America has long been known as the land of dreams, democracy, opportunities, and success, a place where anyone can make it big. However, one man's explanation of how the country's system works might make you think twice about this reputation.
A recent TikTok video by @lilgoblin8 has sparked a heated debate about whether America is a land of true opportunity or simply designed to favor the elite at the expense of the rest of the population
According to him, CNBC recently revealed that 64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck this year, despite living in the wealthiest country in the world (excluding some wealthy African nations).
This means that these people are unable to spend money beyond what they receive in their paychecks.
"Temporarily embarrassed millionaires"
He cites Steinbeck's perspective that instead of considering ourselves as poor pawns in the system that we play the game in, we see ourselves as “temporarily embarrassed millionaires,” who tell themselves “I’ll get there one day.”
He adds that this game we play in the system shouldn’t be even called a “game” at all, explaining, ”because there’s really no winning in this f...king game”
What is meritocracy?
The idea of meritocracy suggests that regardless of the challenges we face or the systemic inequality we encounter, we can still succeed.
Ingrained in the minds
This hopeful notion, he suggests, is ingrained in the minds of many, including those who identify as capitalists despite not owning any capital.
Difference between the salary before and today
He says that in 1998, earning $38,000 a year would be equivalent to earning $235,000 today. Yet, some still celebrate a salary of $60,000 as a great achievement.
"It's not even close"
“No it isn’t, it sucks, it’s nowhere near the same ever, it’s not even close,” he argues.
He further explained how people think
“You have this idea that you're gonna make it, I know these people, I know you. You're sitting there, thinking, ‘Just a few more years, and I'll save up for retirement and all this kind of stuff’.”
Although he doesn’t believe this is attainable for everyone, some “lucky” ones may be able to do it.
However, he argues that this system is not designed for more than a few winners. If there are more winners, it makes the top people drop down a little bit, “and God forbid that should happen.”
He continues by saying that although we don't have kings or queens, there isn't much difference between America and an oligarchic country. He highlights that millions of Americans are food-insecure or sleeping on concrete.
"You're a pawn in the game"
“You're not a capitalist, you're poor,” he suggests, “You're not a ‘temporarily embarrassed millionaire,’ you're a pawn in the game.”
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Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.