Americans seem to be at a loss today to find an answer to the question, “who are we”? We have associated ourselves to be the leader in the world of many things. This has been true since about 1948 when the west surged upward and away from the rest of the world in many different categories including being the reserve currency for the entire world.
And because the USA was leading the way it gave the rest of the world something to strive for and set an example of how to achieve the goals set out.
In the past few decades the structure of the world has changed, the Asian and Latin American countries began to “catch up” and living standards started to converge. Now thanks to the incredible reductions in poverty, the United States is not the winner “by a long ways” many countries are hot on our heals.
I think that this equalization of the world is a good thing but the change in global social structure has created a psychological crisis in the U.S. Since WW II all of us in the U.S. has built our national identity on our rank among the nations…….at the front with everyone else trailing behind. In the world of converging sociology there are not many countries left in the dust, everyone is experiencing this social growth.
Many are moving from poverty, living on less than $2.00 per day to the standard of middle class. That means they have money to spend on non-necessities but it also involves a shift in values. People in the middle class have fewer children but spend more time and money on the children they do have.
They teach their children to lead different lives than their own instead of expecting them to come into the family business or a family tradition of certain types of careers. to learn new ways to live that will make us feel like our life is “crash-proof”. It reminds me of something that Karl Marx observed and wrote about, he said, “it (education) unleashes a relentless spirit of improvement and openness that alters every ancient institution”.
This shift to the middle class is good because according to the Pew Research Center, when they interviewed middle class people they found that they are more likely to value democracy, free speech and objective judiciary. They were found to embrace pluralism and believe that you don’t have to believe in God to be a good person.
The new Paradigm is in educating the population of the world and the United States has a distinct role to play in that education. We have been the leaders of the world for over a half century and we have produced the likes of Benjamin Franklin, one of the original spokesmen for the middle class.
The U.S. produced Horatio Alger who told stories about poor boys and girls who rose up to the middle class by being serious about their education. We have produced such self-help guru’s as Dale Carnegie to Oprah Winfrey not to mention the U.S created the suburbs and a new sort of middle class dream.
The dream they created was in owning a home, getting to know your neighbors, working hard at a job, raising a family and retiring with a pension.
For many the economy has destroyed the dreams of security and financial stability as more and more people become un-employed and so many houses are being foreclosed on. What happened to the American Dream?
We have a lack of confidence in our leadership which leads us to believe that we need to take the future into our own hands. If we do not do this immediately we may just see the entire middle class wiped out. Even though it seems indestructible with the huge numbers of people who have risen out of poverty to middle class. We need to remember that the middle class has the biggest tax burdens and because of higher education and hopes for a bright future for our children we will go into tremendous debt for the sake of that education.
Education is the key, how do we “crash-proof” our wealth? How do we put our self into a position that the recession doesn’t affect us, the devaluation of our dollar isn’t an issue and inflation won’t take the food off of our table?
Because the old paradigm has been “disrupted” never to return we need to look to new ways to educate ourselves. The universities are not teaching us what we need to know, who we can trust, what to invest in because they are stuck back in the old paradigm.
Everyone wants the answers on how to “crash-proof” their future and prosperity. There is really only one way and that is to shift into the new Paradigm of thinking because things have changed drastically as you know and so this shift is needed. There is so much that can be done but we need to educate in order to see these tasks through.
Taking care of your own finances, health, personal development may seem like a small shift but think of it on a massive scale and what we could accomplish if every man and woman takes responsibility for these three things. That is how we “crash-proof” our lives in every respect.