In a move that reflects the economic and political uncertainty of the times, the United States Government announced yesterday that the American Dream has been downgraded to an American Whimsical notion.
"We understand that many of you have been reduced to eating the cardboard on the refrigerator boxes you moved your family into during the recent downturn in the economy," reads a White House press release. "We would need to have some kind of cojones to assume that an overpass qualifies as home ownership, or that such an eventuality was the outcome of the beautiful, long-standing vision you had for yourselves and your loved ones."
"It was only a matter of time," says sociologist Amber Thibodeau. "What with so many incentives still in place to make cheap crap elsewhere, the housing bubble bursting and education and social services always getting cut from the budgets first. And now Congress is at this historically low approval rating and they can't agree on even the slightest concession to the middle class. Things are blowing pretty hard right now."
The press release goes on to urge Americans to get over themselves, and wake up from their collective dream before the American Whimsical Notion itself gets downgraded to the American Passing Fancy.
"Look folks," it reads, "there are over 300 million people in America. Do you seriously believe that every one of you has the same shot at being a millionaire as those who are already in the top one percent? Dream on."
While many agree that it has been much tougher for current wage-earners to fulfill the hope of a better life for their children that was realized by the post World War II generation, some are still unwilling to let go of the American Dream and are outraged at its being downgraded to a whimsical notion.
"This is the greatest country in the world," said one laid-off factory worker who lost his job to outsourced manufacturing and is still unable to feed his family despite working two minimum wage jobs. "And once I get rich, I sure as hell am not going to want my taxes going to help some loser like me to get a chance at something better."
The press release concludes on a hopeful note, saying the government hopes to actually upgrade the American Whimsical Notion to an American Reverie by year's end.
James Napoli is an author and humorist. More of his comedy content for the web can be found here.
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