The American Dream, Devalued.

January 24, 2012

"Ambition is a Dead Sea fruit and the greatest peril to the soul is that one is likely to get precisely what he is seeking." -Edward Dahlberg

The Housing Fix
In 1995, President Bill Clinton touted the idea that, for millions of Americans, home ownership had come to symbolize the realization of the American Dream. He vowed that his administration was committed to ensuring that working families would be able to discover the joys of owning a home.
The president developed a plan. Working with HUD, housing industry leaders, non-profit organizations, and leaders at every level of government, Clinton and his team determined to boost American homeownership to an all-time high.
The result? The National Homeownership Strategy: Partners in the American Dream.
"This report identifies specific actions that the federal government, its partners in state and local government, the private, nonprofit community, and private industry will take to lower barriers that prevent American families from becoming homeowners. Working together, we can add as many as eight million new families to America's homeownership rolls by the year 2000."
And it worked! Home ownership increased. Dramatically. Until it didn't. Then home ownership fell. Followed by a vicious recession. Which brings us to today.
"You Can't Always Get What You Want."
The Rolling Stones know that. And they have everything.
Yet, the American Dream remains alive and well. We raise children. Coach them. Teach them. Take 'em on vacation. Choose colleges. Help with interviews. And regardless of their success in achieving specific vocational objectives, most of them will achieve the not-so-elusive American Dream.
They will wake each morning in a democratic society. Read the news. Express their opinions. Worship their Gods. Incite violence. Spread joy. Cheer. Jeer. And persevere.
They will leverage the Fruits of Liberty. Not necessarily enjoy them. We often don't enjoy that which we take for granted.
Liberty's Fruits correlate very little to the size of one's television. Car type. Or clothing brand. Liberty's fruits have little to do with the name on one's degree. Or whose name is on the deed of one's domicile.
Liberty's Fruits have nothing to do with how much you have. Who has more. Nor how much your paid. That's envy. Which is ego-based. Nothing to do with Liberty.
Liberty's Fruits enable you to say, feel and do what you choose. So long as you are accountable for what you say, feel and do. The day we are no longer accountable is the day that Liberty's Fruits have been hijacked and held for ransom. Financed, repackaged and sold to us--at a price. If that happens, then we will have forfeited everything that our founders created, fought and died for.
The founding fathers did a pretty good job of spelling out the American Dream. So good, that we don't require today's politicians, or special interest groups, redefining it for us.
So, to those who wish to legislate the American Dream. To distribute it freely, like cheese samples at the grocery market. You only cheapen it. Make it less valuable. That which is not earned can never be valued.
So, do my sons a favor. Keep your politics away from their liberty. At their age, all they have is dreams. American, and otherwise. Let's ensure that they continue to be worth the blood with which they were won.

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