Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The American Dream: Once Upon a Time

              If you really stop and think about what has been making America such a miserable place--you needn't look any further than your personal mirror. I'm not saying you personally make this country a horrible place, but I dare you to suggest you are not somehow a part of the reason. Think about what you've done in a lifetime. Something? Nothing? No matter how you slice it, your actions or lack-thereof have impacted more than just you. Take for instance voting for the president. You either did or didn't vote. Who cares, right? Your vote doesn't mean something, right? Wrong. It does. It means you either want someone to run this country or you couldn't give a rat's patooty about your own well-being.

              Where am I going with this? Well I recently heard (for the umpteenth time) about big businesses shattering the American Dream (apparently more than our current president). Wait--back up. What the heck is the American Dream? Here's a wiki link that will tell you all about the American Dream if you're confused. The general gist of the American Dream is that anyone from any walk of life can achieve in America, simply because this is America--land of opportunity. By the way, I believe in this concept, and I hope to achieve my own American Dream, but I digress. Some have taken this concept to mean 'land of the opportunity to collect from other hard working citizens.' Again, I digress. Anyway, I ask you this: what is a big business other than a small shop that is living the American Dream?

              People are whining left and right about companies like Wal-Mart, Home-Depot, Lowes, Target, etc. moving in an blowing the mom and pop shops out of the water. Sure some people do something to stop these companies from building in their neck of the woods, but what are they really doing? We'll get into that. First, let me ask this: Does anyone really believe that Sam Walton woke up one day and said "I'm going to open thousands of stores worldwide and kill many small businesses." No. In fact, he woke up one day and said "I can bring products to people for less." So he did. The consumers were the ones that decided this was a good company. The consumers were the ones that decided to go to Wal-mart and begin building the empire that it is today. In fact, I have never seen any company that starts up as a huge entity. If you know a company that made millions and franchised on their first day, please let me know--I'd like to shake that person's hand.

           Anyway, now consumers (no not all) are upset. The evil Wal-mart is building stores, creating jobs, bringing crappy products for dirt cheap, delivering poor service and low wages.  You would think gripes like that would cause any company to fall. Yet, it doesn't... Why? Because that's what the American consumers want! That's what your voice or your lack of opinion contributed to the world. Does anyone cry when Coca-Cola expands its products to the world? No. But what about the mom and pop soda shops in those areas? No one thinks about that, but it's the same: building the business to make larger profits.  Not to be confused with greed, this is living the American Dream.

          So why is it, to the general consumer, that one day a company is great and the next they are just too big. My opinion: Jealousy.That little monster that makes many Americans hate the success of others. It's this same line of thinking that has contributed to the downfall of our country and the election of really bad presidents. I know I'm travelling into those political waters, but I have to go here. Right now, America is completely divided. Partly it's the rich vs. the poor; the black vs. the white; but mostly it's the doers vs. the takers. This country has lost its sense of the America Dream. More people are willing and content to sit on their butts and want so much handed to them. These are the people who think paying 60% of your earnings is not "fair share,"  when they likely put less than 5% of their own earnings into the pot--I'm just saying. My definition of "fair" (which my argument is generally that fairness doesn't really exist as much as it is a concept of "what suits me best") is that all sides contribute or receive the same exact portion. Yet the people crying these ideas of fairness most likely have not paid attention to how much of their own portion is not contributed and how much of someone else's contribution is actually received. Of course, they could just be real Communists, I suppose. What you get with this line of thinking is Obama and companies either scurrying to other places to do business--where they can actually make a profit; or companies who swoop in while the economy is at its weakest to fill whatever needs of the people at better rates than a little guy can. Sorry that was run-onny.

             Anyway, by the logic of such people who have obviously forgotten the American Dream (or maybe never learned it), we want the rich people to pay for everything while we sit on our ass. BUT we don't want mom and pop shops to expand and become big chains, or get rich on pursuing business-like ideals. That's just not right. In fact it's greedy! Yea, that's what we'll call it. Greed! Because if success is not given to me for nothing, no one else should have it no matter how hard they work for it.

              ...Really?... How about we all wake up and smell the reality? America was established on having freedoms; choices. You have the freedom to get off your butt and do something, just like you have the choice to do nothing at all. Stop demanding for others to take care of you, get off your butt and live the real American Dream. Be a voice that says I want my friggin' country back! If you say nothing at all, you are essentially saying that you don't care what freedoms you will have (or not have) tomorrow. So get educated.Get an opinion. Build your voice. And say something worthwhile with it. Do something that makes you as big a business as you ever dreamed of being.


No comments:

Post a Comment