By John Kubinski
I am the only child of two working parents. My father would work nights and my mother would work in the day for the better part of my childhood. Through their hard work and dedication we were able to able to move from an apartment to a small house and then years later to a bigger house in a very nice neighborhood. As a teen-ager I worked at various jobs as well as attending school. When I passed my driving test and recieved my drivers license I bought a car for 1000 dollars with my own savings. When that car became too old , my parents bought me a brand new car. As an adult I retained the work ethic taught to me by my parents. I remember them telling me that if I stayed in school and worked an honest day I could achieve the American dream.
In my parents time the American dream was exactly like watching an episode of Happy Days. A nice house with a white picket fence. A big backyard and a car in the driveway ( maybe two). If you had these you considered yourself a success. You earned the right to be proud. You took care of your family and whenever possible you looked out for your neighbors. You gave to charity if you could afford to. You were proud to be a member of the middle class.
As an adult I feel that I have achieved the American dream. I have a wonderful wife and three beautiful, intelligent, happy children. I have a good job with benefits and I live in a nice neighborhood. I consider myself successful. If my mother was alive she would be proud of my family and my accomplishments. I wonder though how many of my fellow Americans still consider me to be a success. My house is modest in comparison to the one the kids from the Jersey Shore live in. While me and my friends go each day to a job and earn our weekly paycheck, there are wives of convicted felons being made into celebrities each week on television. While I take my kids to church each week , there are moms dragging their toddlers across the state to compete (in full make-up) in pageants.
When my family walks into our local library, the librarian gives us a familiar smile and a warm greeting because we are regulars. In the meantime I repeatedly hear how America is lacking in education on the world stage. Teenagers sleeping in the street so they can be the first on line to purchase the latest game system or new line of celebrity endorsed sneaker, while others are sleeping in the street because they have no place to live. Scientists discover what they believe to be the particle that is responsible for creating mass in objects and more people are interested in who Kim Kardashian will marry next.
Bankers and brokers make risky investments and squander a fortune. They make millions while others lose everything. The government bails them out with no punishment and then turns around and blames private sector unions for being too costly. We celebrate the filthy rich like they are demi-gods and look down on those that are less fortunate as free-loaders . We make heroes out of pop stars and athletes and then turn around and denegrate teachers and firemen. We allow laws to be passed that allow corporations to be treated like people and then try to outlaw workers from standing up for themselves by unionizing.
We spend billions on unfounded wars and then expect the elderly and the poor to pay for it. No one wants to pay taxes anymore but the middle class will get stuck with the bill while the richest people in the country pay less than half the percentage of a working guy. We are given an economic plan called “trickle down” and actually think that is effective. We act as though greedy corporate ceo’s are actually privilidged in some way and we make icons of semi-literate, ill-behaved drunkards who forget their underwear in public. We have become a citizenry brain-washed by advertisments and the promise of a new American dream. A dream in which anyone can be rich and famous as long as they act stupid enough to get a show or are lucky enough to win the lottery.
We need to WAKE UP MIDDLE CLASS. We need to realize we are being played for fools by the ultra rich. We need to stand together and stop bickering about social issues that are promoted to seperate us . Accept one another , but don’t accept being taken advantage of by autocratic politicans and greedy corporate ceo’s. Contact your politicans and tell them how you want them to vote. They work for YOU!!! Don’t sit idly by and complain that the system sucks. Do something about it. TAKE ACTION. Our founding fathers had the original American dream. They stood up to Autocracy and created a country in which everyone has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you really share the American dream ….LIVE IT.