Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
The American Dream is impossible to achieve in this country. [Can the American dream be achieved in other countries? Ed]
So say nearly 6 in 10 people who responded to CNNMoney’s American Dream Poll, conducted by ORC International. They feel the dream — however they define it — is out of reach.
Young adults, age 18 to 34, are most likely to feel the dream is unattainable, with 63% saying it’s impossible. This age group has suffered in the wake of the Great Recession, finding it hard to get good jobs.
Younger Americans are a cause of great concern. Many respondents said they are worried about the next generation’s ability to prosper.
Huh, go figure. It was only six days ago that CNN-Money informed us that “US Economy Shrinks, But It’s Not a Big Deal,” in a headline.
If “The American Dream is out of reach,” isn’t that good news — and no big deal? After all, as CNN’s Fareed Zakaria told the American people in December of 2010, you are “the big problem:”
Parker asked Zakaria if he had faith the American people could handle the fiscal discipline he advocated. Zakaria used the platform as an opportunity to attack Americans and refute the notion “the American people are wonderful.” His solution: Less consumption by the American people.
“No, I think the people are the big problem,” Zakaria said. “I mean, Americans — everybody wants to say the American people are so wonderful. You know, I think that when they come to recognize that they have to make sacrifices too that it’s not just wasteful — they need to have — they need to recognize that some of what’s going to happen here is fewer. They have to consume fewer things. They have to accept slightly higher taxes. And in the long run, you will have a much better economy.”
That was nearly four years ago, how long is the “long run?” Zakaria’s line about accepting “slightly higher taxes” was apparently a reference to his then-recent cover story in Time, CNN’s dead-tree sister publication, in which Zakaria called for more taxes and government spending as part of his plan to “Restore the American Dream.”
The more government spending presumably was covered by the busted “Stimulus” program, for which then CNN anchor Ali Velshi presented a cake on the air to celebrate its one year anniversary. (Ahh, that vaunted CNN journalistic objectivity:
As for the American people consuming less, Zakaria was simply parroting the words of his preferred candidate in 2008:
“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.
“That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” he added.
And as president, Mr. Obama has certainly demonstrated the same frugal austerity in his own lifestyle that he wishes upon the rest of us. Except on wintery nights in the White House and when it’s time to fire-up the mile-long motorcade of presidential SUVs to visit his fellow elites after jetting up to Martha’s Vineyard, of course.
So is more government spending and more taxes needed to achieve CNN’s goal? How much more?
Well let’s just say we probably don’t want to take the Strangelovian advice of the New York Times‘ Paul Krugman on the topic to find out. But perhaps there’s a better way. Or as Glenn Reynolds noted last month, ” The truth is, we don’t have a recovery, because we’ve had the systematic imposition of policies — tax increases, redistribution, and especially regulatory uncertainty — that undermine economic growth. But a lot of insiders have gotten rich.”
By the way, it’s fascinating that we’re now in year six of the Obama presidency but typing CTL-F on a CNN article titled “The American Dream is out of reach” and typing “Obama” produces no results.