The Occupy Wall street movement was hot for a while, but we don't hear much about those folks any more. Those protests changed something in our culture, and at least to me, it seems that we are trending towards the vilification of wealth and money. To add to that, I have seen a back lash against those who have attained, or are on their way to attaining wealth. They are painted with broad strokes as greedy, manipulative, and with questionable morals.
The second mistruth that I hear so often is that the "American Dream" is dead.
These past few year have been tough on many of us. Companies laid off workers. Companies cut benefits. They expect more production by few people. I am an example of this. Prior to my promotion last year, there were 2 full time employees doing a the job that I now do by myself. It comes with the territory.
Here is the beauty about America, if you don't like your situation, you have the power to change it. If the job stinks and you don't get paid enough, go work for someone else. Or, better yet, start your own thing. A perfect example would be Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents. She had a great full time job, but she knew she wanted more. So she started a blog, and with a lot of hard work, a lot of hours, and a lot of effort, that girl now has her own blogging business and is making on average about $10,000 a month or more. To top it off, she did it on her own. She did the research, she dug into the market place and is providing a skill and service that the market deems important, and she is being rewarded for it. No one gave her a step up. No one gave her an advantage over anyone else. To top it off, she is willing to share her story, and help those who want to follow in her footsteps.
I think her story is proof that that American dream is still alive, it is just different that it used to be. Right now, the internet is the Wild West. It is the great equalizer. It is open to anyone with drive and a dream.
As I look around the personal finance world, I am inspired. There are so many men and women who put in a hard days work, then put even more time into their side job, on or offline.
I think, the American Dream is alive and well, it just takes hard work to attain it. It takes focus, desire, and sacrifice. You can't quit, and blame someone else for your problems. You have to own your decisions and your life.
Money in and of itself is not evil. It is A-Moral. What money does, is reveal the inner character and heart of the person. If you are inherently greedy, it will reveal that. On the flip side, it can allow you to do some really great things. It can allow you to give in a really big and exciting way.
As the late Margaret Thatcher once said " No one would remember the good Samaritan if he only had good intentions, he had money as well."