The American Dream is Eroding Away

David Coughlin* | May 9, 2009  |

Filed Under The Voice

We are all familiar with the story how to boil a frog is to coax the frog into a pot of water then slowly turn up the heat until it boils. Now the best way to transform the American economy into socialism is to slowly erode the free market until it boils away and state control remains. I feel like the free market frog stewing away, while I watch the economy bubble and industries nationalized, and I want to turn off the socialism heat to undo our free market damage. The Mainstream Media is part of the problem as they bombard us with a constant drumbeat of doom and gloom instilling fear and pessimism undermining consumer confidence. Apparently I am not alone is my dissatisfaction with the state of our nation. The recent Tax Day Tea Parties are a reflection of national feeling of being fed up with the general direction of our country and our government’s attack on American exceptionalism. More and more people in this country are being shaken out of their complacency and breaking their silence to show their discontent. The American Dream is eroding away and it has got to stop!

As far as I am concerned, the United States of America is the best country in the world. I am proud of our history, and what America has accomplished. American people are basically good, moral, individualists who also are proud of this country. Our Founders used common sense and a moral clarity to create this new form of government. This country was conceived based on the set of core principles of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. These principles are documented in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. The American Dream is based on personal hard work and sweat building success and prosperity in our free market society. The most visible measure of American exceptionalism and success is the continued press of immigration. Continued foreign investment in our nation is another indirect indicator of confidence and approval of the American dream. Our government is not perfect, but vastly better than the alternatives.

We have lost our collective memory of what makes this country great and why this country is exceptional. The scope of our federal government, intentionally kept limited, has now evolved into a behemoth gobbling up more and more of our Gross Domestic Product. Our federal government, designed to arbitrate between states, has now evolved into a permanent class of professional politicians and bureaucrats ruling over the states. The three branches of federal government, designed to have a balance of power, now compete with each other in the creation and interpretation of laws. We have strayed from our core governmental principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Individual freedoms are being eroded based on Constitutional interpretations never envisioned by the Founders. Individuals are no longer responsible for their actions and are no longer allowed to fail or even feel bad about themselves. Wealth is earned by hard work but is now redistributed from the successful to those less fortunate. This redistribution of wealth is not only between individuals but also between states. Our society has degenerated to the point that litigation is now the game, and finding a deep pockets plaintiff is how the game is played. The rights of the few (minorities) override rights of the many. Equal opportunity has been replaced with equal results, in spite of individual involvement or causation. The Mainstream Media has forsaken their original impartial role as the ‘fourth estate” and instead has become willing conspirators in partisan discussions. The federal government has openly used laws to reinforce social engineering goals, far outside the original intent of the Constitution. Our rights and liberties are being gradually eroded away and sold to us as “progressive” improvements, but the cumulative adverse effect on our American dream has been insidious and corrosive.

There are so many changes needed to return our government to its original Constitutional principles and intent. The first and perhaps biggest change needed is to return the federal government to its citizens: enact terms limits (12 years max) for all federal elected positions (executive, legislative, and judicial); enable Congress to operate electronically and remotely (from home districts). The next most important change needed is to downsize (50%) the federal government closer to its original limited intent in the 10th Amendment: eliminate non essential Cabinet departments (education, energy, health and human services, housing and urban development, transportation, veterans affairs, etc.); remove the federal government and government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) from the banking, health care, insurance, retirement, transportation, energy, etc.; privatize federal entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security); privatize private sector functions (Amtrak, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, Postal Service, NASA, etc.); devolve non-federal functions to states allowing experimentation and differences. The third major change is to improve how the federal government operates: either break legislation up into small, manageable pieces or provide a line item veto so individual pieces can be voted on separately; enforce original Constitutional intent (eliminate political correctness, multiculturalism, and diversity); ensure judicial appointees protect the Constitution, not create new laws. Finally individual wealth must be allowed to stay with individuals and not be redistributed for government purposes: replace progressive income tax with consumption (fair) tax; eliminate corporate tax; eliminate capital gains tax; eliminate death tax. Our government has grown dramatically in the near past and threatens to expand dramatically unless some restraint is applied.

There are a number of changes needed to ensure domestic policies support Constitutional freedoms. First basic rights must be protected to ensure individual freedoms: protect life from inception; outlaw abortion (life begins at conception); ensure victim rights preempt criminal rights; protect “under God” in founding documents, currency, and national symbols; protect citizens from each other/no safety net; defend family as the basic American building block; pass a marriage amendment (protect marriage between a man and a woman). Second policies must unleash the free market and remove government intervention: balance the federal budget; restrict federal spending to 10% of GDP; break companies into manageable size, if business is “Too Big to Fail.” We need to guard against gradual erosion of our rights and freedoms.

In foreign affairs protecting and promoting American interests first will greatly improve our national security. The first change needed is to ensure domestic policies support national security interests: strive for energy independence (nuclear, domestic resources, sources) while preserving environment; control and assimilate immigrants into core American values (English, anchor babies, control). The second area is required changes related to our national security: allocate 4% of GDP for the continued rebuilding of national defense; convene a “Geneva Convention” for defining terrorism and rules of engagement. The final area for change relates to our relationships with other countries and international organizations: abandon the United Nations and replace with League of Democracies to promote global freedom; discontinue the current foreign aid program; promote free trade and democracy. There is no need to apologize for America’s success and leadership.

What America needs is a return to the common sense that guided our Founding Fathers when they created the United States. Government was understood to be a necessary evil that must be minimized and constantly monitored. Te key design point was to trust Americans and get the government out of our daily lives. Free market capitalism was understood to be the best economic system. A democratic republic was understood to be the best government model. Our success here requires protection from threats both domestic and foreign. I want a return to the “home of the free, and land of the brave!” I want the American Dream to be available for my children and grandchildren!

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

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