No One Signed the Declaration of Independence to Get an SUV

Yesterday was the Fourth of July and USA Today decided to celebrate it by running this atrocious story: “Price tag for the American dream: $130K a year.” The story features a graphic that has all the alleged expenses of “the American dream.” Some of them were just useless, like the medical expenses. That number would vary wildly (or perhaps now that we are all equally gouged under Obamacare it is easier to figure out).

And why assume everyone would want an SUV? Why not a used minivan?

For that matter, why stop at two children? That’s not my American dream.

The education expenses seem weird. Some people homeschool and some people use private school.

Naturally, they try to make the story seem like something other than a piece of whiny entitled indulgence that deserves to be written off with the hashtag #firstworldproblems (think what people living in places in Africa or South America or many other places think about this kind of story).

No idea is more central to Americans’ outlook than the American dream — the belief that with hard work and the freedom to pursue your destiny you can achieve success and provide better opportunities for your children.

Historian John Truslow Adams, who coined the term, called it “the greatest contribution we have made to the thought and welfare of the world.” It has inspired millions of people from every corner of the globe to come here in search of liberty and opportunity.But the financial crisis, housing bust and Great Recession have caused more of us to worry that the American dream is out of reach.

For the vast majority of Americans, there is a sense that achieving the American dream is becoming more difficult,” wrote Mark Robert Rank, Thomas A. Hirschl and Kirk A. Foster in a new book.

This is all a bait and switch.

If USA Today simply wrote about the popping of the standard of living bubble, they could try to deal with it honestly and investigate the causes. But that’s not in the cards because USA Today, like the rest of the mainstream news, exists to defend and promote the Federal Reserve plunder system by which the richest people in the world daily benefit from the creation of new money at the expense of the rest of us and our declining ability to afford what we used to afford.

But the idea that there is one set “American dream” is part of the propaganda that allows our political and financial order to perpetuate itself at our expense. The most obvious recent example is the ideal of home ownership. It isn’t merely true that home ownership is more difficult since 2008. It was precisely the government-encouraged dream of widespread homeownership that actually helped crash the housing market.

You are responsible for deciding on your own dream and doing your best to make it happen, learning to be grateful for success and patient in the face of failure. No country can or should guarantee you anything except justice and freedom. The whole point of this kind of story is to make readers clamor for government “help” and trade what government is supposed to do for what government can never do—create prosperity.