A few weeks ago an attractive young bartender at a nice new Italian restaurant here in Downtown LA said to me, “Well if I do have kids, it’ll just be one, because in today’s Modern Economy I have to figure on having to be able to support myself and a child. So, I wouldn’t want to take on more responsibility than I can handle on my own.”
Modern Economy? What is the Modern Economy and when did it start? I asked myself.
Well the Modern Economy seems to have started with the election of President Obama. I say this because I have come to realize that the Modern Economy is not about economics at all, the term is simply used to describe the state of our current social condition.
You see if you like President Obama and plan on voting for him again, you believe that his administration has created three million jobs.
If you like Mitt Romney and plan on voting for him, you believe that President Obama has lost six million jobs.
The reality: nine million jobs were lost, three million jobs were gained and there is still six million jobs gone missing.
And it is this ludicrous argument among Americans that defines the Modern Economy. Ludicrous? Yes, ludicrous indeed, because the number that truly matters is the size of the workforce, defined as those people CAPABLE of working rather than those SEEKING work. More simply put, 63% of Americans capable of working are actually counted in the Modern Economy workforce. Of this 63% my research shows that only 43% can actually be considered fully employed.
What does all this mean? Well, it means that in a country of three hundred and fifty million people there’s only around one hundred and thirty six million people that care to work and of this group only about one hundred and ten million are actually working. The conclusion, which we can now all easily reach, is that one hundred and ten million Americans are supporting themselves and another two hundred and forty million people. The fact that one third of our country is supporting the other two thirds is far beyond an economic problem, it is a social calamity.
HEAR WHAT I’M SAYING WELL!!! The Modern Economy is not sustainable, it will collapse. It is not possible that fewer and fewer people will work and more and more people will be supported by the efforts of others. And even if this was possible in a purely monetary sense, it is not possible with respect to social reality.
So why do I say that this is President Obama’s Modern Economy? Because hardly a day goes by that the President isn’t speaking to one news outlet or another. Yet, I don’t recall him ever speaking to this subject matter. He was elected because those voting for him found him to be inspiring. But to inspire, you must give people something to aspire to. American’s used to aspire to something called the American Dream.
In my youth the American Dream went something like this:
Work hard and be honest, this was the formula that paid for the house, the car and the food on the table. If you were on track for a house, a car, and could put food on the table, you got married and had a family. House, car, family and if things went well, time and money to take family vacations. Above and beyond this was the idea of having some savings first for a rainy day and ultimately for a dignified retirement. Finally, for those with the highest expectations of living the American Dream, was the idea of achieving enough financial success so as to not only be able to take care of one’s self and family, but to do something that left the world a better place than one came into it as. Note: Marriage in the American Dream I grew up with was between a man and a woman and the words “I do,” meant for better or worse until death.
Has either President Obama or Mitt Romney ever done hard work, I don’t know. I don’t consider being on the taxpayer dole as a politician or making money by investing other folks money hard work. But frankly, I’m okay with either soft existence as long as both understand that there must be an American Dream. The President has given Americans three years of inspiration of aspiring to nothingness. Five trillion more in debt, men marrying men and women marrying women, radical Islam in charge of the entire Middle East, college debts that will never be able to be repaid by students that were promised that a degree in paper pushing would pay off, and half of American homes not worth what people owe. And of course two hundred and forty million Americans who just don’t work—I could go on and on. As for Mitt Romney, marriage between a man and a woman, I get that, but what else?
My advice to both candidates is to stand in front of the cameras and define for all of us what their idea of the American Dream is. And my advice to any candidate who hasn’t served this country or actually rolled up his or her sleeves and done real work, be humble because your personal American Dream isn’t the one that the rest of us live. And by the rest of us I’m referring to the one third of Americans who actually work. And to this point, which I once again come to, one American Dream for all three hundred and fifty million Americans. Because the one where a few of us work hard to make a few super rich while the rest sit on the sideline and complain that they’re not getting enough out of doing nothing isn’t a dream, it’s a nightmare.