Nice cartoon. I note the text of this speech was given in 1995. That’s almost twenty years ago, and while it may have been applicable back then, it certainly doesn’t work today.
This is how radically our culture has changed in those twenty years: if you take a “lesser job,” whether it be in hours or money, you can no longer afford to buy a house or have a kid on what you’ll make. The 1% have rigged the game against us. Either you dance to their tune, or you survive poorly.
I found a way to work a lot less so I can write a lot more, but I make almost no money at it. Money greases the wheels in this country. When the car breaks, I won’t be able to afford to replace it. I don’t have insurance, so if I get sick, I may very well die. I’m single, so I don’t get any tax breaks.
I’m as happy as I’ve ever been… for now. I have a roof over my head, a car, and I’m not ill enough currently to need medical intervention. I can live with the pain of whatever’s wrong in my leg. But what happens when the status quo changes? Because things always change. That’s a fact.
So yeah, cute cartoon. But it doesn’t address our current reality. Today’s college grads are gonna discover selling out (or turning to a life of crime) is the only thing they can do if they want the car, the house, a marriage, and a kid. They may even have to sell out to two employers, which will definitely not give them the life so prettily illustrated in the cartoon.
And if they’re not straight white males, they’re gonna find it even harder to get any piece of the so-called American Dream, “so-called” because it’s most definitely a dream. The reality is gonna be hard to swallow.
Twenty years. That’s how quickly our quality of life has dropped. When people say “things can change in a heartbeat,” that’s pretty much true. Twenty years is barely measurable on America’s timeline, and it won’t show up at all on the world’s, and yet look what has happened during that short blip.
I only hope the reverse change happens as quickly, and we get back the things that once made this country so great. I want to see us get it back by moving forward, not trying, like the GOP, to go back to a time that no longer exists, and shouldn’t. I want to see real values being lauded again, and money take its rightful place far below things like loyalty, ethics, kindness and generosity.
But I’m not holding my breath. The 1% are holding onto our money and their power with all their strength. It’s gonna take something extraordinary to change this status quo.