Parker: The American Dream Is Being Shattered Right Before Our Eyes


New polling data from Gallup shows Americans are not having an easy time through this period of inflation.

Fifty-six percent of Americans say rising prices are causing severe or moderate hardship.

Drilling down, we see that the hardship is not shared equally.

Among upper-income households — those with an income of $90,000 or more — 40 percent report experiencing hardship. Among middle-income households — $48,000 to $89,000 — 62 percent report hardship. And among low-income households — less than $48,000 — 74 percent report hardship.

But Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen showed up at a Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan, recently with an upbeat economic message reminiscent of the joke, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

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Yellen announced that she is “more optimistic about the course of our economy than I have been in quite a while.”

The Biden administration hopes to blow enough smoke into the eyes of voters so that reality will not set in until the November elections have passed.

Yellen ought to consider reading the latest long-term budget and economic projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Per CBO’s just-published budget outlook, over the next 30 years, the U.S. budget deficit, as a percent of our GDP, will be double what it has averaged over the last half-century, and national debt as a percentage of GDP will reach historically high levels, arriving at a mind-boggling 185 percent of GDP in 2052.

The result of the ongoing absorption of the U.S. economy into the hands of government and politicians will be, according to CBO, a slowing and sputtering of the economy.

Is more economic freedom the key to wealth creation?

“From 2022 to 2052, real potential GDP increases an average of 1.7% per year,” according to the report, compared to an average of 2.4 percent over the previous 30 years.

From 1950 to 2000, the U.S. economy grew at an average annual rate of 3.5 percent. So, per the picture CBO paints for us regarding our economic future, we can expect growth to be half of what it averaged in the half-century following the end of World War II.

What does this mean for the average American?

According to Hoover Institution economist John Cochrane, it means that over the next 50 years household income will be half of what it would have been had the economy grown at the historical rate.

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This is not a pretty picture for any American. But for low-income Americans, it is particularly dismal.

The American dream has always been that although you may start with nothing, there is a future for you to build and accumulate wealth.

That dream is being shattered.

And it is being shattered by government and politicians — the Democrats who now control our government — who pretend to be concerned about these same low-income Americans.

More and more government spending, more and more government sucking the oxygen out of our economy by pulling resources away from the private sector and bringing them under political control, supposedly to help the “have-nots,” just destroys opportunity for everyone.

According to a survey done by my organization, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, 70 percent of black Americans feel the country is divided into “haves” and “have-nots,” and 57 percent of blacks feel they are among the “have-nots.”

The challenge for all those who see the nation sinking under the weight of misguided government — and certainly I am talking about Republicans — is to reach our black citizens and get them to believe that the path to opportunity, the path to becoming a “have,” is a free economy.

If all Americans realize that freedom, not government, is the path to wealth creation, we can turn a sinking ship around.


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