Obama’s ‘Fine Print’

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Change indeed!

Americans grow up, finish their schooling, get their own cars, their own places to live, go for an easy to get credit card or two, develop a credit history, eventually get married, raise a family, get a bigger place to live and if they haven’t already, at that point many start abusing their credit.

Problem is, the average American has very poor money management and credit management skills (that’s a subject not taught in too many schools) as a result they will quickly run their golden egg producing credit cards up to their limits by making those fabulous minimum payments and will, to their everlasting amazement, then be offered a new even higher credit limit.

What I’ve just described is more than just a series of snapshots that depict people getting into financial trouble, it also describes a culture created by and manipulated by our banks, credit card companies, loan companies and millions of businesses who advertise: “We Finance!” This has been going on for the past two or three generations and it has created a ‘False American Dream’; not the American Dream that says if you work very hard and use your money wisely you can accomplish almost any personal goal — this ‘False American Dream’ has led countless Americans to believe that they can ‘afford’ anything they want because the money is out their waiting for them — past credit history be damned. No one reads the fine print!

From Finance To The ‘Age of Obama’:

In 2008, many American voters were in deep financial trouble because of the False American Dream and this was exacerbated by the Bush Administration’s mismanagement of the economy. With these two conditions in play it’s only natural to assume that these American voters would reject any candidate with any connection to President Bush (i.e., the entire Republican party) and jump at the chance to elect a president who promised the most help. Thus, we entered the age of Obama.

Picking a president based on campaign promises is just as perilous an adventure as applying for that third credit card after the first two are maxed out. It doesn’t seem like you have any choice and you live on the hope that everything will work out all right. Trouble is, with everything you do in life there is “fine print” that needs to be understood and “consequences” that need to be faced. In the case of candidate Obama, the “fine print” was hidden in the practiced eloquence of his speech and in the blinding glow of his well-polished charisma. The fine print didn’t lie either; it presented a fairly accurate picture of the thoughts and aspirations of the candidate, i.e., ‘the free-market does not work; big business is not to be trusted; every individual American must sacrifice so the government can provide for those who have less and need more; only government control can save us all from the ongoing financial crisis and only the government can put American’s back to work.’ That and more was all there in the “fine print” for all of us to “read.”

It’s safe to assume that many people who voted for candidate Obama did not look beyond the rhetoric and charisma to “read” the fine print. Those who did and still voted for candidate Obama probably fall into two categories: 1) those who like the idea of an all-powerful government that would “take care of them” and 2) those who understood the implied socialism in what candidate Obama was saying and assumed that it was all just political rhetoric — like in every election — and not to be taken too seriously. After all who would seriously think that a new president would dare to even consider turning the United States economy and culture into something resembling a European country’s?

It’s time to face the consequences — next time “read the fine print”

Chicago Tribune: U.S. unemployment rate may be more than 10 percent already

Bloomberg: “ U.S. Commercial Construction to Drop 16% This Year, Report Says

Reuters: Waves of job losses sap U.S. states’ budgets

Barack Obama’s American Dream

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Is Barack Obama still too ‘green’
to comprehend the American Dream?

In the concluding portion of his regular Saturday address to the ‘YouTubers’, President-elect Obama referred to the “survival of the American Dream”. Here is what he said:

“The survival of the American Dream for over two centuries is not only a testament to its enduring power, but to the great effort, sacrifice, and courage of the American people.”

He’s absolutely right if you interpret the last word: “people” to mean individual Americans. Based on his own words during the past year, I don’t believe he meant it that way.

To begin with, the American dream is not anything that a president, a president-elect or a congress (or a blogger) can define for us because it is defined BY each of us, as measured by our own ambitions. A low-wage laborer who has a home and a loving family and a comfortable existence MAY HAVE attained his American Dream — he may be as happy as (or happier than) the CEO of a large corporation — or his dream may be larger, it may depend on an idea he has yet to bring to fruition or a job he is trying to get. More then likely, however, his American Dream has little to do with anything outside of his personal sphere of existence.

The president-elect then went on, still speaking of his version of the American Dream:

“It has thrived because in our darkest hours, we have risen above the smallness of our divisions to forge a path towards a new and brighter day. We have acted boldly, bravely, and above all, together.”

Its obvious now that the president-elect is not speaking of the American Dream, he’s speaking of the American spirit. That survival instinct that kicks in in time of trouble and unifies us in our common identity: loyal American citizens.

It is this American Spirit that binds us together to overcome a common obstacle, to beat back a threat or reach a new milestone. It’s necessary to note, however, that, even here, it is individual incentive based on self-preservation and on our voluntary willingness to band together for a common cause that carries the day.

So President-elect Obama gave a speech about the American Dream and assigned it the characteristics of the American Spirit: one being a personal set of goals and ambitions and the other a national spirit that kicks in when our country is in peril. Was this just a poor choice of words; a simple confusion of terminology? I sincerely doubt it.

What I take away from what the president-elect is saying is that he wants us on the road to a collective American Dream in which we give up our personal dreams and ambitions for “the greater good.” That has been the president-elect’s theme since he started running for the presidency: the greater good! Every American should have heard him say it and, since they elected him, we must assume that the majority of Americans are OK with that!

The purpose of this post is to say loudly and clearly that THIS American is NOT OK with that! The president-elect wants us to adopt this “for the greater good” attitude, he wants us to “sacrifice” (another favorite word in Obama’s dictionary) our aspirations so that those with no aspirations (or ambition) can have a richer life.

Are you ready for that America? Are you really going to go along quietly into Obama’s dark night?

Lets remember that the American people did not create the economic morass that the country finds itself in; it was created by individuals — most of whom are elected officials, others who have seats on the boards of directors of large corporations and still others who are appointees to high positions in government agencies. Should we, the American public, have to adjust our lives or give up even a single dream to compensate for their greed and misdirection; or should we insist that the government gets its house in order with a reduced and balanced budget before it asks the American public for even a single sacrifice?

President-elect Obama then completed his Saturday address with this:

That is the chance our new beginning now offers us, and that is the challenge we must rise to in the days to come. It is time to act. As the next president of the United States, I will.

You know; I’m very afraid that he will!

News Links

Monthly Review: Obama: The American Dream

WiredPRNews: Obama and McCain to Work Together for the Greater Good

Blog Links:

Blatt’s Blog . . .: Hello everyone, goodbye World as we know it.

LewRockwell.com: Obama Service, aka Involuntary Servitude

Whymrhymer’s P.O.V. can also be found at the Blogger News Network