening until 2011, and by then he'll be out of business. Are you worried about losing your job with your newfound urge to slack off? Join a union - your union boss will have your back, and make sure you don't get fired. Or, if you do, you'll have a sweet severance package. Don't worry about any of that. Don't lift a finger! Uncle Sam will now guarantee you have your house, your health care, your food, and everything else he decides you need. He doesn't guarantee they won't suck; all he guarantees is that your hard-working neighbor's will suck just as bad as yours. So relax - or don't, whatever. The outcome will be pretty much the same either way.

Life is mediocre again in America - just like every other social democracy in Europe.

It used to be excellent, but I guess mediocrity is okay. It's not like we have any other choice anymore.