The myth of the American Dream is the dominating factor in keeping people complacent in the United States. You know it -- work hard, and your life will improve. Well, maybe not your life, but your kids', or at least your grandkids'. If that doesn't work, it is the fault of immigrants, or the darn Chinese, or those welfare freeloaders.
Does there really exist an industry of deeply funded anti-tax lobbyists whose sole purpose is to protect the holdings of their clients? Absolutely -- far from "mistaken," that narrative is exactly right. Do they win every fight? Nope, and they lost the one that led the capital gains rate to go up in 2013.
Good speech? Bad speech? That's irrelevant. And it's not important what you think of the president either. What's more important is what will actually impact your company. And based on the above, some of what the president discussed will impact you. That's what you should be thinking about as you begin this new year.
The best thing Republicans had going for them in this election was the fact that they weren't in the same party as President Obama. But it would be a huge mistake for them to act as though this was an endorsement of their policies -- a mistake they seem likely to make. A mistake that seems destined to be part of the 2016 Republican autopsy.
In a new Pew poll, more than three quarters of self-described conservatives believe "poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything." In reality, most of America's poor work hard, often in two or more jobs. The real non-workers are the wealthy who inherit their fortunes. And their ranks are growing. In fact, we're on the cusp of the largest inter-generational wealth transfer in history. The wealth is coming from those who over the last three decades earned huge amounts on Wall Street, in corporate boardrooms, or as high-tech entrepreneurs. It's going to their children, who did nothing except be born into the right family.