Our server costs ~$56 per month to run. Please consider donating or becoming a Patron to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
Current time: July 21, 2019, 9:19 pm

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
"The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
#11
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
You probably did hear it, and you did those things anyway.  The data collected only validates something that's been a truism of folk knowledge for generations.

It's presence is ubiquitous in common expressions, songs, novels, movies, and the lived experience of the poor. It's at least as old as the alger myth, which may have been the authors direct response to those criticisms and general feeling. The failures (and end) of initial westward expansion created circumstances or exposed a reality that deadened whatever sense of unlimited american opportunity and mobility that existed prior to, after which point it carried on in the uninformed fantasies of migrants from other countries whose only experience of the US were those very same propagandist myths and legends. On life support, it got a hell of an assist by simply disregarding the demographics of the US for which american opportunity had never been true in the first place.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


Reply
#12
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
We never recovered from the Civil War. We never recovered from the Great Depression. We never recovered from that man being elected to the White House four times.

Meh.
Reply
#13
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
It's tricky, because to act as though lower class America is hopeless and there's no way to emerge victorious, by common definition at least, would be just plain wrong. Hard-working individuals who know where to apply themselves and constantly look to the wisdom of others, whether it is through books or the successful people around you, pretty much always advance. Very few people are actually willing to dismantle the comforts of their lives, no matter how small, in order to advance their minds and careers. Then these people, who are not particularly lazy but are not particularly driven either, blame the system. Unfairly.

That being said, there are legitimate structures in place to prevent people from rising. The American economy is purposefully designed to benefit the wealthiest, and rent-seeking keeps their billions up there... not down here. To channel Minimalist for a second, the only thing trickling down from the wealthy is their piss. Income inequality is horrendous, and no matter how positive every economic factor is, the middle class continues to shrink and the classes that spend the most of their money hopelessly watch as their purchasing power stagnates...while everything else gets more expensive. It is pretty despicable, and people have every right to complain. I can see, logically speaking, why people would say that social mobility is downright impossible. They're wrong, but I can 100% see why they would say it.

At the end of the day, it's about psychology. If you really don't think it's possible for you as an individual to make something of yourself and die with more wealth (financial and personal, however you define it) than you had when you first became an adult -- you won't. Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. So it's entirely unproductive to think there's no use to putting in the effort required to pick yourself up. You may not be wrong about income inequality and the issues we have, and these needs to be addressed through more progressive economic policy... but when you look at your own life and all you do is blame the system and hiss those who found success -- you're undoubtedly setting yourself up for complete and total failure.

But I am just a 23 year old baby, so... take that as you will.

They say the zip code in which you grew up is the greatest factor in determining how successful you may be. They're technically right, but I don't think it's the right conclusion. The psychology of the individual is the greatest factor. My girlfriend volunteered to teach young children how to read in the worst area of Washington DC. Sectors of the District are plagued with gun violence and gang culture, and the children who grow up in that environment have one specific belief firmly implanted in their psyche: this is my life now and forever. They have no expectations of getting out of that environment. They may long to be in another place, but beyond that vague daydream they have no expectations of themselves, except the ones that the society have dictated... which would be...well, not a whole lot outside of being a member of a tight-knit squad that you can rise up in (as long as you don't die.)

When you don't have faith in yourself, you're guaranteed to stay stuck where you are. Guaranteed.
Memento Mori
Reply
#14
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
What broad data like that suggests is that it isn't on account of any personal and correctable deficiency that the poor remain poor.  I think that you're underestimating how very much like you any other 23 year old is,.  Certain that they can take on the world and beat the stats.

The cynicsm of the poor, despite all of that, is well grounded in reality, a reality which no amount of personal faith can alter. On a lark, I checked the zip code map..hahaha, they nailed it. Kinda wishing I'd been from dakota at this point, I'd be doing even better. The wife is fuckin crushin it, tho. Indicates that my children can expect much the same in their zipcode, where that amount of money is worth alot more.

So that's good news, right? Ultimately that;s what I want for them, a life alot like my own..perhaps without the blips here and there. I don't expect any of them to be doctors or lawyers, lol. I'd be kindof disappointed if they were.

-what was really fun, is checking off other demos boxes and watching half the expectation just fall right the hell off. Had I been the wrong shade of lipstick, or born to the wrong parents..compared to my zip code peers, I'd be trying to raise 4 kids and pay off my commitments on minimum wage.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


Reply
#15
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
(April 16, 2019 at 9:41 am)wyzas Wrote: This feels quite defeatist. Glad I didn't hear this when younger. I might not have put myself thru grad school. Or made a comeback after two dances with addiction.
No just hard truths for most
Seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy -- myself.

Inuit Proverb

Reply
#16
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
(April 16, 2019 at 6:01 am)Gwaithmir Wrote: I can't honestly say that I knew exactly what the "American Dream" was supposed to be. I set certain goals for myself early in life and, by a lot of hard work and good fortune, achieved most of them. Great

Both my uncle and my sister went from middle class to 1%, so it's possible for some people.
Reply
#17
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
People sometimes jump off the skyway and live, too.

The american dream isn't the notion that a few people who do right can get lucky, it isn't even the idea of becoming a 1%. It's about the accessibility of the middle class ideal. Winning the lottery can put you in the middle class or the 1%, that happens too..but it isn't the american dream, whereas the data shows that actually reaching that goal is increasingly becoming an issue of winning a different kind of lottery. Even those demographics for which the american dream was once a reality are finding it less and less so.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


Reply
#18
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
(April 16, 2019 at 4:28 pm)Gae Bolga Wrote: People sometimes jump off the skyway and live, too.

The american dream isn't the notion that a few people who do right can get lucky, it isn't even the idea of becoming a 1%.  It's about the accessibility of the middle class ideal.  Winning the lottery can put you in the middle class or the 1%, that happens too..but it isn't the american dream, whereas the data shows that actually reaching that goal is increasingly becoming an issue of winning a different kind of lottery.  Even those demographics for which the american dream was once a reality are finding it less and less so.

I guess I should have mentioned that both my uncle and my sister became millionaires by hard work, careful investing, and in my sister's case having a great plan and a good idea to sell.

Both lived the American Dream in their own experiences, which I took to mean the opportunity to better oneself financially.

However, I certainly agree that income inequality is making upward mobility more difficult.
Reply
#19
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
(April 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm)Thoreauvian Wrote: I guess I should have mentioned that both my uncle and my sister became millionaires by hard work, careful investing, and in my sister's case having a great plan and a good idea to sell.  

Both lived the American Dream in their own experiences, which I took to mean the opportunity to better oneself financially.

However, I certainly agree that income inequality is making upward mobility more difficult.

My issue, though, is that "upward mobility" is not a good indicator of societal health. To me, it is this: if you are a hard working person who provides something useful to society, are you being shit on or not? The problem I have with capitalism (contemporary or otherwise) is that the vast majority of people who actually DO something useful for society are shat upon just because they haven't figured out the puzzle of "upward mobility."

"Upward mobility" is a shitty metric by which to gauge the health of a society. A better metic, I propose, is this: if you work 40 hours a week, can you afford decent healthcare and education? If this were the metric used to determine how "wealthy" a nation was, America might be lobbed in with the third world (albeit at the top of the third world).
Reply
#20
RE: "The American Dream" is just a myth we tell ourselves
What's a 40 hour work week?
God(s) and religions are man made and the bane of humanity. 

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. Ozzy or Twain/take your pick
Reply



Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  I like that American left are miserable Snora 82 1383 March 24, 2019 at 7:47 am
Last Post: Little lunch
  Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in the eyes of the American one-eyed foreign policy AtlasS33 9 168 February 4, 2019 at 10:04 am
Last Post: Yonadav
  It's Just One Vote and It's Just One Carbon Footprint Editz 16 195 October 26, 2018 at 8:59 pm
Last Post: wyzas
  Why are you American people, careless? A-g-n-o-s-t-i-c 27 563 September 11, 2018 at 1:38 pm
Last Post: Whateverist
  What would you change about the American public school system? Bahana 53 1894 April 17, 2018 at 4:02 pm
Last Post: Crossless2.0
  We Didn't Need A Study To Tell Us This Minimalist 22 558 April 4, 2018 at 6:14 pm
Last Post: wyzas
  D'uh. Tell Us Something We Don't Know Rex Minimalist 6 531 December 12, 2017 at 7:14 pm
Last Post: Fireball
  Tell Me Once More Progressives That Hillary and the WLB are "The Same" Minimalist 67 6646 October 26, 2017 at 4:20 pm
Last Post: Jackalope
  REMINDER...... American Democrats...... Brian37 0 232 October 19, 2017 at 6:41 am
Last Post: Brian37
  Tell Us Something We Didn't Know Minimalist 0 441 June 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm
Last Post: Minimalist



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)