The “American Dream” is the opportunity to achieve success and fulfillment through hard work. Some definitions, such as here, focus on the pursuit of happiness. There is an underlying idea that “anyone” can achieve the American Dream, but this is false, and not because of any systemic bigotry. Nor is income equality relevant to the American Dream, since income is relatively unrelated to level of happiness. I am happier with income below the national average than I would be had I won the Powerball lottery last night, although I would prefer to be employed.
Nancy Pelosi thinks people with guaranteed medical insurance will quit their jobs and become photographers or writers, or start their own businesses, rather than being locked into a job. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks unemployed people, replaced by robots, will devote themselves to being more creative. Unfortunately, most people don’t have enough talent to support themselves with freelance jobs or artistic endeavors. Maybe that’s why a universal basic income sounds like a good idea.
The trouble with being a mediocre artist or freelancer is that we all want approval, affirmation, etc. If we are unemployed and doing art, and no one buys it, […]
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