According to a new survey made available to the Associated Press, 80 percent of U.S. adults struggle with poverty and diminished opportunities. An amazing statistic given America’s position as the richest country in the world and a thorough reality-based indictment of the American Dream mythology. A reality even President Obama, a skilled politician at preying on people’s hopes, was forced to acknowledge recently as the evidence piles up that American society is less mobile than much of the developed world and no longer the land of opportunity.
Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream…
Nationwide, the count of America’s poor remains stuck at a record number: 46.2 million, or 15 percent of the population, due in part to lingering high unemployment following the recession
President Obama, when confronted with the overwhelming evidence that the American Dream is a myth, acquiesced to the truth and lamented America’s increasingly aristocratic society.
In a week when he tried to focus attention on the struggles of the middle class, President Obama said in an interview that he was worried that years of widening income inequality and the lingering effects of the financial crisis had frayed the country’s social fabric and undermined Americans’ belief in opportunity.
Upward mobility, Mr. Obama said in a 40-minute interview with The New York Times, “was part and parcel of who we were as Americans.” “And that’s what’s been eroding over the last 20, 30 years, well before the financial crisis,” he added.
Well truth does undermine lies but I imagine the more important point is less that people perceive the opportunities to not exist than the reality that those opportunities in fact do not exist. Hope has its limits, eventually people want the eloquence of rhetoric to be matched by the eloquence of action.
But there is little incentive to help the lower classes of American society. The Bush and Obama Administrations bent over backwards to bail out the rich during the financial crisis the rich caused and they’ve done a heck of a job. According to the Federal Reserve, while most Americans saw their wealth go down by 40% during the Wall Street crash and resulting Great Recession, the rich actually got richer.
So now the 99% are getting wise to the fact that the game has been rigged against them and that continuing on this course will only lead to poverty and stagnation – a realization that is scaring elites. People may be done hoping for change, they finally be understanding that power concedes nothing without demand.