As most are out scurrying to spend the last of their money and indebt themselves in the name of Christmas, this holiday season raises the question, is the American Dream still alive? From where many Americans sit the American Dream is dead or at least on life support. That might sound contrary to all “the economy is growing” hype but the truth is in the fine print. Americans are working for less pay, the income gap between rich and poor has widened, and the unemployed facing the exhaustion of benefits are being forced into low wage or part-time jobs. As the old saying goes, “There are lies, dam lies, and statistics.” The latest economic news is case in point. What the figures don’t mention is the number of unemployed forced into part-time work or those that simply run out of benefits and are no longer counted. From a politician’s perspective it is better to not pass any additional unemployment benefits since doing so continues to shine a light on the unemployment problem.
The bottom line is how or why should the average American today be concerned with buying a home when job security is all but none existent? Those working for a living have simply lost faith in the American economy such that long term debts like homes are simply unrealistic. Others simply stick their head in the sand based on some idea of “positive thinking” that things will turn around and indebt themselves long term which is undoubtedly creating the same bubble soon to burst we just recently have overcome. So they say anyway. Bottom line, for most working for a living who aren’t on drugs, it just doesn’t make good sense to buy long term right now. Sure, mortgage interest rates are headed north but pay rates are continuing south. Moreover, job stability is a thing of the past. So why buy?
Until the employment situation stabilizes and Americans regain confidence in the future, the American dream is a ghost. Part-time jobs don’t cut the mustard and allowing unemployment benefits to expire won’t hide the problem. With all due respect to the Obama camp, as they mean well, but the economy has never really been a strong point for the Dems. The GOP on the other hand know how to jumpstart job growth which, unfortunately, oh too often comes at the price of employees forgoing rights and privileges that are and have been the bedrock of the American way. If only we could strike a balance between the Dems with individual rights and the GOP with job growth…now that would surely revive the American dream in a heartbeat. Pun intended. Ok yea it is the holiday season and who wants to be a bah humbug scrooge right? At the same time many millions of Americans are still struggling with the job market and we ought to remember that as we buy iPods, iPads, tablets, and other toys to make us feel better about living in a weak uncertain economy. Happy Holidays!