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TrishL31
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 8:41:43 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/18/2011
Posts: 178
Location: Manhattan, United States
Thoughts on what the nebulous "American Dream" is?

For me it's the idea that I'm allowed to succeed, or fail, as wildly as my own merits will allow.

That's all I really ask from my government besides protect me from those who would do us harm. Just get out of my way and let me succeed without interference.
sprite
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 8:55:50 PM

Rank: Her Royal Spriteness

Joined: 6/18/2010
Posts: 13,563
Location: My Tower, United States
usually i play the optimist here, but i'm not sure that the American Dream exits anymore, at least for a lot of people. Seems like the window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller for a lot of middle class and poor. honestly, a lot of people seem to be happy to simply get through the day by day - things are tight and instead of looking to the future, we seem to be too focused on the right here, right now. Also, to get a plug in, MY american dream is the be 'allowed' to be legally married, a dream that seems to be STONEWALLED (see what i did there?) all too many times. to allowed to live in peace, as i wish, as long as i don't cause harm. it's simple dream, as is MLK's, which still hasn't come true for a lot of folk, either...

so yeah, MY American dream is that we can all be treated equally, all given the same chances, and those who have enough to SO much money, that they can afford to buy islands and mansions and jet planes and whatever will do the humane thing and do what they can to help out those who don't. i'm not advocating that they should be forced, btw, but simply have the compassion to do something good with their millions/billions.
TrishL31
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 9:05:34 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/18/2011
Posts: 178
Location: Manhattan, United States
sprite wrote:
usually i play the optimist here, but i'm not sure that the American Dream exits anymore, at least for a lot of people. Seems like the window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller for a lot of middle class and poor. honestly, a lot of people seem to be happy to simply get through the day by day - things are tight and instead of looking to the future, we seem to be too focused on the right here, right now. Also, to get a plug in, MY american dream is the be 'allowed' to be legally married, a dream that seems to be STONEWALLED (see what i did there?) all too many times. to allowed to live in peace, as i wish, as long as i don't cause harm. it's simple dream, as is MLK's, which still hasn't come true for a lot of folk, either...

so yeah, MY American dream is that we can all be treated equally, all given the same chances, and those who have enough to SO much money, that they can afford to buy islands and mansions and jet planes and whatever will do the humane thing and do what they can to help out those who don't. i'm not advocating that they should be forced, btw, but simply have the compassion to do something good with their millions/billions.



I can agree in part Sprite. I think we should all be treated equally without any form of mandates to "check boxes" when it comes to employment. Every job I've ever had I've wondered if I was the best choice or I was a "checkmark" on a form.

I'm not argiung the second point, I think people who have been blessed should feel enough compassion to help those who haven't but do I think their wealth should be "taken" from them and re-distributed? No. I do think they should feel enough compassion to donate to charities but I've never felt anyone "owed" me anything because they'd succeded and I hadn't. I see new cars and fancy homes and it gives me something to aspire too. I'm proud of what I've accomplished and pride and respect are earned, not given, by achievement. I'm not there yet, but I will be some day and everything I have will be because I earned it.

So I go back to my original point, I want the government to leave me alone and let me be happy.
MissyLuvsYa
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 9:06:06 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 538
Location: somewhere on the coast, United States
To be free to make it on my own and build a family, a life and a future in which any children I have will have a free free nation to grow up in without an oppressive overbearing government.

I am very pessimistic about all of that because our government becomes bigger and more oppressive every year.
TrishL31
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 9:07:13 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/18/2011
Posts: 178
Location: Manhattan, United States
MissyLuvsYa wrote:
To be free to make it on my own and build a family, a life and a future in which any children I have will have a free free nation to grow up in without an oppressive overbearing government.

I am very pessimistic about all of that because our government becomes bigger and more oppressive every year.



Welcome to the Republican Party Missy! :)
Ruthie
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2012 11:36:10 PM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 10/21/2010
Posts: 2,166
Location: United States
TrishL31 wrote:
Thoughts on what the nebulous "American Dream" is?

For me it's the idea that I'm allowed to succeed, or fail, as wildly as my own merits will allow.

That's all I really ask from my government besides protect me from those who would do us harm. Just get out of my way and let me succeed without interference.


The United States isn't a meritocracy. A person who is born to an upper class or middle class family has a head start on those who aren't. It amuses me that people born with advantages think that their position is a result purely of their own merit. You rugged individualists who believe that all you need to succeed is for the government to stay out of your way are living in a dream world. I doubt that you envision the kind of dog eat dog world that would exist without government.

Oh, right. You believe that the government should protect us from those who would do us harm. Why should they do that? Hire your own damn bodyguards to protect you. Why should the rest of us be taxed to protect you? You want to be free to poison the rest of us with unregulated pesticides and chemicals, tainted meat and produce, quack medications and charlatan schemes, and you want the government, which is owned by all of us, to protect you while you do it? I'll make a deal with you. You can be free to run your business without any government oversight when I have the right to come after you if you poison one of my children.

You want things both ways. You want government to stay out of your way and let you steal, rob and plunder without regulation, and you want it to keep you safe from the people you plunder. Typical Republican/neo-conservative bullshit. Murderers would love to have murder de-regulated too, you know. Thieves would like nothing better than for the government to stop interfering in their thefts. Why should there be no regulations on banks, but regulations on bank robbers? If businessmen are to be free of government regulation why not the rest of us?

Your own merits, indeed. Do you really think you've made it all this way on your own? Someone built the roads you drive on and the schools you attended, assuming that you attended school. Conservatives want to believe that they've done it all on their own, but they haven't, and you haven't. Do you really want to go back to a time when there was no government regulation at all, when people could sell you water colored with chalk and call it milk, when children could be worked in mills twelve and fourteen hours a day so that the mill owner could get richer and richer?

Of course you do.
_mal_
Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012 9:25:18 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/27/2010
Posts: 192
Location: Somewhere, United States
The American Dream...


...is dead.


Even if it was alive, why would I want to own a dog and have 2.5 kids? I dislike dogs. And it's not even possible to have two kids and half of a third one (is the third kid only a torso, or something?). Do people even have white picket fences anymore?
Buz
Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012 9:34:54 PM

Rank: The Linebacker

Joined: 3/2/2011
Posts: 5,149
Location: Atlanta, United States
TrishL31 wrote:



Welcome to the Republican Party Missy! :)


What planet are you levitating on?

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You can read it at: http://www.lushstories.com/stories/quickie-sex/focused-on-sex-1.aspx

deadlogger
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 8:12:51 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 11/2/2012
Posts: 18
Location: United Kingdom
Freedoms wonderful as long as they keep the others under control.
tazznjazz
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 10:22:44 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/30/2012
Posts: 329
Location: under bright lights, United States
The American Dream is simply life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, although some long ago Ad men [Mad men] decided it was two cars in every garage, two and a third children, wanting to one up your neighbor in the possession game to feed the hungry jaws of consumerism.
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 3:17:51 PM

Rank: Thread Mediator

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,655
Location: United States
tazznjazz wrote:
The American Dream is simply life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, although some long ago Ad men [Mad men] decided it was two cars in every garage, two and a third children, wanting to one up your neighbor in the possession game to feed the hungry jaws of consumerism.


Exactly.

It's a hokey concept to begin with. Either a politicized, nostagia-based tear-jerker about Ellis Island folks, or a shiny object to dangle in front of the consumer class to get them to work harder so they can buy more shit from everyone ese.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 3:42:25 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 470,082
I think it's what our immigrant relatives brought with them when they came here. Not too far off from what Ladyx was making fun of. I've heard many older people talking about their parents or grandparents wanting to come here. What it was supposed to be like here. The freedoms, the job opportunities, being able to "own" something if they worked to pay for it. A lot of people in other countries were not allowed to own land unless the kings gave it to them. Or sold it to them for a certain price. Sometimes that price was too high to pay in money as well as life. It's a large country with plenty of room for growing food and children.
As far as 2.5 children, it's statistics, math. The average American families had what amounted to 2.5 children. 1 car, the father worked and the mother stayed home. Of course these were all averages, there were exceptions. The population wasn't as high, technology wasn't as advanced. We've come a long way. Not saying there isn't a long way to go but evolution and advancement of societies takes time. It hasn't been that long ago that someone like Ladyx, not picking on you honey, wasn't even allowed to own property or cars or houses with her racial background. Or be able to do certain jobs or go to certain schools. Every set of immigrants have their own dreams of what they want in freedom or out of life. And they bring their own skill set to achieve it. My people wanted food and land, my relatives come from Ireland. Vietnamese people wanted freedom from communism, etc.
I think the American dream is alive and well. We still have a large influx of immigrants everyday. And new citizens everyday becoming naturalized.
Milik_Redman
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 4:03:03 PM

Rank: Internet Philosopher

Joined: 8/14/2009
Posts: 3,685
Location: somewhere deep under the Earth, United States
The American dream is alive and well. The problem is how that dream is perceived. In the past, it was understood that to get ahead, one had to work hard and earn it slowly. Today, people think economic success should be just handed to them without undue effort.

If one looks at the struggles people went through in the past, racial and gender bias, homophobia and religious intolorence, language and cultural barriers, etc. that undeniable fact it that today, it is far easier to overcome than it was in 1950. It may not be where we want it to be, but we have made amazing strides.

Economically, anyone today who is willing to put the effort into being successful that people did 100 years ago will be awarded with success. It won't be handed to you, you have to make it happen yourself.

No dream worth pursuing will be easy to achieve, and nobody ever promised it would be.

β€œIt is a great thing to know your vices.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero




http://www.lushstories.com/stories/cheating/a-trans-atlantic-affair.aspx
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 4:07:03 PM

Rank: Thread Mediator

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,655
Location: United States
chefkathleen wrote:
I think it's what our immigrant relatives brought with them when they came here. Not too far off from what Ladyx was making fun of. I've heard many older people talking about their parents or grandparents wanting to come here. What it was supposed to be like here. The freedoms, the job opportunities, being able to "own" something if they worked to pay for it. A lot of people in other countries were not allowed to own land unless the kings gave it to them. Or sold it to them for a certain price. Sometimes that price was too high to pay in money as well as life. It's a large country with plenty of room for growing food and children.
As far as 2.5 children, it's statistics, math. The average American families had what amounted to 2.5 children. 1 car, the father worked and the mother stayed home. Of course these were all averages, there were exceptions. The population wasn't as high, technology wasn't as advanced. We've come a long way. Not saying there isn't a long way to go but evolution and advancement of societies takes time. It hasn't been that long ago that someone like Ladyx, not picking on you honey, wasn't even allowed to own property or cars or houses with her racial background. Or be able to do certain jobs or go to certain schools. Every set of immigrants have their own dreams of what they want in freedom or out of life. And they bring their own skill set to achieve it. My people wanted food and land, my relatives come from Ireland. Vietnamese people wanted freedom from communism, etc.
I think the American dream is alive and well. We still have a large influx of immigrants everyday. And new citizens everyday becoming naturalized.


I definitely concede these points. I'm very aware of the bigotry against people like myself in past, less fortunate and free times. I think it's just the loaded meanings in the phrase that I bristle at mostly.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 4:15:46 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 470,082
I understand what you mean.
oursecret
Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013 7:51:01 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 8/14/2013
Posts: 17
Location: Caprica,, Liechtenstein
TrishL31 wrote:
Thoughts on what the nebulous "American Dream" is?

For me it's the idea that I'm allowed to succeed, or fail, as wildly as my own merits will allow.

That's all I really ask from my government besides protect me from those who would do us harm. Just get out of my way and let me succeed without interference.


Never ask the Government for your freedom.. It's not theirs to give..
Driver1963
Posted: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:37:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 10/4/2009
Posts: 80
Location: United States
oursecret wrote:


Never ask the Government for your freedom.. It's not theirs to give..

Amen!
LYFBUZ
Posted: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 11:07:03 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 12/27/2012
Posts: 2,954
Location: 1st star to the left, Canada
I thought the American Dream was to appear on a reality show....my apologies, I'm Canadian
kornslayer1
Posted: Monday, January 06, 2014 4:04:32 PM

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Joined: 4/1/2011
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Location: Mishawaka, United States
I guess to live forever

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