Wednesday, August 8, 2007

American Dream

This week has been a rollercoaster emotionally. A job came up that I thought I might be qualified for and it paid really well. I mean REALLY WELL. If I got this job, in two years I could retire with the bills, cars, house upgrades and the house paid off. On the other hand I would be stationed with the Army in the field in Iraq. The threat of death or dismemberment was pretty real too. I did my first interview and though I had a lot of the requirements for the job, I was lacking in the area of hands on electronics maintenance. I really was pretty disappointed.

When I was growing up my Dad worked and my mom didn't. They bought a house with a 20 year low fixed rate mortgage and were able to pay it off, pay for whole family health insurance, have two cars, put money aside, and retire while they had a few years left. The California Native Americans that lived here in San Diego worked 2 hours a day to maintain their lifestyle. We work at least 4 times that just to maintain ours. I guess the new American Dream is both partners need to work at least full time, 50 weeks a year till they drop dead.

I started working when I was 11 years old. I have never had a real high-paying job even though I have a Bachelors degree and two Associates degrees. The only job that paid well was a construction job working in a radioactive, toxic environment. I have never been able to put money aside for retirement so I guess I will work till I leave this earth, and still not have the house paid off.

Today, compared to our parents or past generations, we work more, we live more crowdedly, we pay more for less health care, and our environment and natural resources are still diminishing. It just doesn't seem to me like the "Good Life" of that "American Dream" is progressing.

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