The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    American dream can be revived

    The last two years have been a time of dismal uncertainty for our great republic. From historically high home foreclosures to lack of available consumer credit, we have been bombarded with news of economic turmoil to the point of mental exhaustion. Top that news with a steady stream of reports on colossal layoffs in virtually every industry as well as reports that the current unemployment rate will not subside until late 2010, and it’s a surprise half the country hasn’t suffered a mental breakdown.
    To put it bluntly, our country is screwed. We know it, and the politicians in Washington, D.C., know it. However, the purpose of this article is not to lay the blame on the spending habits our parents’ generation or the short-sighted and often irrational budgeting of past and present Republicans or Democrats in office. Nor is it to bore you with economic data that would dull the minds of even the most studious person.
    Rather, this article is intended to serve as advice on how our generation can reinvent the fabled American dream of prosperity that our forefathers alluded to over two centuries ago.
    No greater advice can be found on how to reinvent the American dream than from the generation of Americans that lived during the 1930s and 1940s or the World War II generation. This generation, which includes many of our grandparents and great-grandparents, dealt with some of the most difficult domestic and foreign issues – irresponsible lending, indebtedness and war – and astoundingly recovered from it because of their united determination to have a better life.
    The same blood and the same determination can be found flowing in the veins of our generation. We must tap into that life-source and work together in order to reinvigorate America now and in the long-run. After we succeed at this, our generation must take the financial approach that the WWII generation took by saving more and spending less. This is the only true path for economic sustainability for the next generation.
    Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes once wrote, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” These words of wisdom are invaluable to reviving the broken spirit of our generation today.
    For many of us who graduate in a year or less, we have high anxiety about the future and question whether we will be fortunate enough to land a job opportunity within the field we have worked years just to be considered qualified candidates. This anxiety has lead many in our generation to settle for less and consider other career fields because of availability. Though this tactic may be a smart move in the short-term, this trend could be detrimental to our generation in the long-term as it encourages complacency rather than ambitious goal-setting.
    In short, when a generation lacks ambition, the world lacks change. Therefore, we must have the audacity to pursue our long-term dreams now more than ever. So, whether you dream to study abroad or work for a Fortune 500 company, go for it.
    In the long run, the economic recession will without question define the way our generation views finances, wealth, and the role of government in domestic and foreign affairs. The key to success, however, is to rethink everything and regain awareness of the world around us in order seize every possible opportunity in our future. By maintaining such awareness, we can maintain a leadership role in the world.
    Vick Warnsley is a senior majoring in economics. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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    American dream can be revived