Tag: american dream

The Democratic Party Doesn’t Care about America’s Youth

By John Keller | United States

In the current day, a critical midterm election is rapidly approaching. With this, a segment of the Democratic Party is claiming that only they care about the nation’s youth. This segment of the party is campaigning with their alleged care for the youth. But their promises of free college, free healthcare, and more only prove how little they really care.

Promises of billions, even trillions, in new spending for the youth beg a simple question. Just where will all of this money come from? Currently, the United States Treasury is bankrupt, with a debt of over $21 trillion. “Free” education and healthcare is only remotely possible in a stable economy, and holding a debt greater than our GDP is a guarantee at an economy that is too weak and too unstable for such programs.

Furthermore, the money for “free” programs must come from somewhere, meaning it comes from government revenue. Ultimately, this is a fancy term for the taxpayer’s back pocket. Currently, the United States has some of the highest tax rates in the world when factoring in city, county, state, and federal taxes.

In order for the Democratic Party’s “free” programs to work, the current entitlements, such as Medicare and Medicaid, require major revisions. As they hurtle towards bankruptcy, there is not much more room to tax people to fund them. In order to avoid this, it is necessary for the government to look at its wasted spending. Several members of Congress, such as Senator Rand Paul, have spoken out against it. In order to improve the United States Treasury and make any of the Democratic Party’s policies attainable, ending waste is a must.

However, the Democratic Party has no plan to lower the debt or rework spending in order to make their promises possible. Thus, any tangible Blue Wave will only put America’s treasury deeper in the red. A bigger debt with consistent votes for more spending simply pushes the issues down the road. This, of course, deepens the severity of issues that America’s youth must tackle. As taxes increase and services decay, America’s youth will take on the responsibility of this nation’s debt. But the cycle can end, in fact quite simply, by stopping this fall’s Blue Wave.


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Interview With Britton Wolf: SC House District 71 Candidate

By John Keller | South Carolina

Britton Wolf is in the Republican Liberty Caucus and is running for the South Carolina State House of Representatives in the 71st District to limit government intrusion upon the people of South Carolina. He is self-described on his website:

“My name is Britton Wolf. I am a Christian, a Conservative Activist, an Ecclesiastical Leader, a Mentor, a High School Lacrosse Coach, and an Eagle Scout. I am a legacy member of Young Americans for Liberty; I am also a trained Conservative Activist by the Leadership Institute and the Foundation of Applied Conservative Leadership.”
Keller: What inspired you to pursue a career in politics?
Wolf: My family and I are originally from California and we are first-hand witnesses of the destructive nature of big government policies. More than anything I am just tired of the State that I love becoming more like the State that I escaped from.

August of 2017, I read an article about the abandonment of the V.C. Summer Project, a project to construct two nuclear power plants in South Carolina. This failed $9-billion project resulted in the loss of 5,000 jobs. I began researching more about this issue and learned about the Base Load Review Act (BLRA) which was the legislation that led up to this nuclear fiasco in my State.

After looking up the voting record of my current Representative, I found out that he voted for the BLRA. January 31st he had the opportunity to vote for a full repeal but instead he chose to abstain from voting for or against the repeal. Someone needed to step up to run against him and I answered the call.

Keller: What, to you, is libertarianism? What attracted you, and what do you think will attract voters, to its message?
Wolf: As a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, I believe that liberty extremely important, bringing liberty to South Carolina is the purpose of my campaign. The term “Liberty” is something that I have studied for the past three years of my life. I’ve read the writings of free-market economists: Frederic Bastiat, Ludwig Von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard and F. A. Hayek. The definition of liberty that I have discovered is: Liberty is that condition of man, where coercion by some over others is reduced as much as possible in society. In other words, liberty is the condition of reducing man’s ability to wield political power to coerce or force human action.
Ronald Reagan said: “If you analyze it, I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” I’ve found that voters want to be left alone but more importantly, they want to keep their hard-earned money. As a legislator, I would fight to protect our economic freedom and civil liberties. I don’t believe that there is anything moral or honorable about spending other people’s money.
Keller: You are running for your state house. What is the “State of the State” and why is there a need for change?

Wolf: Right now, South Carolina residents pay the highest electric rates of any state in the nation, the average ratepayer pays $400 more per year than the national average. This has to do with legislation passed in 2007 called the Base Load Review Act (BLRA) which charges ratepayers for the construction of two nuclear power plants and permitted the utility providers of South Carolina to pass rate hikes. In the past decade companies like SCE&G have raised rates nine times and the project to construct the nuclear power plants was abandoned in 2017. The vilest part of this legislation is that the law leaves ratepayers on the hook for paying for the $9-billion project “upon completion or abandonment,” in other words we’re still on the hook for this.

My opponent voted for the BLRA in 2007 and abstained from voting for or against amendment 2 of H. 4375, which would have resulted in a full repeal of the BLRA and gotten ratepayers off the hook for continuing to pay for the abandoned nuclear reactors.

My solution to this issue would be to sponsor legislation for a full repeal of the BLRA to get ratepayers off the hook for paying for the abandoned reactors. Then to pass legislation that would free ratepayers from the territorial monopolies held by the utility providers of my State. South Carolina needs to open up for a free market by allowing for ratepayers to pick and choose which utility providers they want to purchase electricity from. This would create competition and drive down costs for electricity.

Keller: The gun debate is gaining intense traction in American politics as a result of the tragedy in Florida. What is your stance on this policy issue?

Wolf: The gun debate is certainly a hot topic right now and my heart goes out to the victims of the events that occurred in Florida. My concern with the recent gun discussions is, the demand for legislation to protect us from those that would prey on innocent citizens of society, such laws won’t protect us but would instead treat law abiding citizens as criminals.

I believe that we have a fundamental right to protection and that the most effective means of protection is through gun ownership. I have made a promise to my supporters that as a future legislator; I would defend their right to protect their lives, families, and possessions, and I would oppose all legislation that would infringe upon their ability to possess firearms.

Keller: The Drug War has been going on for over thirty years with no end in sight. What role do you want to play in the Drug War in the South Carolina, and how will you work with state policy and federal mandates? In other words, where do you stand on medical cannabis?
Wolf: I support the legalization of medical cannabis, right now there is a proposed bill in my State called the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act (H. 3541/S. 212). This legislation would allow for qualifying patients with debilitating medical conditions and a written recommendation from a physician, access to medical cannabis to treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease and more life-altering diseases. I believe that patients should have access to or the ability to consult with a medical professional about medicine that could help alleviate their suffering.
Recently, the SC House leadership blocked the SC Compassionate Care Act from coming up for a vote because this session falls upon an election year. To me, it’s a tragedy that my State’s elected representatives would play these political games, over granting suffering patients access to medicine. If elected, I will work with Rep. Jonathan Hill, Rep. Josiah Magnuson, and other sitting House members to help alleviate human suffering!
Keller: What do you hope to accomplish once elected? In other words, what three policies and stances define your campaign?
Wolf: Once elected I would like to focus my efforts on three issues:
  1. Repealing the Base Load Review Act; this would get ratepayers off the hook for paying for abandoned $9 dollar nuclear reactors. Sponsor legislation to remove the utility providers monopoly so that ratepayers can pick which provider to purchase electricity from, this competition would cause electric rates to decrease.
  2. Tax reform; I want to cut the State sales tax in half from 6% to 3%. Last year, the Republicans in my state voted to raise the State gas tax from 12.75 cents/gallon to 28.75 cents/gallon. If throwing more money at the problem solved problems then
  3.  Constitutional Carry; I believe that we have a God-given right to be able to bear arms, I don’t support licensing to exercise rights.
Keller: Do you have any concluding remarks for the readers and voters?

Wolf: If I were to say anything to readers or voters it would be that South Carolina is prime for liberty; and if elected, I will stand as a principled statesman like Rep. Jonathon Hill and Sen. Tom Davis. Liberty is the goal and we need more advocates for liberty to infiltrate our State legislature.

I would like to thank Britton Wolf for his time in conducting this interview. For more information visit his Facebook page and be sure to donate! His campaign is only $2,000 of the quarterly fundraising goal with YAL.

“Liberty is For Everyone” – An Interview With Libertarian Party Vice Chair Candidate Joe Paschal

By Spencer Kellogg | United States

Joe Paschal is a construction manager in the heavy industrial sector where he lives in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. Mr. Paschal is running for Vice Chair of the Libertarian National Party. His platform promotes local governance, free-market economics, and school choice.

 

71 Republic’s Spencer Kellogg spoke with Mr. Paschal by phone and he discussed a range of subjects from the tobacco industry and homeschooling to bitcoin and the environment:

On School Choice:

We homeschool all our kids. In the old days, a community would get together, and they would pay for school and decide who would come teach their children. It was funded by local people and it was a common agreement and they controlled it. If the teacher wasn’t doing their job, they’d get a new one. Now, the federal government mandates what we’re teaching and it’s more of an indoctrination than it is an education. If we want to make a difference in public schools, then we should stop sending our kids. The school gets money for every child enrolled. If you stop sending your kids to those schools, you’re essentially not supporting that system. If you don’t like the state in your life, then don’t give them a reason to be in your life.

On Corporate Governance:

I came up a millwright. I was a boilermaker and a welder. I worked in sawmills and paper mills in Virginia and worked my way up from there. I’ve worked hard, I’m a blue-collar man. I have no problem with free markets but when the free market controls the government it isn’t a free market. The corporations are writing the laws and they own the lawmakers. If you look at the EPA regulations big corporations want them. It keeps the startups and little guys out of business because they can’t afford to operate and compete. I’ve worked in the oil and gas sector. It’s not that I’m against big business but you won’t have a free market until the governments not involved in it.

On the Regulation & Centralization of The Virginia Tobacco Industry:

The 10-acre tobacco farms of Virginia folded because they were only allowed to grow so many pounds of tobacco per acre of property by mandate of the federal government. They could grow 50,000 pounds but if they only had poundage to grow 20,000 pounds, then they can only sell 1/2 of their potential output on the market. If you live in Virginia, you probably know of Bailey’s cigarettes. They’re made by Mac Bailey. Mac Bailey has 900 acres of tobacco in Mecklenburg & Charlotte counties. That pushed the small farmer further down and further down until it got to a point where they didn’t think it was worthwhile to raise tobacco. Those farmers end up selling their tobacco poundage to somebody like Mac Bailey and then that person buys up all the poundage for the whole county. That’s not a free market when the government is regulating it to the point where only a few people can afford to do business.

His Favorite Quote:

It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. – Sam Adams

On Liberty:

My mother was a Goldwater republican. My step dad never really liked the government. He was drafted into the army, which was something he never wanted to do but he served because he didn’t want to break the law and become a draft dodger. When he got out of the army, he refused to vote anymore. To use an old Mark Twain adage: “If voting mattered, they wouldn’t let you do it.” He never trusted the government. He always paid his taxes, but he hated it. I came from a family that believed “leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.” We’re not judgmental type people.

I was homeschooled. History was always interesting to me. At 16, I read the Magna Carta. Then I read the Constitution and I would go to places like Monticello and learn about Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Patrick Henry. Virginia history and early American history are one in the same. All of that formed my political beliefs. It wasn’t until I got older and started having children that I got involved in politics. I realized I could either sit on the bench and complain all the time or go out and do something myself. My biggest mission is to teach people that liberty isn’t just a choice for a few people, it’s for everybody. From the person who digs ditches all day to someone that owns a major corporation. Liberty is Liberty.

On the American Dream:

I’ve been to Saudi Arabia, Columbia, Afghanistan, Dubai, Mexico. There’s good and bad in all those countries. In South America, for example, the energy bills are nothing because it’s a state-owned utility. It’s regulated to be cheap for the people but that sets prices and that creates two classes of people; the working class and the oligarchs. If you’re at the lower level, there is no chance for you to climb up. There is no free market there. Even though we have our issues, there’s always a chance that a poor person can climb up. If you look at someone making minimal wage, they can buy a little piece of Bitcoin every week. A little bit here, a little bit there. In 10 years they could become a millionaire if they work hard to get there. In those other countries, it’s almost impossible to do.

On Cryptocurrency:

I like the premise and I know there is some opportunity there. I don’t know if I trust an online based currency like that because I’m not sure how secure it would be if something were to happen. The way the NSA controls our internet and we don’t know when we’re being spied on or if they’re listening to this very conversation. Let’s say we have another great depression, the market dropped drastically and we had a run on the banks. This happened in Greece, when the economy went bust, they began freezing their assets from private citizens, so they couldn’t get their own assets. My fear is if something were to happen, economically in the world, how would we be able to benefit from owning an online currency? I still think hard currency has a lot of value. Gold and Silver has a lot of real world value. It makes people comfortable because they can hold it in their hand.

On Montana:

I worked in Montana 20 some years ago. I went out and did a project at a power plant. Then I just fell in love with it. Everybody was nice, everybody had guns, and everybody talked hunting, fishing and doing outdoor stuff. 4 Wheelers and ATV’s were riding up and down the street, and it was totally legal. I started researching and found out it’s the 4th largest state in America and it has only a million people in the whole state. The largest city is only 100,000 people. Property taxes are very low. There are zero sales tax on anything you buy. We have a simple tier income tax. The maximum that anyone pays in Montana on state income tax is 6.9%. The way the state looks at homeschooling, you have a right to educate your kids the way you see fit. To homeschool your kids in Montana, you just have to write a letter to the super intendant of the school district in which you live and tell them you’re homeschooling your children and it’s done. There’s no state inspection or testing. On your personal property taxes, you can write off the homeschool amount on your income tax. They don’t mess with you because that’s your right. It’s got some issues but it’s one of the freest states in the country. The biggest issue I have with Montana is they carry quite a bit of federal debt but that’s not even Montana’s fault. Something like 1/5 of Montana is federal land and to maintain that property we have to borrow money from the federal government.

On Automation:

Automation is coming and with a growing population we need to face the fact that there will be less jobs. It’s coming. The first thing most people want to suggest is a Universal Basic Income, but nothing is free and who’s paying for it? We’ve got millions and millions of acres in the United States that are owned by the federal government. If we could homestead that land, then people could stake themselves a few acres of land and have a self-sustaining property and they wouldn’t need to rely on anyone but themselves.

On Monsanto:

People are not sure about the GMO’s that they’re eating. They don’t trust what they’re eating. Don’t even get me started on Monsanto because that’s no free market there. The government protects them. The federal courts protected them when their seeds blew onto a small farmer’s property and then those famers were getting sued by Monsanto for selling seeds they didn’t even plant. The government backed Monsanto in that case. We have to protect our environment and our famers. End of story.

On Big Business:

I support big business and I support the free market. But I also know that we have to protect our environment. I don’t have a problem drilling oil if it’s done responsibly because I’ve worked on oil rigs. I understand that it’s a resource we have to tap but we shouldn’t be dumping it on the ground when we can process it. We have to be stewards as well as business people. Some of the ancaps in our party don’t quite see it that way. They believe the corporations will do good if they have the freedom to good and I’m not sure if I buy into that whole philosophy. I remember about John D. Rockefeller. They didn’t care too much about people or the environment. They cared more about making money and having power.

The Ideals of the Declaration of Independence

Ryan Andrew | United States

The Declaration of Independence (DOI) is quite possibly the most important and influential document in American history. The document, written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, has allowed The United States to survive and thrive for over 240 years. When writing the Declaration, Jefferson mentioned four ideals that have shaped all of The United States’ history. These ideals were Equality, Consent of the Governed, the unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, and finally, the Right of the People to alter or abolish the Government.

All four of these ideals are extremely important to the foundation and survival of our country. However, the Right of the People to alter or abolish the Government is the most important one.

With the right to Alter or Abolish our government, anything can be achieved.

The Declaration of Independence: Equality

Furthermore, Jefferson mentions equality when he wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Equality is certainly something that sets The United States apart from other nations in the world. After all, some people in countries such as Iraq and Pakistan would kill for the level of equality the U.S. boasts. This ideal can easily be seen within our democratic election system that ensures that all American citizens, regardless of race, gender, or social status, are allowed to vote and have their voice heard in elections.

However, for a large portion of our nation’s history, this was not true. When Jefferson wrote the DOI, only white, property-owning males could vote. It was nearly two centuries after the signing of the Declaration that all people would be able to take part in The United States’ democratic system.  This was achieved by people deciding they didn’t like something within our government and then taking a stand to alter or change it. In 1870, the 15th Amendment passed, guaranteeing African-Americans the right to vote in all elections. Next came the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Both of these amendments are examples of how equality can be achieved when the public has the ability to alter the government when they deem fit.

Consent of the Governed

Additionally, another ideal the Declaration of Independence outlines is the consent of the governed. Jefferson outlines this ideal when he says, “…deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”  This basically means that a good government should allow the people to have a say in what their government imposes on them and who is representing them. The men and women we elect serve at our command and we ultimately control their fate.

Moreover, one of the main reasons the colonies wanted independence from Britain was because King George III was placing taxes on the colonists without properly representing them in Parliament. In other words, he taxed them without their consent. In response to this, the colonists did many things to boycott and protest the British government in hope of an alteration taking place. Of course, it took the United States declaring independence from King George III to finally stop this. Despite this fact, the colonies trying to fight back against taxation without representation (or consent) is still a great example of how consent of the governed can be achieved by altering or in this case, abolishing (and replacing) the government.

Certain Unalienable Rights

The third ideal that the Declaration of Independence highlights is certain unalienable Rights, such as Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Jefferson mentions this when he says, “…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” To have unalienable rights is to have freedoms that cannot be taken away by the government and in this case, those freedoms are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

For this ideal, it is important to once again look back on the rights of African-Americans throughout history. For the first part of our nation’s history, most African Americans were slaves who did not have these unalienable Rights. In 1865, after years of conflict and violence during the Civil War, the 13th Amendment passed. This amendment was a result of the people fighting to alter the government to end slavery and involuntary servitude in The United States once and for all.

The Right to Alter or Abolish the Government

Finally, the most important ideal outlined in the Declaration of Independence is the right of the people to alter or abolish the government. Jefferson mentions this ideal when he says, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and to institute new Government…”

This means that when the government violates one of the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence, the people have the right to reform or abrogate the government. With this, equality, consent of the governed, and the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can be achieved.


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The American Dream Through the Years

By Payton Huckleberry | USA

What is the American Dream? Some would say a better life, material possessions, fame and fortune, etc. The American Dream has been all of these things, changing with the time itself. The society of a certain time period is the driving force behind the American Dream.

1900-1929

The American Dream at the turn of the century was all about “striking it rich,” or getting ahead financially. After the economic “boom” due to the oil industry, everyday Americans went back to the same mentality that swept the nation during the gold rush, that anyone in America can become rich beyond their wildest dreams. The idea of “rags-to-riches” being in full force here, and people such as the Kennedy’s, the Roosevelt’s, Henry Ford, the Dodge brothers, and others became very prominent in the world of business, despite starting out at the bottom.

The culture of the time also symbolizes the American Dream, with literary work such as The Great Gatsby. Many turned to illicit behavior in order to fulfill their American Dream, prohibition led to organized crime, which led to the rise of gangsters like Al Capone. All of these factors led to a time of economic prosperity throughout the early 20th century, and then it all came crashing down.

1930-1939

When the Great Depression struck in the 1930’s, the entire landscape of America, and with it the American Dream, changed for the worse. The American Dream of the 1930’s was stability. For once, and probably the only time in American history, the American Dream was not about moving ahead in life, or building a better life. Rather, it was about staying where you’re at. The rich weren’t vying to get richer, they were trying to protect their wealth and their livelihood. The middle class was nonexistent and the lower class seemed to keep falling lower. Nobody was immune to the effects of the depression.

The biggest movie of the decade, and perhaps history, Citizen Kane, was very symbolic of the time period, where the very rich main character tried to secure his livelihood, in which he ended up losing everything. The 1930’s were very depressing for the American people, and their Dream showed it.

1940-1959

During World War II the American Dream was all about unity, people were more worried about the country as a whole than their individual lives. After the war, the American economy was growing, and America had lifted itself out of the depression. The American Dream during this time was family life. When the greatest generation came home from WWII, they were focused on creating a great life for there families, fresh off from fighting the most evil human in history, America was grateful that they had the way of life they did. The idea of the perfect “Nuclear Family” took hold in this era. However, the beginnings of feminism were also taking root after the war. When the men were away fighting the war, the women worked in the factories, causing a mindset change in the women of America.

The 1940’s and ‘50’s were the eras of American pride and the platonic family. The television in the 1950’s, with shows like I Love Lucy! and The Andy Griffith Show were symbolizing the idea perfectly.

1960-1979

The Dream of the ‘60’s was peace, equality, and liberty. America was going through many changes during the 1960’s; chief among these changes was the Civil Rights Movement, free love, and feminism. The war in Vietnam sparked protests throughout the US The children of the greatest generation were less concerned with national pride, and more concerned with the individual person. Whites and blacks, men and women, straights and gays, all fighting for equality and freedom for everyone. They were anti-society and supported the individual’s rights to choose how to live their lives. The music of this era, notably Bob Dylan, CCR, and The Beatles symbolized the mindset of the time. The song The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Bob Dylan is a perfect example of the American Dream of this generation.

1980-1989

The value of materialist possession is seen in the American Dream of the 1980’s where pop music was born, the clothes were fabulous, and people were vying for fame and fortune. For the first time in American history, the American Dream was not about having a fulfilling life, rather about getting famous and having the more stuff than your neighbor. The people weren’t necessarily selfish, materialistic possessions were how your value in society was determined. If you didn’t have the best sneakers or the most fantastic hair, you were looked down on. The movies of the time, like The Breakfast Club, She’s All That, and St. Elmo’s Fire showed the value of materialism, as all of them had a character who was seen as lower than the rest based on how they dressed or how much stuff they had. The ‘80’s were all about standing out, and this can be easily seen in the fashion of the time, where neon and bright colors were standard.

1990-1999

The American Dream of the 1990’s was a more technologically developed and sophisticated version of the decades before it. The Dream of the time was all about social status and materialism. In simple terms, the more you had, the higher social relevance you held, the higher the social relevance, the better the life. At least, that was the idea. The people of the time cared less about fame than the people of the ‘80’s, they instead wanted a high status in their selective social group. Personal computers, early cell phones, televisions, video games, and other technological advances were the measure of success. Only successful people could afford these things, therefore the more you had the more successful you were. The American Dream became arguably less of a Dream for America and more of a Dream for materials.

2000-2009

After 9/11, the American Dream became about National Pride again, an increase in military support and patriotism were the effects of the Dream. People cared less about materialism, although it was still there, and more about the people of this country as a whole Americans banded together despite race, religion, and political affiliation and united against a common enemy for the first time since World War 2. War fever was running rampant as Americans, in their newly found patriotic values, cried for revenge for 9/11. The increase in patriotism led to a more powerful federal government. The TSA, NSA, and U.S.A P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act all came out of this era. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were also directly caused by this newfound patriotism.

2010-Now

So far the current decade’s personal American Dream is hard to pin down. The best summary of our Dream is individual independence. People want to be self-sufficient men and women alike no longer are searching for that perfect family, and they care less about interpersonal romantic relationships. The rise of casual sex and less meaningful relationships can be seen as a result of the change in the Dream. Materialism also is coming back but in a different way. Society cares less about what you have or how much of it you have, more how you use it. Technology is readily available to everyone, and social media is the perfect example.

The American Dreams

There has never, and possibly will never, be one American Dream. The closest we can come in unison with one common mentality is based entirely on the society of the time. There are, of course, outliers to this. For example, the dream of the previous generation may not always end abruptly, but rather die slowly with the people themselves. Many people to this die are fighting with the same dream they carried during the ‘60’s and’70’s, free love, and equality. However, society is the driving factor in the interpretation of the American Dream.