What do you think of when you think of the American Dream?
One common but wordy definition of the American Dream is that it consists of a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.
I think it’s simpler than that.
I think the American Dream is the belief that every American can achieve success and prosperity through determination and hard work.
But is the American Dream still alive? Does it still exist? Is determination and hard work enough to achieve success and prosperity?
Personally, I fear the American Dream is gasping for air and may be close to taking its last breath if we don’t turn things around fast in this country.
And I fear that even those of us who have worked hard to earn whatever we’ve been able to earn may be in danger of losing it if the U.S. stays on the path it is on.
Last week, I mentioned an article about the impact retiring Baby Boomers might have on the stock market. And whether or not you have investments in the stock market, you could be impacted because of the effect it could have on the national economy.
Let me point you to the article once again. I’d like you to click on the link, read the article, and share it with your friends and family.
The article you need to check out is, “Federal Reserve: Aging Baby Boomers Will Crush Stock Market by 50%.”
Now, let me share something else I saw that has me concerned about the American Dream.
Because for me – and I bet many of you – the American Dream includes the ability to start our own companies or side businesses. And that part of the American Dream – the part that provides good paying jobs for millions of Americans – has never been at greater risk.
In a little noticed commentary, “American Entrepreneurship: Dead or Alive?,” Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of the famous Gallup polling and analytics company, had this to say about the evidence he’s seeing when it comes to Americans starting their own businesses.
“The U.S. now ranks not first, not second, not third, but 12th among developed nations in terms of business startup activity. Countries such as Hungary, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Israel and Italy all have higher startup rates than America does.
“We are behind in starting new firms per capita, and this is our single most serious economic problem. Yet it seems like a secret.You never see it mentioned in the media, nor hear from a politician that, for the first time in 35 years, American business deaths now outnumber business births.
“The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the total number of new business startups and business closures per year — the birth and death rates of American companies — have crossed for the first time since the measurement began. I am referring to employer businesses, those with one or more employees, the real engines of economic growth. Four hundred thousand new businesses are being born annually nationwide, while 470,000 per year are dying.
“Until 2008, startups outpaced business failures by about 100,000 per year. But in the past six years, that number suddenly turned upside down. There has been an underground earthquake. As you read this, we are at minus 70,000 in terms of business survival…Business startups outpaced business failures by about 100,000 per year until 2008. But in the past six years, that number suddenly reversed, and the net number of U.S. startups versus closures is minus 70,000.
“My hunch is that no one talks about the birth and death rates of American business because Wall Street and the White House, no matter which party occupies the latter, are two gigantic institutions of persuasion. The White House needs to keep you in the game because their political party needs your vote. Wall Street needs the stock market to boom, even if that boom is fueled by illusion. So both tell us, ‘The economy is coming back.’
“Let’s get one thing clear: This economy is never truly coming back unless we reverse the birth and death trends of American businesses. …
“I don’t want to sound like a doomsayer, but when small and medium-sized businesses are dying faster than they’re being born, so is free enterprise. And when free enterprise dies, America dies with it.”
OK. It pains me to share that brutally honest, fact-based assessment from the top man at Gallup. (If you want to read the entire commentary, click Here.)
But if we are to save the American Dream for future generations of Americans – and ourselves! – we must be honest with one another and we must realize that so much of what we hear from the White House, Congress and Wall Street is nothing more than a pack of lies.
And, as the evidence suggests, they are lying while America is dying!
OK, it’s your turn.
Tell me what you think about the American Dream.
Is the American Dream alive and well?
Or, is the American Dream being killed by the liars in Washington DC and on Wall Street?
Email me at [email protected] and share your thoughts.
Be safe, secure and free!
Rob Douglas – Former Washington DC Private Detective