Two of the central issues driving the discourse in this year’s Presidential election are our country’s $16 trillion debt and a need for a balanced budget. As a reminder of what is at stake for our children and grandchildren’s children, we wanted to share with you the following letter written by Dana Matas to her newborn son. Penned a few years ago, just after the housing market crash, Dana explains why her son’s generation may not inherit the greatest country in the world should we not learn from our mistakes. Dana encourages people in their faith and family through her website “Confessions of a Busy Mama.”
When I was growing up, my parents taught me that if you worked hard and played by the rules, you would someday enjoy the fruits of your labor as you saw fit to do. We called it “the American Dream.” For some people, the American Dream meant providing financial security for his or her family. For others it meant buying the most outrageously expensive car. And still for others, the American Dream meant giving every last penny you’ve earned to charity. See back then, the American Dream wasn’t about equal outcome; it was about equal opportunity and having the freedom to live your dreams as you saw fit.
It breaks my heart to know that during your lifetime, the “American Dream” has truly become just that—a dream. I can still remember the day that I realized you would be born into a country that no longer resembled the America I grew up believing in, an America that rewarded hard work and dedication. And all I can say is, “I’m sorry.”
My generation had it easy. The American Dream was handed to us on a silver platter. And because of this, we didn’t appreciate the freedoms that generations before us had worked so hard to secure. Worse, we felt entitled to more. We mortgaged away the American Dreams of our children so that we could buy homes we could not afford and live lifestyles we did not earn. We racked up credit and bet against the equity of our homes and even the equity of our country. In short, we stopped working for the American Dream and started demanding that we got it for free.
What we didn’t realize then was the price we would pay for being so irresponsible—the price you would pay. Those we elected to run our government, who were supposed to protect our country from such poor decision-making, actually encourage such decision-making in an effort to increase their own power and influence. As we continued to take, our politicians continued to give, eventually making us so dependent on our government it became our ruler and keeper. In taking the short cut to the American Dream, we lost the dream altogether.
I’m sorry we were so selfish. I’m sorry not enough of us fought harder to keep the American Dream alive. I can only hope that your generation will learn from our mistakes, change course, and restore America to her former glory.
The American Dream is the notion that we as Americans each have the opportunity to a better, richer, and fuller life either through ability or achievement with hard work, regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The American Dream affords an individual a “better” life than that of their parents. However, our poor personal decisions and governmental fiscal irresponsibilities have crushed the opportunities many people dream about.
The only way we can change course and turn our nation into the one we’ve always dreamed it would be for us and our children is to first, become educated, and second, become more fiscally responsible personally. To help better inform you, we are giving away a book combo pack, “Where Does the Money Go?” and “Eradicate”. Making a well educated decision this presidential election year is another step towards the dream becoming reality once again. Enter to win by dropping us a comment before midnight, today, October 22nd, 2012, here on this page or on Facebook.
What is your view of the state of the economy? What does the American Dream look like to you? What can we do to make a difference? Join the conversation now for the sake of our children.