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What are we striving for as a people here in America? What do we realistically think we can achieve as a group here in this country? Is true equality a reality? Surely it's not "color blindness" - but what do we want? One could certainly make the argument that as the rich continue to exploit the poor, that poor whites will increasingly turn against blacks to express their frustration (link). So it is not far fetched to think that race relations might get worse at some point in the future. Surely things like affirmative action are defintely ripe to be excised from the American political landscape.

What is at the end of the rainbow for African America? Do we think we will ever generate the leverage to get America to grant us a homeland? Reparations? Will we get to the point where we will ever have equal access to the "American Dream"? Ever? Confused

Are we really striving for something or are we on a treadmill - constantly moving but going nowhere? What are we doing? Where are we going?

What do you think?

© MBM

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The American Dream is a neurotic delusion for stupid White people.

You can go to a lot of Black websites and see thread after thread about racism. Economics is more important than racism. I would rather have my home payed for and $200,000 in the bank and live next door to a White racist than live in a Black neighborhood and pay rent to a White man even it the White man was a really nice guy.

When do our Black leaders talk about seeing tha ALL BLACK AMERICANS having their homes payed for and stop paying these NAZIs to live on this land they annihilated the Indians to steal?

Economics is about POWER! Black people without economic power are LOOSERS! Talking about racism is a waste of TIME.

umbrarchist
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:

Should be even be striving to achieve the American dream? Or should we create our own vision seperate and outside of America?


That's what I'm asking. What are we moving toward? What should we be dreaming of?


I don't believe in the American Dream. I'm with Umbra in that my goal personally is to achieve economic stability. This is * achievable *. The American Dream - to the extent that 'equality' requires acceptance - is not.

quote:

What is at the end of the rainbow for African America? Do we think we will ever generate the leverage to get America to grant us a homeland? Reparations? Will we get to the point where we will ever have equal access to the "American Dream"? Ever?


Any kind of leverage will only come from $$$-power. We can demonstrate how moral, how intellectually brilliant, trustworthy, and capable we are until we're blue in the face. Hardcore whitey will still demand more proof. So that by no means should be the goal.
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:

The American Dream is a neurotic delusion for stupid White people.


quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:

I don't believe in the American Dream.


Well, what does the American Dream mean to you? To most I would think it is a good job, a family, a home, a car. What is wrong with that? Aren't you striving for those things? Don't you want MORE money in your bank account rather than LESS?
quote:

Well, what does the American Dream mean to you? To most I would think it is a good job, a family, a home, a car. What is wrong with that? Aren't you striving for those things? Don't you want MORE money in your bank account rather than LESS?


Let's not talk about a family (I've had that discussion elsewhere) - but if all we're talking about is material goods: car, money, home, job, etc. then sure this stuff is attainable for many of us. Yes I desire economic security and believe it can be achieved - at least speaking for myself.

But is that all people mean when they talk about the American Dream? Aren't there all sorts of other warm fuzzy connotations that attach to the term?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
What do we realistically think we can achieve as a group here in this country? Is true equality a reality?


Hundred years ago, when Blacks were having their bodies hung from trees, their testicles hacked off, and basic rights taken from them on a daily basis, I'm sure someone had pondered this very same question: "What can Black people realistically expect to achieve in this country?" Now, because of our ancestors' unwaivering faith and sacrifice, everyone everywere is asking themselves: What can't those Black people realistically achieve in this country? Black people have survived the worst treatment that any group on the planet has ever endured, and despite the problems that we see in poor Black communities, we remain a optimistic and goal-oriented people. We should be telling ourselves everyday that we are not only THE American Dream, we represent the World's Dream.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Now, because of our ancestors' unwaivering faith and sacrifice, everyone everywere is asking themselves: What can't those Black people realistically achieve in this country? Black people have survived the worst treatment that any group on the planet has ever endured, and despite the problems that we see in poor Black communities, we remain a optimistic and goal-oriented people. We should be telling ourselves everyday that we are not only THE American Dream, we represent the World's Dream.


You must have been reading my mind Rowe, you took the words right out of my mouth. I've always felt that the American Dream was my dream, your dream, anyone's dream, what ever dream that is. This is the country where it can happen. No matter how bad things get, we always push through because we have a hope for something better. America has a sense of hope that I think is gone in most of the rest of the world. Despite all our short-commings I believe we a blessed.
This is a graph of the bankruptcy rate for the United States. Notice on the left that it is not linear, near the bottom it is 100, near the top it is 10,000. This is the American dream in the REAL WORLD.



Since Christmas I have emailed 1200 economists about this ignoring consumer depreciation business. I have gotten back 5 responses. One of them said my information was "interesting." They can't solve a grammar school algebra problem for 50 years and it's "interesting."

umbrarchist
I can live with K41's reply i.e. equal reward for equal effort.

I know what the 'end of the rainbow' is, but my ultimate expectation of America is societal parity.

Not equality, but parity.

And we have the key to that, not European-Americans.

It appears we will be a long, long time achieving 'equal reward for equal effort'.

We will not even demand equal treatment under the law.

What can we expect???

That is more on point.

PEACE

Jim Chester
First off, I think it's important for everyone to assess and reassess their goals frequently. Because life, and our lives don't remain static. So it is a great question to ask of ourselves - what is our version of the American (or Australian) dream?

Wanting a house (territory), a car (mobility), and income (security) is fine, however the perception and reality of the so-called American Dream depend entirely on the person dreaming the dream.

OK call me a wet blanket but...

A lot of people relocate to the USA (consciously or unconsciously) purely for economic reasons rather than altruistic ones. No crime in doing that if it is financial betterment rather yearning for a mega-greed lifestyle. Who cares about them, you ask? Well, that is the 'picture' (money=wealth and happiness on certain terms) the US media loves and wants spin to the rest of the planet. The days of people looking at the US as the land of liberty and warm fuzzy things is over. Suepr-consumers dream of going to the US to make lotsa money, others celebrate living somewhere else. This is the 'dream' that GW and his Hollywood cronies perpetuate. This is how 'we' see the USA because that is how it's presented by your media.

Hope really rests in each individual.

The USA may be full of hope, Black Viking (seriously, is it? I hope so! I 'see' more fear and disillusionment expressed these days than hope??), but it has become the leader as the land of enmasse mega-comsumption, and the mega-consumer. Of natural resources, of talent, of money.

And as we all know, not everyone gets a piece of the pie. Although not everyone wants a piece of that particular Greed pie.

My conern is when people of other nationalities go to the USA in search of the Hollywood Dream which is what the American Dream seems to have morphed into. Along the way they can so easily and WILLINGLY 'lose' their own cultural identity in the race to keep up with the right car, right income, right house, and the right plethora of consumer goods. In short, the American MegaConsumers' Dream.

I certainly hope I'm totally wrong. Smile
Convince me. Rowe certainly has.
.
Folks, respectfully, it seems that the conversation is focusing on something that was only a minor detail in the question. Instead of arguing about whether we should embrace some nebulous concept like the American Dream - please answer what we should be focusing on, what we should be dreaming about. Who cares what it is called, what is it that we should aspire to in the first place?
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:

This is a graph of the bankruptcy rate for the United States. Notice on the left that it is not linear, near the bottom it is 100, near the top it is 10,000. This is the American dream in the REAL WORLD.



Since Christmas I have emailed 1200 economists about this ignoring consumer depreciation business. I have gotten back 5 responses. One of them said my information was "interesting." They can't solve a grammar school algebra problem for 50 years and it's "interesting."

umbrarchist


I'm not sure what you are asking. Clearly there is a positive correlation between consumer debt and bankruptcy. That that correlation increases exponentially with greater debt is intuitive. What specifically are you asking?

"consumer depreciation business"? Are you just noting that consumers are, on average, buying more "stuff" now than before and financing it with consumer debt? Are you inferring that the whole idea of the American Dream is something that is designed to advance consumerism and therefore we mortgage our financial health and futures to "buy" it? What? bsm
ok MBM... here's a start. Hope it's not too abstract or nebulous a list. Wink

Freedom of speech and opinion.
Freedom to make choices.
Equal rights for everyone.
Accessiblity to quality healthcare for all.
Inclusion for all in the workplace and education system. Including language, culture.
A culture of ethical business.
Religious freedom.
Quality education for all.
Respect for everyone.
Equal opportunity.
Shared responsibility.
.
that's all I can come up with right now.
quote:
I'm not sure what you are asking. Clearly there is a positive correlation between consumer debt and bankruptcy. That that correlation increases exponentially with greater debt is intuitive. What specifically are you asking?

"consumer depreciation business"? Are you just noting that consumers are, on average, buying more "stuff" now than before and financing it with consumer debt? Are you inferring that the whole idea of the American Dream is something that is designed to advance consumerism and therefore we mortgage our financial health and futures to "buy" it? What? bsm


quote:
Wanting a house (territory), a car (mobility), and income (security) is fine, however the perception and reality of the so-called American Dream depend entirely on the person dreaming the dream.


That is an interesting sentence.

What is the reality of a dream, any dream?

I don't give a damn about any dreams. I am talking about understanding reality and manipulating it into a more desireable future reality. The future is coming and will enentually be the current reality, but what it will be like depends on decisions we make and actions we take today. But our decisions depend on our understanding of current reality.

That association between income and security for instance. There are people with pensions from General Motors who assumed their incomes were secure but Wall Street is worried about General Motors going bankrupt. If that happens how secure will the income from those pensions be? Suppose a man had $10,000,000 in a safe deposit box. He could live the rest of his life with zero income. Many people would consider that dumb but he would be secure with NO INCOME.

The state of the American economy doesn't really surprise me and IN MY OPINION the economics profession still isn't distributing the necessary information to understand what is going on. I understood that planned obsolescence was going on in automobiles before I graduated from grammar school. I haven't been to an auto show since 1965 but I didn't notice that economists were ignoring the depreciation of durable consumer goods until 1976.

I figure the American people have lost at least TEN TRILLION DOLLARS on depreciation of automobiles since 1945. This doesn't count more money spent on car loans and insurance due to higher prices caused by planned obsolescence. Henry Ford brought the price of the Model T down from $850 in 1908 to $300 by 1927 by not changing the car. I think he was mistaken by not changing the car during a time when mechanical engineering technology was actually improving. The P-51 Mustang could not have been designed and built in 1927. Most of the changes in cars since the 50s have either been unnecessary or compensations for bad designs that never should have been made in the first place. An electronic ignition system could be retrofit to a 1957 Chevy, entire cars don't need to be redesigned to obtain genuine improvements.

Our present could be very different if different decisions had been made in the past, like making accounting mandatory in all high schools for all students since 1945. Would that graph of bankruptcies be very different? We cannot change the past we can only try to affect the present. That is why I put this stuff on the internet.

I do find it curious that no one has commented on my suggestion of mandatory accounting. No agreement, but no disagreement. LOL

umbrarchist
quote:
A_G: Wanting a house (territory), a car (mobility), and income (security) is fine, however the perception and reality of the so-called American Dream depend entirely on the person dreaming the dream.



quote:
umbrarcist: that is an interesting sentence.

What is the reality of a dream, any dream?.


OK I was talking about the perception of the dream vs the reality. The dreamer asks themself:
What is the dream and is the dream achievable?
Does the dream translate to a plan or an ideology?
Is the plan or ideology actionable?
What would it take to achieve that dream? What would 'I' sacrifice to achieve that dream?
Is the dream a mirage, an escape, or a fantasy. eg. I dream to become a celebrity.

I do take your point about General Motors, but I feel you're nit-picking a tad... for the sake of the discussion I was speaking in general about steady income... and that income increases 'your' options, and what options you choose, whether it's paying off a mortgage or paying the rent somewhere you want to live, vs no income. There is no life-time guarantee on a life-time job or a life-long marriage.

My response to your comment suggesting "accounting be made mandatory in schools" is this... great idea, depending how it's presented and by whom.

Financial independence in 'your' personal life and balancing the home budget is great, admirable even, but I don't a world full of corporate bean-counters. They might cut costs in businesses, but in their zeal to save a buck they can also curb creativity and stifle ideas and experimentation.
.
IMHO, we should be striving to become a unified, self-sufficient African American community. We should encourage and support small individuals who have the potential to be the next Donald Trump or Bill Gates. We should establish more of our own banks, improve our urban "blight", develop business and professional incubators to enable us to decrease our dependency on those who seek our demise rather than our growth.

Education is certainly key to self-sufficiency and we should strive to encourage African American youth to stay in school, avoid teen pregnancy, address crime in pre-school rather than in juvenile halls, and improve our own quality of life. Material things are nice, but they are just "stuff".

Integrity, character, values, and knowledge are things that can not be stolen once acquired. As addressed in another thread here some time ago, integration was one of the worst things that happened to the African American as it resulted in our economic power, small businesses, and professionals leaving our neighborhoods.

The American Dream can never be ours as we are no longer African and not yet American. There is no rainbow for us. We must build our own.
We, Americans who are African American, should aspire to a place and role of parity in American society.

That place will enable us, as a people, to (finally) have equal protection under the law.

That place would have our ancestral nationality to be recognized as an integral party our society.

That place would enable us to function as individuals as every other individual in our society.

PEACE

Jim Chester
I think what we should be striving for and what we continue to strive for is reclaiming our communities and finding ways to make sure our youths aren't statistics. I don't believe that the truth myth of the American Dream exist for most Americans, and it has never existed for African Americans. Black Millionaires still cannot conquer the sickness of white supremacy, and as long as white supremacy exist, the American Dream cannot be and has never been a reality. As opposed to chasing after the so called American Dream, we should continue to chase after bettering our schools, making our children aware of our history and the black diaspora, continue or efforts to work on ending black on black violence. We should give back to our communities, and circulate black monies in the black community. What is my American Dream? To see the my brothers and sisters no longer held in bondage by white rule.

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