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I'm beginning to wonder if there will be an American dream left for me to have.

I went bike riding this weekend to explore the local neighborhoods and get some much needed exercise. As I live out in the country there was certainly a lot to see, sprawling residential areas, small farms, country that had been permitted to go wild...It was very nice, and other than a mild sunburn, it was cheap and painless entertainment.

One thing depressed me though. As I live so far from a major city, many of the houses were purchased by people who didn't mind commuting for an hour each day when gasoline was $2 a gallon, but who now find themselves unable to sustain such expenditures. About every third house was up for sale, cleared lots where houses would go had simply turned into weedy grassland, and many of those houses which did remain had cars, boats, or even everyday items sprawled out on the lawn with FOR SALE signs on them. There were also a large number of garage sales, and while it's certainly the season for them, they are much more common and go on longer (it was well into a Sunday afternoon) than they used to. The items for sale are not your usual baby clothes and old books. They were air conditioners, lawn mowers, snowblowers, and other large pieces of expensive equipment that can be replaced by either cheaper manual equipment or simple hardheadedness, but it's never an easy transition.

When my parents were kids, they dreamed of being doctors or astronauts or presidents. I dreamed of just having my own house and a wife and kids, as did a lot of my friends, who knew even in elementary school that things like "astronaut" were an impossible dream. And now that I see even my own modest dream slipping away, it makes me wonder what the next generation will dream of. Going to bed with a full stomach? Recieving medicine for their illnesses? Not being dragged into their grandfather's war, to die in a country they can't even find on a map?

I am despondent.

Originally posted to American Free Party on Mon Jul 28, 2008 at 08:38 AM PDT.

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