Tag Archives: American Dream

Happy American Dream Day?

Most of you know today as Labor Day. What exactly is Labor Day? Sounds like a day to celebrate work, but it isn’t. Maybe it’s a day where we celebrate the ability for women to give birth? Nope, not that either.

Labor Day isn’t just a day off with pay. And it’s not BBQ at the beach or a celebration of the end of summer.

Actually, it’s a day for us to celebrate workers. But who really loves to work? Wouldn’t most people love to have enough money not to have to work? So, why do we celebrate the American worker?

Originally, Labor Day was an olive branch extended by President Grover Cleveland after he sent American troops in to stop the railroad workers strike and 12 workers were killed in the process. He gave them a day off (with pay?) to let things settle down. Cleveland’s olive branch withered and the celebration died away.

I appreciate the sacrifices that the American worker has made over the years to feed their families, buy homes and cars, provide their children’s education, and make a good life. But isn’t that what the American Dream is all about?

In the early days of America we had many shameful moments. Workers were taken advantage of. Working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, being replaced permanently if they were out sick a day or two, and even plant workers being beaten for not working hard enough. Barbaric!

But that was then. America has come a long way. I’ll even give the unions credit for helping to make working conditions fair and give workers some protections. But somewhere along the way, like with any big corporation that disconnects from its people, they went bad. Yes, bad.

Workers’ salaries shouldn’t be based on what the company makes, it should be based on a fair days wage for a good days work. In most cases, the worker doesn’t lose his investments, 20 years of sweat, his home and cars if the company goes out of business. Business entrepreneurs very often do! Workers can usually get a job in the same industry. There is no real risk being an employee.

The owner of the company usually puts up his house, his name, his reputation, and all his assets to borrow money to start the company up and running. It’s the entrepreneur that comes up with the idea, figures out how to produce it, figures out how to bring it to market, and figures out how to make a profit on it so he can hire the laborer. Then the laborer can show up do his job, feed his family, afford a house, and so on. Once in a while, one of those workers rises up, figures out how to do it better, starts their own company, and becomes an entrepreneur. That’s the real American dream… freedom to make money to live comfortably after hard work and ingenuity! Sadly, that’s also what the unions seem to hate the most, entrepreneurs.

It’s unclear who the brainchild behind Labor Day was. Many credit Labor Day to Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. Others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday. Either way, it was union officials making a big deal out of union workers.

What about all the other American workers? Maybe we could rename it to “American Dream Day” and celebrate the fact that we have the freedom choose our profession and where we work. We can choose to start our own business, to own a house and a car, to get a good education, and to move freely about the country. Yes, we can simply work for someone and enjoy the American Dream.

Let’s celebrate the American worker and the American entrepreneur, not just union workers.

Anyone can make it in this country… anyone! No excuses. You make it or you fail because of your ability, your tenacity, and how bad you want it and are willing to work for it.

I don’t celebrate the union worker, I celebrate all Americans who work hard to obtain the American Dream and “make it big” and those who work hard to enjoy the freedoms they have here. Happy American Dream Day!

In the MSM Every Silver Lining Is Obscured by a Cloud

blindfolded-mainstream-media-posterI’ve about decided that reading three newspapers a day, plus Newsmax.com may be bad for my emotional health. Normally the day starts with the Washington Examiner, a fine tabloid with a conservative editorial page. I like the Examiner even though the paper is evidently unaware the county were I live — Prince William — exists, as the paper’s Northern Virginia coverage does not extend south of Fairfax County.

So I turn to a story by Matt Connolly that makes me optimistic regarding the nation’s future. The headline reads, “Poverty rates plummet for D.C. Asians, Hispanics.” Now that is good news! In spite of a sluggish Obama economy, the American Dream is still available for those willing to work. Upward mobility is still possible. What’s more, less poverty means less need for big government welfare programs, which is always appealing to a small government conservative like myself.

According to Connolly, new census data shows “the percentage of D.C. Hispanics under the poverty line dropped from 20.5 percent in the 2000 census to 14 percent in the 2007 – 2011 average.” And in Maryland’s Prince George’s County the rate “dropped from 14.1 percent to 11.7 percent” in spite of the fact the overall Hispanic population more than doubled in that time period. In Fairfax County, VA and Montgomery County, MD the rate remained “relatively stagnant” but did not get appreciably worse.

Even better, “poverty rates for Asians…dropped across the board” plunging from 22.8 percent to 14 percent. More good news, even though the ingrates aren’t voting for Republicans — the people who keep your taxes low and try to grow the economy.

But then I made the mistake of turning to the WaPost and there I see a headline that complains, “Poverty rates higher for blacks and Hispanics than whites and Asians.” Damn, The Man is still keeping the pigmented people down! So much for my misplaced optimism.

Naturally I want to see where reporter Carol Morello came by this depressing evidence of conservative inhumanity to man. (After all it has to be our fault, since we are not in favor of Obama phones, Sandra Fluke’s rubbers and no–work–required welfare.) But wait, the data came from the exact same census report that Connolly persuaded me was packed with good news!

Instead of congratulating Asians for pulling themselves out of poverty, Morello implies they are now in league with The Man and it looks suspiciously like these calculator jockeys have forgotten all about minority solidarity and are trying to pass for white.

In fact, Morello says absolutely nothing about the reduction in poverty rates that Connolly found so newsworthy, and instead focuses on nationwide poverty rates and then singles out that noted economic basket case D.C.’s Ward 8 for black poverty numbers. Statistically this is like complaining about mortality rates in a mortuary.

So why is Morello such a Debbie Downer? American leftists and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media have a pigment problem: There’s a black man in the White House.

It’s becoming increasing difficult to condemn America as a hopelessly racist society when there is this black guy jetting around the country on Air Force One. Since the Marines are saluting him, he can’t be passed off as the butler. And how does one complain about institutional racism when a black guy is in charge of the institution? And how can Virginia be a bigot benighted outpost of the Confederacy when Obama carried the state twice?

A favorite MSM ploy is to pick and choose your statistics, which is the path Morello has chosen. Focusing on persistent black poverty in the abstract implies there is no upward mobility for blacks unless government steps in to make the situation “fair.” Yet black poverty is often a self–inflicted wound as black Prince George’s Councilman Mel Franklin points out in the WaPost “Root” section.

Franklin writes, “In short, no program, either government or nonprofit, can replace the void created by the absence of a good father in a household.

“Annually, as you probably know, over 70 percent of births in the black community nationwide are out of wedlock. Study after study demonstrates (and our common sense tells us) the dramatic effect that this collapse in our family structure has had on education, the economy and criminal justice outcomes for youth, especially the absence of a good father in his son’s household.”

Pointing out the harm black men and women do when they choose to bear children in the absence of marriage is not blaming the victim. You can criticize a suicide whether it’s physical or fiscal. And I compliment Councilman Franklin for pointing out the obvious. But I also note he was not quoted in Morello’s story.

Implying personal responsibility is not method of creating demand for more government. Leftists believe individuals are at the mercy of forces beyond their control, like a termite in a tidal wave, and the only source of help is government. And since leftists dominate the MSM, you get stories like Morello’s.

Which is why I only read the WaPost after I’ve been inoculated by the Examiner and the Washington Times. I suggest my conservative readers do likewise.

I'm Canadian and This is My American Dream

I first came to America at 10 years old to meet my father in Washington D.C.  That trip was momentous for a couple of reasons, the first being that I was finally meeting my father 10 years after he left  my pregnant, Canadian mother.  The other reason being that I was also meeting  for the first time these mythical “States”… that’s what we call America up in Canada – “The States”.  As it turned out, both of those meetings changed the course of my life forever.

I approached the relationship with my father cautiously and suspiciously.  But America – well, I fell in love with Her right away.  It literally was love at first sight.  And now that I look back, how fitting that my first love blossomed in the capital of this great nation.  Washington D.C. in the 1980′s was not like it is today.  It was just beginning to turn into the “government yuppie” capital.  It was still powered by government, but the “Chocolate City” was bursting to the brim with culture, homeless people and ghettos.  Coming from an all white area of Canada (and I mean all white and someday I’ll write about that experience) it was certainly a culture shock to suddenly be in the presence of all types of Black folks – tall, skinny, fat, light, dark, red-haired, blond-haired, corn-rows, Afros;  it was an amazing time for me.  I embraced it fully.  I loved how you could buy anything you wanted, anywhere!  There were jobs and machines and businesses I’d never heard of let alone dreamed.  There was a subway!  I grew up on an island where they didn’t even have trains anymore.  Eventually I moved there to live with my father full-time and the first thing I did was master that subway system, the Metro.  My time with my father was tumultuous, and because we lived within walking distance of the Capital and many of the free Smithsonian museums I spent a lot of time escaping into the history of America.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was setting myself up for my future conversion from socialist liberal to conservative American.  I went to see the Constitution on display at the Smithsonian.  I walked the Mall, past sculptures and displays and the amazing Monument.  I sat in the Botanical Gardens and daydreamed.  I would often walk to the deck of the Capital building as dusk was descending and look out over the lights of the city in awe and just ponder.  My favorite spot was the Air & Space Museum, which I walked through nearly every day after school.  As a science fiction fan and the granddaughter of an Air Force pilot I couldn’t get enough of all the planes, rockets and capsules on display, and if I had enough money from my babysitting jobs, I’d treat myself to the movie at the Planetarium there as well.

Washington D.C. was hot and muggy and full of pain for me, but I also found so much joy there.  Joy at the wonder that is America.  My conversion story is much longer, and someday, dear reader, I promise to share it all with you, but for today I just wanted you to know about the time I first fell in love with “the States”.  I knew then, in my first visit at ten years old, that I would be American someday.  I knew I would make a life here, and every day of my Canadian life thereafter was all about when I could get back to America.  I made it for good in 1992.  I have never looked back.  I love Canada dearly and I am proud to be from there.  But America is my home.  There is no doubt in my mind she has been ordained from her birth as the beacon of hope and freedom in the world.  America has given me so much – an education, amazing life experiences, wonderful friends, homes, an amazing husband and my very own American children.  I still look back at my life in Eastern Canada with a sense of incredulity.  I cannot believe I have come so far from that life.  But here I am. Thanks be to God.  Thanks be to America and our Founding Fathers. I am Canadian, and this is my American Dream.