The American Dream used to involve hard work as a function of reaping the benefits of a vibrant economy. Even in today’s tenuous economy if one sows their seed in good earth and tends to it lovingly one should expect a life giving harvest. It has always been posited that if one works hard and plays by the rules ( The quintessential American state of being) they would be assured of partaking in the fruits of the alleged “Greatest nation on earth”.
This axiom is assumed by many as the recipe for success in America. At least it is sold as such to the aspiring underclass. Work hard, abide by the rules and you too can climb the ladder high enough to perhaps grab some low hanging fruit, something to make life a little sweeter, regardless of your last name or the number of acronyms behind it.
There exists, though, a class of people for whom this time honored method of achieving the American Dream is not good enough. It is beneath them to actually work for anything, having been raised in an entitlement society. This is not the entitlement of the poor to wealth without work as is complained about by so many conservative pundits but rather the entitlement of birth. These people feel entitled to the fruits of the dream simply because they exist. What is really worth something to them is to manifest wealth without working at all. This is what they expect from life and this is their goal. They have been born into wealth and they have been taught from an early age, through example, that making lots of money without working is an honorable and admirable goal. Something for nothing is the only acceptable result of waking up each day for these seemingly ‘tortured’ souls.
These are the ones who look for insider trading deals on Wall Street, who look to use social networking to arrange sweetheart business deals and use the accident of their monied birth to exclude those who can’t get a good tee time from ever having the advantages they enjoy.
When we look at why the American Dream is fading away, before our very eyes, look not to those who still believe in hard work, but have no access to the good earth on which to sow their seed, to assign your blame. Look rather to those with rich, dark earth in abundance that they are all too eager to sell to the highest bidder, never having ever so much as run their hands through it, to understand its real value or appreciate the very fact that they are so lucky as to even imagine it running under their feet.
Making a living without working is a necessary, temporary social safety net for some people. Is there fraud? Certainly there is. But the greater fraud is the wealthy seeking to make a killing without lifting a finger. As long as our goal is to get rich without having to work some may gain momentary riches as individuals but as a whole society our seed will fall on the hard rocks and suffer.