The current generation does not believe it.
TheAtlantic.com posted the following story, yesterday…
In 1996, when asked a series of questions about the brightness of her future, one high-school senior in an unnamed Midwestern state said, “There’s been extraordinary examples of people that have been poor and stuff that have risen to the top just from their personal hard work … not everybody can do that, I realize, but I think a lot of people could if they just tried.”
In 2011, a survey with identically worded questions was done in the same state, with the same age group. “You can always work hard, but if you aren’t given the opportunity or you don’t have the funds to be able to continue working hard then you never get the chance to get out of where you are,” said one student.
What a difference 15 years makes. In the 1990s, those loosed upon the world after high-school graduation faced a booming economy and relatively sunny job prospects; more recently, high-school and college graduates have faced less hospitable conditions. A study published recently in the Journal of Poverty juxtaposes adolescents’ perceptions from those two eras, and the results, while qualitative and limited by their small sample size, suggest that young Americans’ outlook on social mobility has gotten bleaker. (The study’s findings align with a more-expansive survey of young people suggesting an erosion of confidence in the American Dream.)
The study’s authors, Carol Hostetter, Sabrina Williamson Sullenberger, and Leila Wood, observe that the palpable faith in meritocracy in the 90s faded, making way in the 2010s for a belief in what they call “The American Dream 2.0.” “In this version of the American Dream, anyone can go to college IF they have the resources, are ok about going into debt, can somehow get the coveted scholarship, are willing to go to community college, or come from a family of means,” they write. The new normal appears to be meritocracy with an asterisk.
Their study takes interviews that Hostetter collected in 1996 for her dissertation and sets them alongside surveys they administered in 2011, with the same prompts and questions. Even though the study’s samples aren’t representative, capturing young people’s attitudes and feelings on paper is useful part of a sociological conversation that is often about looking at the same limited sets of numbers from different angles, under different light.
As views on self-advancement changed over that decade and a half, so did views on the advantages of having lots of money. In 1996, high-schoolers were more likely to feel that wealth wasn’t a ticket to happiness, and a lack of opportunity might even have character-building advantages. “If I was rich, I could see where it could come easy just to take it for granted,” one participant said. By contrast, the 2011 group tended to think that wealth made people happier overall, because it affords them material goods, such as Apple laptops, that would give them the respect and attention of their peers.
Perceptions of higher education’s attainability also appeared to shift over the course of 15 years. Both the 1996 and 2011 cohorts saw college fundamentally as a choice, but in 2011, students were more sensitive to the idea that money is a barrier for some. “When you are lower class I don’t think that you get that downpour of, ‘Here’s how you pay for college,’ ‘You’re going to college,’” one student observed.
Taking all of this together, teens (or at least a few of them in that unnamed Midwestern state) have lost confidence in the power of meritocracy and gained faith in the power of money. Generally, an updated version is supposed to be better than its predecessor, but the American Dream 2.0 doesn’t seem like much of an improvement.
Evidently, the word “meritocracy” is Progressive-speak for “individual achievement”.
The defeatism expressed by these young people, before their professional lives have even started, is depressing, but expected.
The fact of the matter is that these “kids” have been raised to believe that no one can achieve anything on their own.
From the time that these young Americans entered school, certain (not all) educators, buoyed by “laissez faire” parenting at, fed them the cock and bull story that “everybody is the same” and “everyone is deserving of a ribbon” in according with their political ideology.
In the words of this generation’s hero, President Barack Hussein Obama,
If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
This Philosophy of “Reaching for Mediocrity”, which Progressives just love to drum into the minds of the young and gullible, is actually a very-limiting, self-fulfilling prophecy.
This negativity toward individual achievement and sublimation of the individual , is not only a part of Modern American Liberals’ Political Ideology, it is also a part of Marxist Theory, in which the individual is programmed into non-existence by the State, for the “good of the State”.
For these young people to actually believe that they cannot accomplish their life goals on their own, is not only an example of “programming”, it is also terribly sad.
At Nickelodeon’s 2013 Teen Choice Awards, Actor Ashton Kutcher told the audience of young people the “way that the cow ate the cabbage” as regards getting ahead in life…
“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work,” Kutcher began with his first point. “When I was 13, I had my first job with my dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job at a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground.”
He went on: “And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job, and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.”
Ashton Kutcher was exactly right. The problem is, the Progressives in charge of both our Education System and, those presently roaming our Halls of Power with impunity, would rather keep these same young people dependent on “Uncle Sugar” the rest of their lives, than to see them…gasp…achieve success on their own.
Thus, through the use of propaganda, willingly supplied by the Main Stream Media, the false meme was floated and later ingrained into the psyche of these young people that is more difficult…nigh, impossible to accomplish your life’s goals on your own nowadays.
It is time to end this self-fulfilling prophecy.
The American Dream of being successful is still available to everyone.
As the Great Inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, said
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
You simply have to have the intestinal fortitude to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and work for it.
Until He Comes,