Monday, October 23, 2006

Two Americas

There's the America of the blind and the America of those who can see. Ruben Navarrette Jr. decries these two Americas in his latest article.
The divide shows up in a recent CNN poll that asked people if they thought the American Dream was now impossible to reach. Fifty-four percent said yes, while 45 percent said no.

How depressing.

There are Americans who believe that this is still a country of unlimited opportunity for those who work hard and sacrifice. And there are others who are convinced that the deck is stacked against working men and women.

There are those who believe that what works against some folks are not the bad breaks, but bad choices such as dropping out of high school or ambling through life without ambition. And there are others who believe that human beings are at the mercy of sinister forces beyond their control.
See in the blind America that Naverette occupies, there are no problems with our economic system that removing government regulations can't solve. The obvious disparities in our system are caused not by the wealthy and the corporations trying to maintain their privileged place in society, but by poor people being lazy and stupid. But obviously this is in part fantasy.

In any capitalist system, and make no mistake, I'm a capitalist, you are going to have losers, who will sometimes deserve it and will sometimes not. But when the pundit and business class says that the economy is going gangbusters and yet a large portion of the economy doesn't feel like they are sharing in the wealth, doesn't feel like they could share in the wealth, well, the problems are more than just laziness and stupidity on the part of poor people.

And the answer has to be more complex than Naverette's "pay no attention to the corporations and Republicans behind the curtain."

No comments: