Friday, September 07, 2012

The Ending of a Dream

Despite all the bad news, some people are actually doing better -- because they've adjusted to the new realities -- that people can't have it all, and have to make hard decisions about what they really value and think is important.  But those are the same realities for everyone -- and not just one class of people, or one party, thinking they can all have "more than everybody else."

There's always enough for everybody to have as much as everybody else has -- but everybody, can't have more than everybody else has -- and be the top 1% they think they are now entitled to as the "middle class."  That obviously shows they have no idea what those numbers mean -- and if they did, they would have realistic expectations and a better appreciation for what they already have.  And that is the real lack in this society at this time.

That is the perspective the new successful people of this time have embraced -- the leveling of the playing field, rather than the old society of a "middle class" above the rest.  That change is a very subtle one -- from the expectation that one hopes to be better off than everyone else, who they believe should be having the hard jobs at lower pay -- than they believe they are "entitled" to.  That is the well-deserved ending of the middle class dream -- that allows the poorest to also live that full social participation as well.

So now all the props that enable those class distinctions and divisions have gone away -- and the poorest, with government aid, can share in that mainstream lifestyle, but there isn't enough so the middle class, can all be the top 1%, as they believe is now their entitlement.  There just isn't enough government money to go around.  There is enough to help the poor live a middle class existence, but not enough, for every middle class person to live the fantasy retirement of unlimited travel, vacations and luxury they think they're now entitled to.

And that is the ending of that middle class dream -- after the houses they expect to appreciate faster than the economy (inflation) to support the lifestyle they've grown accustomed to expecting (demanding).  That doesn't continue forever.  But if one has built up a life of enduring values, those values remain with them, in times of plenty as well as times of lean -- because one's entire life is not simply built on one's income or net worth -- as many think ensures them a happy and successful life -- "forever after."

It's not so much that the United States has fallen, as it is that the rest of the world is catching up -- and feel they are also entitled to that prosperity -- as the modern technologies make more widely available and possible.  But the expectation that one should always be ahead of everybody else, is an unsustainable one -- that can only be attained by maintaining an unfair advantage in perpetuity, that becomes increasingly apparent to all. 

The ending of that dream, allows the new realities to come increasingly into focus -- of a better life for all, and not just for a few, in relation to the many (masses), which they think they are not a part of -- as one of the favored "middle class," which has always been a euphemism for those aspiring to be above the rest -- in their visions of personal upward mobility, vis-a-vis, all the rest.  That's also the union mentality of endless class division and warfare -- each thinking only of their exclusive self-interest, and their particular clique.

Society cannot move ahead as a whole, but each faction merely wants to get ahead of the other, in the proverbial zero-sum society.


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