Today, my English class discussed the American Dream and whether or not it is attainable for everyone who wants to pursue it. It seemed evident that many of my peers have lost faith in the idea of working hard to get ahead. Some analysts could say the attitude found in the “Me” generation is one of entitlement and it is difficult to argue otherwise. My generation is distinguished by the rise of social networking websites, displays of narcissism, and an upbringing by parents who wanted a better life for us. There are few people in my generation who understand the sacrifices our parents have made to better our futures. In some cases, having things handed to us has only furthered the lack of work ethic and paved the way for many of my peers’ sense of entitlement.
One of my classmates voiced her opinion on how difficult it is for minorities to get a college education and be successful in their pursuit of the American Dream. I find it hard to believe getting a college education is difficult with federal aid and a multitude of resources to use – no matter someone’s ethnicity or circumstances. There is an African-American man ruling the free world and the argument of being hindered by race has become void of intelligent discussion. I do not have the luxury of receiving financial aid due to material goods my parents have inherited from their deceased relatives. My parents do not have a college education or a vast income, but I still cannot receive government aid. My parents and I are paying for the financial aid of every other college student, while people receiving aid whine about how difficult it is to receive a subsidized education. I find it difficult to empathize with these individuals.
My Grandmother sold quail in southern Missouri during the Great Depression in order to pay for a train ticket to Idaho. She used the rest of her savings to purchase a car in Idaho and settled in the Boise area. My Grandma and Grandpa met in the early 1950’s and, after marrying, opened a small grocery store together with what funds they had. Neither of my grandparents had a college education, but they were able to run a business and invest their excess funds wisely. My Grandpa started selling fireworks out of the grocery store and it was not long before he purchased land in order to build a fireworks warehouse. Northwestern Fireworks Company L.L.C. has been open for 39 years and is still owned by my family today. My Grandma continued to invest funds and build up many businesses until she passed away in February 2011. My grandparents lived the American Dream through their choices and their ability to overcome humble beginnings.
The American Dream is not a dream. Dreams are for people who do not see a path to achieving their goals. The American Dream is part of my everyday reality thanks to my family’s ability to illustrate the power of work ethic, determination, perseverance, and kindness. Adults in my generation may not hold the same view as me, but it is their choice to be a victim of circumstance. Victims of circumstance in adulthood are created by choices. If circumstances do not permit for advancement, then change them.
I did not know what to do when it came time for college, but I asked questions and people were willing to help guide me in the right direction. My parents were not always supportive of my moving away, but I did it anyway. The support of my parents almost always comes with time, although there is a certain disconnect when it comes to their understanding of what college demands. I love my parents and will be forever grateful for the opportunities they have provided to me.
Some of you may argue my upbringing has not featured much adversity and while it may be true, it has not taken away from my appreciation for those around me and all the help they have offered in all my endeavors. My friend’s father grew up in the projects in Brooklyn, NY and he is now a professor with a doctorate in technology. He faced adversity and overcame obstacles while maintaining a positive attitude. Anyone can live the American Dream to the fullest if they choose to make educated decisions and persevere.
Posted in Economics, Family, Friends, Goals, Politics, Uncategorized
Tagged adversity, America, American, American Dream, choices, circumstances, college, decisions, education, freedom, me generation, Obama, perseverance, President Obama, US, Work, work ethic
This is a photo of the National Debt Clock on Thanksgiving Day in 2008. Our national debt issue was nothing new in 2008 and it has continued to grow over the last two years.
The United States national debt is currently $13.8 trillion dollars. This number is the product of poor decision making by the United States government and our voters. Most people want to leave a legacy, but I doubt they want to leave one so damaging to future generations.
In August of 2010, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the Federal Budget deficit for 2010 would be more than $1.3 trillion. The CBO believed our federal debt at the end of 2010 would be 62% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
If we are already in the hole, how about we stop digging? Balancing the budget would be a step in the right direction, but it would require compromise and effort by United States government leaders and the voters. Most companies place someone in charge of their fiscal budget and when the budget is overspent someone gets fired. LOGICAL? Yes.
I get sick of the biased banter constantly on the news. How about we start with what can be done to pay back the excessive debt left to the next generation? Balancing the budget, cutting obsolete programs, and the occasional tax may be a start, but each of those options have consequences. We need to hold our leadership accountable for their decisions and excessive spending.
I decided to write President Obama a letter the other night. My letter addressed the legacy he is leaving to his daughter’s generation and mine, and how I hope he thinks of the impact his decisions will have on our future. Debt should not define an entire generation and their quality of life at any given point, but it is what I fear may define my lifetime. I hope you will consider making your voice heard by our political leaders.
Since everyone believes their idea’s on how to balance the United States budget are supreme by party affiliation, try it here. Let me know how it works out. For a dummies guide to our national debt and spending issue, check out the documentary I.O.U.S.A.
Posted in Economics, Politics
Tagged 2010, accountability, Congressional Budget Office, Gross Domestic Product, I.O.U.S.A., legacy, Logic, Millennial, National Debt, National Debt Clock, New York, politicians, U.S. Federal Budget, United States, United States government
Election day is one of the only days I look forward to like the holidays. I raced home from class last night to catch media coverage of the midterm elections and stayed up until nearly two this morning watching intently. I have never missed election night coverage.
The 2010 midterm election season has been great for bizarre advertisements. Christine O’Donnell’s “I’m You“ advertisement might be my favorite political blunder of the 2010 election season. The Delaware Senate candidate lost the election yesterday, but gained notoriety after admitting she dabbled in witchcraft during high school. Saturday Night Live featured this parody of the “I’m You” ad campaign at one point and I’m sure O’Donnell will not soon be forgotten.
Sharron Angle’s ”At Your Expense” ads and comments about Hispanic students looking “a little more Asian” are being deemed factors in her loss to Harry Reid for the Nevada Senate seat. According to one article I read, exit polls showed Harry Reid received 90% of the 12% Hispanic vote in the state of Nevada. Coincidence? Probably not. Hopefully future candidates in any political race take notes on alienating an entire demographic.
Cannot forget the Florida Congressional candidate, Dan Fanelli, and his pointedly racist political advertisements. The video of democrat congressman, Bob Etheridge, of North Carolina, assaulting a college kid on a Washington D.C. sidewalk was another gem this political season. Is it really difficult for these candidates to be good people and a public representative or is it necessary to be brash in the limelight?
This morning I tuned in to watch President Obama’s press conference. Savannah Guthrie, an NBC News White House correspondent, asked President Obama if the results of the election are making him reflect on policy or if it is a reflection of voters thinking “he just doesn’t get it.” Obama’s answer was less than to the point, ”It felt as if government was getting much more intrusive in people’s lives than they were accustomed to.” He attributed the intrusive government as a response to crisis situations.
I’m sorry Mr. President, but your answers offer no more insight than what most political strategists have to say on all the cable networks. Beating around the bush will not win friends anywhere and what is there to lose at this point? Obama’s approval ratings are not getting any better – 48% of voters say they somewhat approve of Mr. President’s performance, while 52% disapprove.
The National Debt Clock numbers are only climbing and politicians seem to only argue in favor of their party. Party affiliation needs to be put aside and problems need acknowledged. Spending is out of control, importing goods has increased the trade deficit, and our politicians are pointing fingers about which party did what? No one cares. Hundreds of millions of dollars were poured into election propaganda and horrible advertisements, and it only reminded me how out of whack our government’s priorities have become.
People are going to be unhappy no matter what decision any leader makes. What happened to common sense? Apparently, it is not as common as I would hope.
Posted in Economics, Politics
Tagged 2010, bipartisanship, Christine O'Donnell, common sense, economics, elections, entertainment, government programs, Harry Reid, honesty, National Debt, National Debt Clock, Obama, opinion, policy, political advertisements, politics, President Obama, priorities, Savannah Guthrie, Sharron Angle, United States, White House