America is my country.

It was America that gave me my life, my culture and my identity. The lands of America are truly as majestic as claimed; diverse in nature, culture and ideals. Mountains touch the sky and extend their streams to the vast plains, providing nourishing waters that sustain the beauty of this nation.  America is a land where all were invited to join in an attempt at creating a new culture.  A culture poured from the melting pot forged by our forefathers and bequeathed to our care.  A culture that we call American.

It was America that taught me the importance of my rights and liberties and to defend them on all fronts; having faith that the ideals and justice of America will guide our righteous cause. It is America that secures these rights and liberties, giving me my voice.  It was America that was founded the on beliefs of equality and inclusion, where hard work, integrity and doing the right thing are the primary keys to success.

This is the America that I know and love; the America I swore to protect and defend against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, and to uphold my duties to The Constitution and the American people for which it was written.

However, this America is not the only America.

America and its people have become a land of consumption without bounds or constraints. We strive to have the best of everything and if you have even second; you’re just the first loser.  To be the first, the best, and the most important is what it means to be American today.  This elitist attitude has warped what it means to be an American and have tossed aside the Constitution, the ideals of our forefathers, and even the thoughts and feelings of our children.

And as the child does when they can’t have anything they want, tantrums are thrown to ensure entitlements are received; regardless to the cost of others.  This is not an American point of view, where even the humble and poor are welcome, but the byproduct of greed, gluttony and all manner of sin that we have allowed in our hearts and society. It extends to the policies that are agreed upon to help those less privileged, without truly understanding the real problems as they exist; uncomfortable conversations are not welcome.  Let’s just simply give them more stuff and that should help, if it doesn’t it must be their own fault.  Where, pray tell, do you expect them to put all this salvation? Has any gift given over all these years helped create a happier dream for everyone?  How long will this continue until failure is accepted and real solutions are implemented?  This disease has spread across the American population like a virus; through every part of our government and now our American Dream.

What is this American Dream? We have seen this ideal change over the course of many years.  There was a time when honesty, courage and accountability fueled the pride of our country, now we just buy the newest model whenever it comes out.   We segregate those without and say it’s not American, regardless of their opportunity or life.  It’s time America and its people accept that today’s dream is not a possible reality for anyone that does not elevate consumption as a virtue. Only those that devalue what America stood for and desecrate its values and ideals can achieve the dream as defined today. They don’t make it like they use to in the good ole days of America.

What is the goal of America to you today? What is this American Dream to you? What are the people of your country to you in your version of your American Dream?  What are the people of the world?  What race are you running now? 

The average American is far from the image we project to the world’s population, many can barely afford to pay their bills and still have enough to put decent food on the table. The thought of traveling to another country is all but foreign; and even other places in the US are hard to visit. The current poverty level in America is considered to be $12,760 for a single individual residing in one of the 48 Contiguous States or within D.C. with a small increase for those residing in our strategic states. This boils down to just over $1000 a month for everything needed to achieve the American Dream where owning a small business and owning your own home for all your stuff; the dream we have today as it stands. I’ll leave this right here for you to consider your path to ‘pulling yourself up by your bootstraps’ on a grand a month. When finished; let us know if your budget allowed for those designer boots necessary for your dream, or even enough for a single monthly payment on that suburban mortgage.

It might be said that this is not the norm and this baseline figure is not the reality of America, but the data speaks otherwise.  In 2018 the median Black household income was roughly $41,000 per year. This number includes the income of all individuals in that household regardless of the number of jobs they work.  In today’s America, the vast majority of lower income families are either single parents working two or more jobs, or two parents each working at least one job. After federal taxes, roughly $32,500 remains. Next we have state and local taxes that must be paid for the community and local governments.  These taxes on average reduce the net income between 0%-12% depending on state, averaging roughly 5% across all states.  After taxes this leaves our household with $30,800 yearly, $2,567 monthly, $595 weekly or a measly $120 per business day. This is the reality of what 8 hours of blue-collar labor will provide someone in our land of the free.  So, your median Black household income after taxes has enough purchasing power to cover the cost of a mortgage on a small home with no land, basic utilities with little to nothing left for the family. Where’s the medical coverage, vacations, savings, investments and all that stuff we just classified as today’s American Dream? With no money to invest or save and build that credit worthiness, how does someone achieve a high enough FICO score for all that American? This is the reality the vast majority of Americans face daily. How does your America compare?

If you’re white you at least start with $70,600; with little difference in taxes with our public services privatized, leaving $53,700 after federal and $51,000 after the rest. Just being white gives a household an additional $20,000 a year for all that opportunity. Then consider the difference in education because of this opportunity and, in turn the kind of job that can be achieved. It’s important to consider the difference in benefits that are provided after 18 years of a child’s life.  But, even for whites the buck stops here with only 20% of the population making over $100,000, 8% over $150,000 and only 3.5% making over $200,000.

What is the value of an American today?

In the eyes of the church, life is priceless; one of the great gifts from God. That his greatest gift is himself and we are spawned from that image and given this life by his grace.  We put forth tremendous efforts to do everything we can to cure diseases of the world and extend the lives of those on death’s door if they can afford.  We search the depths of our knowledge looking for the cure for cancers and terminal illnesses; yet allow these same ideals to place a price on the heads of a new born child.

The life of a child, the total potential of a lifespan, is valued at $10 million in America today.

How does this relate to the American Dream where equality of opportunity can create a happy life through hard work?  If your child dies, and it is acceptable for a company to pay you a dollar value for your child’s soul, can anything else in life be happy?  The new meaning of the American Dream speaks nothing of your happiness; only what you have and it seems family is not a name brand. 

In the American language we use the phrase “Would you do it for a million dollars?” to effectively provide the opportunity for anyone to rescind their initial decision. A decision that was based on logic, data, values, morals and religious beliefs and re-evaluate this decision with a monetary sum and chose a different answer.  For an average American and by average, I mean 97% of Americans; even having a million dollars is not plausible or realistic; therefore this language has no context in reality.  However, for a company or individual that has $1 trillion, a cool mil is equivalent to a single dollar if we compare it with a similar entity that has only $1 mil.

“Would you do it for a dollar?” Just what is the value of a single dollar when you have a million of them? In our America, a human life is calculated to be around $10 mil, give or take a few.  For a $2 billion company; that’s $5000 and for a $2 trillion company; that’s about a kid’s meal from a drive-thru. This is the same language we use in our offices, homes and schools in the context of all our culture and has destroyed our American Dream without even waking us from our slumbers. Tell me America, if our math is the best in the world…

What price do you pay for your American?

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