Millions of people around the world look toward the United States as the birthplace of the "American Dream." The fairytale promises endless rewards for anyone who works hard, saves money and remains true to his or her aspirations.
By chasing the American Dream, you may buy a new car, wear fine clothes, eat at the finest restaurants and live in a big home. It means your kids attend the finest schools, play sports, practice on the piano and race off to college.
That myth worked for many 50 years ago, but today in America, a totally different reality settles upon the citizens of America.
A mind-numbering 48 million Americans stand in line for food stamps. Over 10 million stand in unemployment lines. Thirteen million children live in poverty while one in six Americans face hunger.
Hunger in America 2014 reported: " The 2014 study reveals that each year, the Feeding America network of food banks provides service to 46.5 million people in need across the United States, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. Through a network of 58,000 pantries, meal service programs, and other charitable food programs, the Feeding America network reaches people in need in every community across the U.S."
Real wages remain the same after three decades. Education, the key to anyone's viability in this highly technical society, lags for much of America. "Seventy percent of students who enroll in community colleges drop out," said Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam.
Dropout-flunkout rates for high schools in big cities remains at 50 percent and higher.
According to a study conducted in late April by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, "A staggering 32 million adults in the U.S. can't read. That's 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read."
Today in America, much like in Medieval times, serfs remain serfs and their children remain serfs for their entire lives.
Illiteracy and/or poor academic standing guarantee you a life of poverty. It becomes a mindset when you grow up on food stamps and welfare. It becomes a modern day slave system much like the serfs of the past. Today, 73 percent of African-American children arrive out of wedlock while being brought up by a single mother who survives on welfare. It's impossible to grasp the insanity and hopelessness of such a number of children growing up fatherless.
The culprits according to 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival held in my State of Colorado this summer: income inequality, racism, failing educational system, and the fact that 1 percent of the population owns 40 percent of the wealth. That reminisces back to the times of "Divine Right of Kings" and the aristocracy entrenched societies in Europe.
That's what President Thomas Jefferson detested along with the Founding Fathers. They created a U.S. Constitution to give every man a fair shake. Today, corporations pay serf wages like McDonald's, Wendy's, Pizza Hut and most other fast food chains. Wal-Mart pays just enough to keep its serfs from revolting.
Oxymoronically, African-American U.S. President Barack Obama, holding office for the past six years, did nothing for Black Americans. The jobless rates continue into the millions. Obama finally created the "My Brother's Keeper" program this year for men of color, but that program reaches 1 percent of the Black demographic that includes 27 million men."
"If you are an African-American male and you don't finish high school, you have a 68 percent chance of ending up in prison by age 35," said Stephen Patrick of Aspen Institute.
"We're moving toward an America that none of us have lived in, in which being affluent or being poor is inherited," said Professor Putnam of Harvard.
Ironically, the call for more educational excellence from members of the audience fell on frustrated ears. No one promoted any idea on how to educate entrenched illiteracy. Why? No one at the conference provided any workable idea. It's like our society remains stuck in inherited poverty.
Not mentioned in the equation of poverty in America for Whites, Hispanics and Blacks: Congress pumps 100,000 legal immigrants from failed countries into America every 30 days to the tune of 1.2 million annually—and they either sign up for welfare or they push poverty-stricken Americans out of work.
It's confounding how so many bright minds refuse to come to any viable answers because they overlook the easiest and most sensible solutions. If we keep buying billions of dollars of manufactured goods from China, we guarantee jobs for Chinese, but keep America's working poor in food stamp lines. If we carry on 13-year useless wars in the Middle East 10,000 miles away, we take needed funds for America's job training away from Americans. When our Congress promotes insourcing, offshoring and outsourcing of jobs, it guarantees our citizens lose any chance for the American Dream.
As the adage says, "The rich get richer and the poor weep in their sleep."
Right now, the American Dream died in the takeover of America by corporations and money power of the rich who own Congress and dictate our destiny. At some point, the American people need to vote a president and congress into office that stands up for our rights, our jobs, our country and our hope to realize the American Dream. Will we? I doubt it. Not enough of us can read and make an intelligent decision to vote someone into office who will advocate for us. Common sense died and those congressional critters in Congress work for their own bank accounts and the rest of us can eat and live like serfs.