The American Dream

TED Talk: Why are we creating a world that no one wants?

The American Dream has been shattered and exists only as a figment of an imagination for so many people. This conceptual ideology is the fuel that acts as a catalyst so that we keep the machine moving forward. This nation is in crisis and society seems to be mesmerized by so many distractions and that they must keep working their fingers to their bones so that they can get their slice. My troubles is that I too have been chasing that elusive dream, trying to acquire those little luxuries that make that dream a reality for me. What I find now is that those products don’t last as long and I’m just left holding an empty wallet and shackled by debt.
Technology has definitely played a part in all of this. Human interactions are now through text messaging rather than a face to face conversation. When I walk by a restaurant, which should be an epicenter of connectivity, I witness two individuals across from the table from each other staring down at their smartphones. Something is wrong.
With that American Dream comes health care and the current model of you have to work to earn it, doesn’t make sense to me either. I’ve distilled down that in my own life, the real reason I’m working is for health care. Yes. I’ve got monthly bills to pay just like everyone else, but without health insurance I’m screwed. If we all just realize that we the people are already paying for the uninsured through raised premiums and deductibles, reduced benefits then a more socialized health care model just seems to make sense. The insurance companies are the only ones who have anything to loose and everything to gain in this current model. This seems like the only option left going forward to protect Americans.
The housing market has been crushed and continues to attempt to stand like a little calf trying to stand up for the first time in it’s life. The housing market is fearful of the past and trying to move forward, while the banks are left appearing dumbfounded that this all went down and stating that they don’t want to be in the business of real estate as many of their properties are in foreclosure and/or short sales. Just yet another reason I’m continuing to rent. Yes, there are numerous projects I’d love to do to my rental: put in rainwater collection, build raised veggie garden beds, put in energy efficient windows, but at the same time when something breaks I just make a phone call and it’s no longer my financial burden. Homes no longer seem like a smart investment to me. Yet, I still would like to own sometime. I guess I’m just not in a hurry as it no longer seems like a smart investment.

As I look toward the future the model must change and morph to reflect what’s important. I’m on the verge of a major downsize, ditch my cable, home phone, my iPhone, move into a smaller space that is more affordable to heat and maybe more energy efficient. I desire to grow, gather and hunt as much of my food as possible. Then maybe I can round at the edges at the local food co-op which is more expensive, but if I’m not buying that much it puts it into reach. I shop at Goodwill and Value Village looking for clothes and other essentials that can be purchase second hand. I own my car, but I take the bus to work everyday. I say all of this aloud here as I look to find ways to make cuts to balance my budget without having to take on a second job and to find precious time to spend with my family. I am a one of the 99%.

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Posted on March 14, 2012, in Reflections and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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