Remember learning in school about the American Dream? What was it? While there may be multiple versions of the Dream, they all have the same basic aspects: freedom, a family, a house, and a lot of money. The way that one achieves status in life is by hard work, saving, and more hard work. Sound familiar? If you have been a mainstay in the modern American society for the past few years, it may sound as foreign as Mandarin Chinese.
In an American society that has grown more and more dependent on government bailouts, funded social programs, and instant gratification, it is little wonder there are not many people who know what the American Dream really means. Hard work and responsibility are becoming relics of an ancient "blue-collar" America. Those that do work hard and work themselves to the top are living in fear of the current presidential administration, the far left, and the possibility that it will demand that they redistribute their wealth. Americans have gone from admiring hard working individuals who are able to make a fortune to demanding that they give them a piece of it.
The only other countries that demanded that their wealthy redistribute their riches were/are Communist or Socialist countries. As a Democratic-Republic, this is the last thing we should be asking the wealthy to do. Years ago, we praised individuals who worked themselves up from nothing to the top. Today, we want to tax them more and give their money to people who are less hard-working or less responsible. This is not to say that all hard-workers will be rich and everyone who does not work as hard as these people are irresponsible; rather, it means that there are some individuals who know that they need to work to achieve their goals and attain wealth while there are others who feel it should be given to them on a silver platter.
A few years ago, the state of Wisconsin had a higher percentage of people working government jobs than it did of people working for private industries. Not surprisingly, Wisconsin went into debt and raised taxes in order to pay the ridiculous amount of government employees (amongst other things). Today, there are more people working in private sector jobs, lower taxes, and many Wisconsin citizens are complaining and protesting because they no longer have their cushy government jobs; that they now have to pay just as much for retirement, pensions, and health care as all of the private sector workers. Private businesses are experiencing more growth, people are finding jobs (9,500 in July 2011 alone; and that is over half of the 18,000 jobs added nationally), and schools that went along with Governor Walker's Budget Bill are far better off and employing more teachers than those that extended their old contracts.
The point to be made in Wisconsin in regards to the American Dream is that private businesses have always, and will always, make up the backbone of the American economy. It is through these businesses that men and women have found wealth and prosperity. No one who was ever truly honest and pure has ever become rich in a government position; they are either rich before they take office because of the private sector or they lie, cheat, and embezzle while in office (sometimes both). Governor Walker and conservatives across the America are trying to bring the American people back to the mindset that hard work and responsibility are virtues that every person should have, and that by applying oneself, one can attain any goal and overcome any obstacle.
America used to believe that its best days lie ahead. People worked because it provided for their families, it gave them a sense of accomplishment, and because they were proud. They were proud to be Americans, and working in America made them a part of the land itself. America, to them, was the greatest nation in the world and being part of it made them great too. Even if they were not rich they had fulfillment, which is something no amount of money can buy. Today, our current administration would like us to believe that our best days are behind us and that we need to get used to a new way of life. This life will not be about attaining wealth, but distributing it. Parents will not have to work hard for their children because the government will do it for them with low-standard public education, government health care, and other social programs that do more to paralyze progress than promote it. A person's role should be what the government wants it to be: a blind follower who votes "yes" and relies solely on government for their every need.
It can be seen in America today: less individuality, no more pride in one's work, and a decline in individuals willing to take responsibility of themselves, their decisions, and their families. Along with it has come a decline in national morality and a sense of hopelessness among many Americans. Without hope, there is no American Dream. Instead, we are left with the American Nightmare.