Originally Posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN
Nothing wrong with that.
That's the American Dream many of us grew up believing.
Problem is, the dream of prosperity tuned into pure "greed is good" and "it's every man for himself" at some point.
That's NOT the American dream.
Exactly. I think it's great that George Romney could provide such a privileged starting point for his children; that's the dream of any parent. Obama himself, though his book sales before his election and the inevitable millions he'll rake in after holding office in appearances and further publishing will give his children a similar financial leg up.
But celebrating and encouraging that kind of success should come with an understanding that, by mathematical necessity, only a very small percentage can attain that kind of economic security. The rest of us will be living pay check to pay check, hoping to build some kind of nest egg for our families, but also at the mercy of life events that can leave us vulnerable at any moment.
Debating how to provide a safety net for that vast majority is worthwhile, and I'm honestly sympathetic to conservative thinking in many related areas. But this recent trend to outright villainize the poorest people in this country is insane to me. As David Brooks pointed out recently
, this isn't so much traditional conservatism as Randianism run amok:
There was certainly no conservatism as Edmund Burke understood it, in which individuals are embedded in webs of customs, traditions, habits and governing institutions.
Todayís Republicans strongly believe that individuals determine their own fates. In a Pew Research Center poll, for example, 57 percent of Republicans believe people are poor because they donít work hard. Only 28 percent believe people are poor because of circumstances beyond their control. These Republicans believe that if only government gets out of the way, then peopleís innate qualities will enable them to flourish.
...I donít see what the party is offering the waitress with two kids, or the warehouse worker whose wages have stagnated for a decade, or the factory worker whose skills are now obsolete.
The fact is our destinies are shaped by social forces much more than the current G.O.P. is willing to admit. The skills that enable people to flourish are not innate but constructed by circumstances.