The American Dream Is Unrecognizable

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“Why Do
USA Persons Not Consider The Creation of Family Wealth?”

As I sit here,
I consider lands that have been developed for hundreds of years,
usually by the members of one family. Businesses that have been
and are being conducted by members of a family that may have been
in this business for generations – and proudly so. I wonder
about USA persons and their failure to comprehend that, in the final
analysis – family is what continues. And family should be protected
from (to as great an extent as possible) the vagaries of fate.

Don’t
misunderstand me, please. USA persons do want their families “taken
care of” …but, usually, this involves the fantasy of huge
amounts of money and no work; a leisure class, pseudo-aristocracy
sort of vision. Not a continuing family business, vineyard, hotel,
et alia. A more boring existence I cannot envision. The sort of
wasted life, failure to develop and use talents sort of …drudgery,
not a vision I would wish on an enemy. To be reduced to looking
for something to break the boredom. Please, gift me with no such
life. But, when you speak to USA persons…this is what they
envision for their heirs. The pursuit of that most shallow of things
– “Fun”, entertainment.

From these
experiences with USA persons I began to examine the current state
of “The American Dream”. It isn’t what it once was
– believe me, it is unrecognizable.

Once this dream
was to be free and with the liberty to pursue any occupation or
trade you could educate yourself to; to be self-supporting and dependent
upon no one else. To generate an economic and social good/service
needed and desired by others at a reasonable profit to yourself
and pay a reasonable wage to your employees. Even to consider the
welfare of your employees as this affected their usefulness to you
and to the economy and the country itself. You’ve heard of
it – capitalism. Of even greater import was the concern of
having your children follow you in the business or profession. This
was part and parcel of the “American Dream”. No more!

Now this “dream”
has become a nightmare. Instead of investing and growing the family-fortune
one consumes it with spending and get-rich-quick-schemes (forgive
me, I consider mutual funds in this category – recent history
bears me out, eh?). No thought is given to the creation of a family
holding and future – only the immediate, short term “profits”
that may be expended to prove ones monetary, and therefore social,
worth.

Somewhere,
somehow USA became convinced that only by spending could the individual
prove their worth and position. While some merchants may adore and
whole-heartedly endorse this I cannot and you should not. This is
called consumerism – as opposed to capitalism. Consumerism
leads to bankruptcy, as many have found out, and the absence of
any meaningful inheritance for your heirs. The Family starts over,
each generation.

Even when these
persons do plan and acquire assets for their families it is not
so that their family members may run the company or continue to
amass the fortune. It is so that their heirs will not have to work…at
anything. Hmmm. Ah well, there is the current “American Dream”.

However, is
this what must be? No! Emphatically no! To overcome this it will
be necessary to re-envision the dream. I commend to your attention
the fashion of education used in certain European counties. That
being the absolute knowledge and requirement that each person will
have to work and produce something of value to the society.

In Switzerland
and several other European States this is considered the norm and
to ignore this in the education of the young would be a disservice.
In USA it is not even considered until the child is in “high
school”. Too late, imo.

But, education
aside – what of the investments made by USA persons? Do they
have lasting value? Few, if any do. They are, like the rest of USA
economy, transient, temporary vehicles and not meant to be held
for any length of time – tax considerations are the primary
concern.

In USA houses
and apartment buildings are not designed for permanency – only
a few decades, at most, as this is the length of time before they
will be demolished and something else erected on the site.

Compare this
to the German standard: The base line duration that is to be built
in to a house or apartment building is two hundred plus years. This
is the sort of building in which one may invest. Is it much more
expensive? No. Does such a consideration reduce maintenance and
up-keep costs? Yes. But, – big but here – but, the depreciation
standards and other tax considerations are vastly different in Europe
than in USA.

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the rest of the article

August
9, 2010

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