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The Republican version of the American Dream is a perverted vision, one where owners are successes and employees are the filth between your toes after a long hike through a swamp in ill-fitting boots. What is Mitt Romney's recipe for success?

We've always encouraged young people take it, take a shot, go for it. Take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents. Start a business.
How does Paul Ryan define success?
Do you want the American idea of an opportunity society with a safety net where you can take a risk, start a business, make a difference, succeed and be honored for being successful? Or do we go down the path the president is proposing -- a social welfare state, a cradle-to-the-grave society where we have more takers than makers.
How about Reince Priebus?
Well, how would he know? President Obama’s never run a company. He hasn’t even run a garage sale or seen the inside of a lemonade stand. So it’s time for a President with real experience in the real economy.
Here is what Tom Sternberg, the co-founder of Staples, had to say about Democrats:
They don’t believe in the spirit of the entrepreneur. They don’t understand what it means to risk money to create something new. They don’t understand the hard work it takes to get a business off the ground. The sacrifices you make, the Little League games you miss. They don’t see that this is a country of opportunity, where someone like myself, the son of immigrants, born in Newark, New Jersey … can live the American dream.
Then there's Eric Cantor, on Labor Day:
Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.
They are full of it.

The phrase "American Dream" has been around in one form or another for a long time, but it was popularized by historian James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book Epic of America:

But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.
Martin Luther King envisioned an American Dream that included blacks as well as whites:
We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands...when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Neither of those definitions excluded all but business owners. In fact, the American Dream was at its fullest when the post-war America boomed through union-worker manufacturing.

So how should our President respond? This is what I would like to hear.

This country was built on the American Dream, a dream that every person would enjoy the fruits of his labors, the benefit of her talents and education, unhampered by artificial ceilings based upon birth, title, race, or gender. That every generation would pass a better life and a better world to their children. That America was a land of equal opportunity for every man and woman.

My opponents have a very different version of the American Dream. In their dream the only people who can call themselves "successful" are business owners. The father who works two jobs to send his children to college he could never afford? To Mitt Romney that man is a failure. The single mother who gets a promotion due to hard work and loyalty, a promotion that lets her buy her children a computer or new school clothes? She's not part of the dream, either. Neither is the union worker building a new generation of American car for a surging American auto industry, even though that worker is making enough money in his pocket and pride in his work to buy one of those cars as it comes off the line.

I disagree with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I, too, know the value of the American Entrepreneur. The small business owner is the backbone of America. But the worker, the hard working man or woman on the assembly line, on the construction site, or in the cubicle, is the muscle and the heart of America. Without a backbone AND a heart AND the muscles to do the work, there is no American Dream.

So I say to my opponents, stop hating the worker. Stop telling the employee he's a "taker," that she doesn't count, that they're not part of the American dream.

There's nothing wrong with being an employee. I should know, because I'm an employee. I work for you.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As somebody who has run a small business, (7+ / 0-)

    I can say that it would be very hard to get anything done without employees, and that hiring good employees is the most important job a small businessman does.

    So the whole "entrepreneurs are the godhead" GOP formulation just mystifies me.

  •  They've gone from hating people on welfare to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dhonig, Youffraita, efrenzy, Calamity Jean

    hating working people that are unemployed, to hating unions, now they hate working people in general.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:33:07 AM PDT

    •  Well.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, Angela Quattrano
      They've gone from hating people on welfare to hating working people that are unemployed, to hating unions, now they hate working people in general.
      Let's examine this....
      They hate people on Welfare....then fix it, people really don't like being on Welfare, despite what the Richie Riches say.  Train the people on Welfare, teach them a marketable skill, offer a jobs bill to enable people to learn AND earn a livable wage.  But we need cooperation.
      They hate working people who are unemployed....then fix it, working people want to work, and would be working had their jobs not been outsourced or downsized, or the company they worked for, bought and closed.  Retrain these workers and offer them a job where they will be able to earn a livable wage.  But we need cooperation.
      They hate Unions....of course they do.  There is strength in numbers, and because of Unions we've had enormous progress in the state of workers' rights over the years.  And we need cooperation for the benefit of both the worker and the employer.  
      They hate working people in general....Well, that's really too bad, because without working people the elitists wouldn't have a business to run or pretty much anything else of worth in this country.  Great to be wealthy, but being wealthy and having everything outside your isolated little bubble a shambles is recklessly stupid and not sustainable.
      Perhaps a jobs bill for the über rich would be in order as well, to retrain them in basic human interaction, and the 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' concept.
      A good swift kick in the pants of the elite would be of immense benefit.  We're all in this together, and without getting all Pollyanna-ish, if they don't change their tune, we're all gonna land in the dung heap.  And ya know what, they're  gonna be there too.

      I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

      by Lilyvt on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:10:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Employees are just line items to these people (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, dhonig, efrenzy, Dirtandiron

    Assets to be acquired and disposed of as easily as one would change out the office furniture.

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