Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Dollar And A Dream

Yes, it's the slogan of the New York State Lottery (or one of many the state has had over the years). It is quite fitting for such a state as New York, being one of the Bluest in the land. Pondering the true meaning of the words, however, I find myself becoming infuriated at the way the words have been commandeered in such successful fashion, making virtual slaves of the players of lottery games. The tactic is brilliant, one must admit, much as a field general can appreciate the genius of an opposing commander even as he decimates the generals troops.

Government bodies federal, state and local, have slowly and deliberately been squeezing the populace out of earnings while enjoying the support of the people being squeezed, mainly because they have used some of the money confiscated for elaborate campaigns designed to make the robbed applaud. Even if one awakes in the middle of having his pocket picked, a sense of deep awe is sure to steal over his countenance simply for the brilliance of the scheme.

What the states in particular have managed to do is to make paupers of their citizens to the point that what finances they have been permitted to retain they will gladly relinquish for the chance to strike it rich. Bernie Madoff would be proud - if he weren't so preoccupied with protecting his posterior - of such a tactic, worthy of praise from the most staunch enemy.

What I find most appalling about the phrase, though, is that it was what was in the minds of so many of our migrant relatives, those parents and grandparents - or great-grandparents, in some cases - who came to these shores with a dream of making a life of success for themselves and their families. Some came without even the dollar, relying on the dream alone, but they were determined to take advantage of the vast opportunities this country offered and many of them made it. They have since been passing down the businesses they have built or providing educations for their children that had no business to inherit.

Now, they are finding that the Land of Milk and Honey has run dry at the bottom, the elites having seized it all, only to allow it to trickle toward the hungry mouths of the people responsible for its existence in the first place and who jockey for position in the hope of quenching the thirst manufactured by the current benefactors. While I do enjoy the prospect of hitting the lottery, I have never subscribed to the notion that the funds derived from my wagers would actually help fund that which was promised by the State pushers, such as public school funding. I have seen the games grow beyond the scope of my imagination while my property taxes - the likes of which were supposed to see the most benefit - have grown at the same pace as the lottery proceeds.

Our government has forsaken us for the greed they accuse capitalists of engaging in, casting true entrepreneurs in a light most unsavory and fostering an unhealthy envy in their very own dependents geared toward deflecting their rage at the successful. Poor people, who I would categorize as the ordinary, have a misguided hatred of the people who would possibly afford them gainful employment while they gratefully clamor for the crumbs offered by their true oppressors.

Brilliant, indeed. The American people have become as dogs who adore their abusive masters simply because the master alone has the power to decide to stop kicking them. Yet they never dream of sinking their teeth into the offending foot, preferring instead to whimper in the hopes of eliciting mercy.

Meanwhile the dollar has been halved and the dream turned into a nightmare.

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