Boring, soulless 9-5 job where you work all day, come home as the day ends, tired and cranky and you only have enough time and energy to park your @ss on the couch and watch TV before its time to go to bed, wake up and do it all over again the next day. Meanwhile more than half of your money is spent on bills and taxes to bail out banks who lend fraudulent predatory loans to people. And your 401K is likely to be taken away from you by the Government.Then one day you wake up, look in the mirror and you're 50 years old. Where did the time go? what have you done with your life? why hasn't your career progressed? why are you in the EXACT same spot that you were at when you were 30?
Is that the American dream?
This is more the American nightmare: swimming for all you're worth yet still being pulled back by the current.
When this country was founded, it was never supposed to be this way. Our Founding Fathers conceived of a land of opportunity where the hard work you describe would yield satisfying results. That's all but gone, now.
I attribute this gross "failure of life" to three factors: deterioration of moral values, overpopulation, and the invention of the microprocessor.
Earth societies have degraded to carbon copy "Sodom and Gomorrahs", each with its own brand of vice, corruption, and propaganda. The basic values which made this nation great have nearly disappeared. You'll never hear of them on tv. God has been replaced by technology and the legal tender. What's right and what's wrong has become a dizzying blur as we race for survival toward oblivion.
As of October 31, 2011, the Earth's population clicked over 7 billion. This planet was never designed to support such a huge human population, despite what many may think. You can hide your head in the sand, but the facts remain. That means there are many more competing for jobs than there were fifty years ago. There is an excess of labor. This forces the price of labor down (supply and demand) making simple survival an excruciating task.
I saved the best for last. I like the television series "Modern Marvels". It's educational. One thing strikes me hard. Whenever a massive factory floor is shown, there are at most, 12 people on the floor. Why? Your job is now being performed by microprocessor controlled robots. Machines have taken jobs from humans. Machines don't get sick, don't take breaks, don't eat lunch, don't ask for raises, don't strike, and don't punch out. . .the perfect employee from management's perspective. As machines get smarter and smarter, there will be fewer and fewer jobs left for humans. We're so proud of the technology that is pushing us to starvation. Isn't that sad!? Manufacturing will never be what it once was, at least not for humans.
I rest my case.
when all their cold robots take over, I say we rebel and construct an economy of art and organic farming. Whereby we will find the american dream of one samuel clemens as he went about the country looking for tasty food. Happiness is not really the product of pursuit, but the product of an action. Don't listen to these people who say 'well, be satisfied, because around the world they'd love to find the surface of your couch cushion', these people who say that are unfortunately acting the coward while they accept sweat. We are not satisfied. We know we can do better than this, why not reach out for that reality. It should read
------- "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Better Reality" -------
They don't get that. They'd rather be satisfied like so many cows and sheep chewing the corporate cud.
The way you put it is not exactly the american "Dream" It seems as though that person you are describing has quit pursuing happiness. I'm sure some poor person in some other country would love the opportunity to park it on such said couch, and have a chance to stand up.
The dream is there, you just have to dream it.
No this is not the american dream. The dream is to have a good paying job, access to good healthcare, a paid vacation, a good home, little debt, good retirement, enough money to send your kids to college, ect... But that dream is not easily attainable anymore because of all the greedy corporations working with government in their favor. The dream is still the same, but its becoming very difficult to get it. We have the power to change it though, and that's what's going to happen I think, I hope.
It's the American reality for many people, and sad as it may seem, it's a far sight better than many others on the planet have it.
It wasn't meant to be that way. Not at all. By the way, if you're 50, shouldn't you be saying "To hell with it all!" and finding yourself a young woman with big hooters?