|Wall Street Brokers Watching Occupy Protest - 2011|
The 'light' that was the American Dream got snuffed a while ago; the only faint glow left is from diehards who believe it'll turn around eventually - and that's starting to fade, because whether you believe it or not, the Lights are Going Out In America. That's because the average new-hire (required to have a four-year degree) in one of those new media conglomerates makes less than a kid just out of high-school in 1960, when you factor inflation. His or her 1960's-era counterpart might be sweeping floors and stocking shelves in the local supermarket, but those kids had something going for them that their New America contemporaries do not: They had the support of a labor union, a progressive tax system which left them largely alone, and a body of laws which kept the corporations in check. No longer. Remember - this is the New America.
The newly-minted college graduate today is happy to eat Ramen, live in the basement, and hope to win the job-lottery, because that's all they know. They were never educated as they should have been - and that's part of the problem (if not the plan), also - they don't know the power of their own numbers, or the history of labor in America. They do their jobs as 'media managers' and 'account executives'; they get to call the boss by his first name - but they're working-class, and actually in worse shape than their grandparents.
The other thing they know is that if they step out of line, there are 100 other kids coming out of college right now with worthless degrees and student-loans who'll cheerfully chase a non-job for a chance to get a real one.
(If by now you're wondering if this isn't all somehow connected, I've done my job. Keep reading.)