We hear the term American Dream thrown around from time to time. Usually it is in context of how one party or another is chipping away at it. I believe it is not just parties and politicians that do this, but regulators.
One thing about people’s how job it is to regulate things, they do, from time to time, regulate something. Funny how that works.
What is meant by the American Dream?
Simple, the chance to have a house, a job, some wealth, some future that is better than your past.
How is that achieved?
Simple…Work hard, add value, and sooner or later some of that value falls into your own pockets.
Some of that is done through hard work at a job for someone else, and sometimes that is by working for yourself, but it is always through using labor, or intellect to add value to the world.
My premise is that we are slowly eroding the capability of people to do these things.
My grandfather in the 1940s lived the American dream by buying a very small house and using his labor to add lots of square footage. It turns out he had a large number of kids and needed the space. Because he couldn’t afford a large enough house he bought a small one. For a period of time he put everyone into tight quarters and with every waking moment outside of work he added square footage and therefore value to the house.
He did this work himself.
Now, many times, today I hear people say “I’m building a house.” The comment is never literal. What is meant is that “I’m working with a contractor who hired a bunch of people to build a house and I write a check.”
Well, why aren’t people buying the wood and nails like my grandfather did? Is it lack of desire? Is it not enough time? Lack of knowhow?
I say it isn’t any of those things. It is local building regulations. If you want to build something larger than a doghouse in some localities the number of permits needed is crazy. The requirements to get those permits is also nutty. You must use a licensed this, a bonded that.
Ok, how about this. I’m a guy who owns some dirt, I want to build a house for my wife and kids. If it sucks it is my problem. But nooooo we can’t do it that way. We permit people wanting to do the work themselves right out of the equation.
We rob people of the chance to add value to their own property. We rob them of the ability to create a home. You can buy it but you can’t build it.
That statement I think sums it up. You can buy the American dream but building it is being slowly eroded.
I know this is but one example, but I could name fifty other regulations that get in the way of people using their own labor to add value to things without the government’s ok. Therefore I do firmly believe that what we have now is a situation where both parties, along with regulators, are robbing us of the American dream one line of red tape laden regulation documents at a time.
I hope we find ourselves in a situation where people are more free to chase the American dream and not just leave that dream to people who can purchase it.
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