What happens when the foundation of an entire country´s identity falls apart? Without a doubt over the past few years it’s become a known fact that the US has been struggling with “identity issues”. A country built on the promise to provide liberty and justice for all and built on the opportunity to live the american dream couldn´t be further from the truth.
The american economy was built on the idea that no matter where you came from you had the same opportunity as everyone else to climb up the social latter. The entire idea of being your own boss and being an entrepreneur was by far the most attractive thing the US economy could offer. But how could a sistem ensure “liberty and justice” without considering the principles of socialism?
“Inequality is much more than a side-effect of free market capitalism. It is a symptom of policy negligence, where for decades, credit and monetary stimulus shortcuts too easily substituted for structural reform, investment and economic strategy. Capitalism has been incredibly successful at boosting wealth, but it has failed at redistributing it. Today, without a push to redistribute wealth and opportunity, our model of capitalism and democracy may face self-destruction.” World Economic Forum. (2018). How the American dream turned into greed and inequality.
How can a system that is only focused on growing money and not redistributing it believe that they are paving the way for a society based on freedom and justice? Could it be that this idea of the american dream has become a nightmare over the years? People go to the US in search of the “american dream”, being able to own their own small business, but what happens when there isn´t enough for everyone? When the government fails to provide equal access to basic needs and there aren´t enough policies that work to fulfill the principle so that everyone has equal opportunities.
The idea that the trickle down effect would enable the economy to keep growing and redistributing the wealth has been proven to fail. Instead of the trickle down effect it has become the funnel effect where most of the wealth concentrates at the very top with only a very little part of it reaching the bottom part of society.
All of this being said, I’m wondering what if the US instead of using capitalism as their weapon to safeguard their freedom and justice, what would have happened if it had been socialism? This under the assumption that all five axioms are not violated and that the correct policies set in place. I know it sounds fairly unrealistic to make such assumptions, but I can´t help but wonder that things could be very different (for the better or for the worst) if a different mindset had been taken into consideration.
With a country so powerful and built on so many hopes and dreams of others. I find it so hard to understand how there can be such a marked inequality and injustice between races, ethnicity and sex given that the country was founded on the idea of equality and liberty. Or maybe it was built so that only a select group of people would benefit from these principles.
I hope I caused some kind of reflection and I’d love to hear your opinion on this.
World Economic Forum. (2018). How the American dream turned into greed and inequality. [online] Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/11/the-pursuit-of-happiness-how-the-american-dream-turned-into-greed-and-inequality/ [Accessed 21 Mar. 2018].