Complete this sentence: The American Dream is the notion that all Americans, regardless of race, country of origin or obstacles to overcome can succeed, providing they . . .
I'm guessing that for most people, the answer is along the lines "work hard."
Not for the Boston Globe. In an editorial of this morning, American Dream Hopes, the Globe has managed to stand the American Dream on its head. What is required to achieve the American Dream is not self-reliance, hard work, gumption, etc. No, what we need to succeed are government-provided or inspired "housing, employment, diversity, justice, access to technology, education, and healthcare." The editorial later makes clear it is talking about 'affordable housing.' Yet another element of restoring the American Dream: jail diversion programs. But of course!
The Globe has an odd way of telling time. It writes: "The work-hard promise of social mobility used to be a fact. From 1947, when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, to 1968, when Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were killed, income inequality decreased, according to the Census Bureau. And families could expect to see their incomes rise. But from 1968 to 1998, income inequality increased."
Was there some cause-and-effect with Jackie playing for the Dodgers and Bobby running for President that the Globe meant to imply? And if the dark ages were 1968-1998, well, LBJ was president in 1968, and Clinton in 1998. So who's to blame?
Still, the Globe manages to identify the guilty party, and it turns out to be . . . capitalism. Or as the Globe puts it: "The dream was deflated by well-known culprits: lost manufacturing jobs, expensive housing, single-parent households, the declining worth of the minimum wage, and pay lavished on highly skilled workers while the income of regular folks stagnated."
Don't you love that last line? 'Pay lavished on highly skilled workers'?
Yes, if only the power to fix pay levels were taken away from those evil forces of the free market, and given to government bureaucrats - those paragons of wisdom and fairness - we would have true equity in this great land of ours. The American Dream would once again flourish - at least in the minds of the nostalgics for socialism that are the editorial board of the Boston Globe.