The Spitfire's Grill
Regular Rants from a Pragmatic Liberal
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
 
Topic of the Day: The American Dream
Today's Topic of the Day was inspired by all the bickering over tax reform, capital gains, state intangibles tax, etc.

Warning: Today's Topic of the Day might piss some of you far-lefters off.

THE AMERICAN DREAM

If you say that the American Dream is to live in a country where every single person has a decent standard of living and no one gets left behind, I have a tip for you: move to Scandinavia. Studies have consistently said that Sweden and Norway have the happiest people on earth and their cradle-to-the-grave welfare system should be implemented everywhere. The United States wasn't founded on a greatest happiness principle. We were founded on a dream, a dream that if you work hard enough you can raise a family without worrying about how you're going to pay the next bill or what you'll do if you have a serious health issue. A dream that if you set out with an honest plan and a straight mind and an indomitable will, you can do anything.

Do Democrats have this same dream? Not entirely, the far left has a socialist twinge that really does belong in Sweden.

Do Republicans have this same dream? Not at all (hence why I'm not a Republican). Conservatives dream of a world where their children can do anything regardless of whether they deserve it or not.

You see there's really two steps to the American Dream:
  1. Give individuals the chance to gain the skills they need.
  2. Let 'em loose and don't hold them back.
The first point is all about Education. This is why I believe there should be a significant number of merit based scholarships (possibly weighted by need) so that motivated people, from no matter what walk of life in our country, have a chance to get the skills to do whatever it is they want to accomplish in life. We need a university education system that brings talent into our country, instead of the xenophobic system we have right now.

The second point is about being pro-growth. For example, the abomination of rules we refer to as our "Tax Code" does a lot to hamper growth (the question is: do we trust Congress, led by the likes of Tom DeLay, to fix said tax code?). I say give people the right to pursue their dreams. If they aren't right for it, the market will take them out quite quickly and put them in their proper place. Our current tax code is alright for the poor, superb for the most wealthy, but really hands it to the middle class--the very people trying to achieve their dream.

If these two criteria are achieved, then the only person to blame from preventing you from achieving your dream is yourself. And even then, you can always move to Sweden.


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